meatless monday: roasted tahini cauliflower
You may notice that today is not Monday. In fact, you may even notice that it’s not even the day after Monday. I’m not switching over to Meatless Thursdays, don’t worry. After all, that would defeat the whole purpose of the exercise as obviously I’m only attracted to the alliteration of it all. No, in fact, I’m working on a little something that I’m really excited about, but it is causing some minor delays in normally scheduled programming over here. I’ll make it up to ya’, I promise.
This recipe caught my eye a few weeks ago. Mint? Lemon? Tahini? Cauliflower? Yes, to all of the above. There was only one thing about this recipe that I didn’t love and that was the idea of frying the cauliflower in 500ml of oil. I just couldn’t really bring myself to do it. But, I could bring myself to lightly toss the florets in olive oil, add to a baking sheet and roast them until they smelled amazing and had a delightful nutty flavor. The original recipe did call for the spring onions to be fried as well, which I did with a little olive oil in a pan. Just enough to get them good and crispy.
I really liked this dish, but then again, I really like tahini. If tahini ain’t your thang, then please do yourself a favor and look away. There’s nothing subtle about its presence here. It’s loud and proud in this dish and, for me, that’s a good thing.
roasted tahini cauliflower
adapted (and cut in half) from Ottolenghi’s recipe
- 1 medium cauliflower heads, split into small florets, about 1/2 kg or 1lb
- 4 spring onions, each cut into three long segments
- 90g/3oz tahini paste
- 1 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 7g chopped parsley
- 7g chopped mint, plus more to finish
- 75g Greek yoghurt
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp agave nectar or honey, plus more to finish
- Coarse salt and black pepper
- Cup of water on hand
- Olive oil
- Toss the cauliflower florets in about 1-2 tbsps of olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Spread florets evenly across a baking sheet and roast at 400°F or 200°C for about 15-20 minutes. Don’t wander far, you just went them on brown, not char.
- While the cauliflower roast, quickly pan fry the spring onions just long enough to render nice and crispy (about 5-7 minutes)
- Once cauliflower is golden-brown, add fried spring onions to the roasting pan, mix about. Allow both to cool as you prepare your dressing.
- For the dressing: pour the tahini paste into a large mixing bowl and add the garlic, herbs, yoghurt, lemon juice, agave and season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Stir with a wooden spoon as you add water. The tahini sauce will first thicken and then loosen up as you add water. Don’t add too much, just enough to get a thick yet smooth pourable consistency, a bit like honey.
- Stir the cauliflower and onion into the tahini bowl, taste and adjust the seasoning. You may also want to add more lemon juice.
- To serve, spoon into a serving bowl and finish with a few drops of agave (or honey) and some chopped mint.