Saturday, February 20, 2016

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Tahini Sauce - Caity


Every January/February I sink into an unhealthy ritual of eating a lot of carbs and a lot of meat. I think it's because Christmas is over, it's really cold outside, my car is covered with ice I have to scrape off every morning even when I'm already late to work, the Salt Lake Valley is filled with smog, I'm too busy dreaming of warm weather to actually eat adequate food, (insert endless additional excuses here) AND the produce at the grocery store is generally so unsinspiring. Half green rock hard tomatoes? Flavorless pale pink watermelon? I'll pass thanks. 

Then when I've finally my maximum capacity of cheeseburgers and toast, I remember that there are still lots of vegetables that are great year round. Especially the generally underappreciated ones, like cauliflower. My opinion for the majority of my life was that cauliflower was the ugly red headed step child of broccoli. It was mushy when steamed, it was plain white (yawn!), and it tasted too cabbagey for my likes. Then I had oven roasted cauliflower and everything changed! 

Oven roasting cauliflower creates a crisp-tender texture that is perfect, especially when paired with this lemon tahini sauce. The sauce is bright and perks up your tastebuds that have become so accustomed to heavy winter meals. And it's so pretty when it's oven roasted! If you've never tried tahini before, it's a paste made of sesame seeds and is a big ingredient in hummus. It makes the sauce smooth and simultaneously gives the dish a nice rich touch and satiating flavor. 

Reasons you have to try this cauliflower dish is 1) it's delicious, 2) it's easy and 3) it leaves you with leftover lemon tahini sauce which is great on any roasted, grilled or raw veggie! This recipe comes from Bonnie Stern's cookbook, "Friday Night Dinners". 

Serves 3-4 as a side



what you'll need: 

for the cauliflower
1 large head cauliflower
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt

for the tahini sauce
1/2 cup tahini
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp kosher salt
water, to taste (about 1/2 cup) 

for serving
chopped parsley (optional)
sesame seeds (optional)


Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. 

Core the cauliflower and cut into 1-1/2 inch florets. 


In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp kosher salt. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet and spread florets out evenly. 

Bake until the cauliflower is tender and slightly browned, about 25 to 30 minutes. While the cauliflower is baking, make the tahini sauce. 


To make the tahini sauce, combine the tahini paste, lemon juice, salt and garlic in a bowl. When thoroughly mixed, begin adding water until the sauce turns white and it reaches your desired consistency. 

I like mine to be runny enough to drizzle but not too thin it runs right off the cauliflower. 


Drizzle the cauliflower with lemon tahini sauce and sprinkled chopped parsley and sesame seeds if desired for presentation. Enjoy warm or at room temperature! 



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