Roasted Cauliflower w/ Tahini & Skhug

Cauliflower1

In my recent visit to Toronto’s Fat Pasha, I sampled their glorious roasted cauliflower, and made it a personal mission to re-create the recipe at home. Not only is this recipe rather nutritious and healthy, it’s also as delicious as it is beautiful – perfect for dinner parties. The dish is easily recreated at home without the $18 price tag attached to it, so you can enjoy this luxurious dish at a much affordable price.

Take special care when roasting the cauliflower by being generous with the olive oil, and make sure the cauliflower takes on the delightful golden coat before rescuing it from the oven. For garlic lovers, this cauliflower pairs wonderfully with the spicy kick from the garlic-and-coriander skhug, a Yemenite hot sauce that I recently discovered. The tahini and cheese helps mellow out the sharpness of the garlic, and the crunch from the toasted pine nuts and the tartness from the pomegranate seeds helps bring in that extra pizazz that is characteristic of every good dish.

Roasted “Jeweled” Cauliflower

Time: 1 hr 40 mins (Including cooking time)

Ingredients

  • 1 Head of cauliflower (2-3lbs)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 C of grated halloumi or crumbled feta (leave off for vegan version)
  • 1/2 recipe of Skhug Hot Sauce (recipe to follow)
  • 1/3 C Pomegranate seeds
  • 1/3 C Toasted pine nuts or almond slivers
  • 1/2 C Tahini
  • 1/2 C Flat Leaf Parsley (Chopped)

The Fun Part:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Trim away the outer leaves of the cauliflower and cut across the base so that it sits stable on a casserole dish.
  3. Drizzle cauliflower with a generous amount of olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper, then cover with aluminum foil.
  4. Leave cauliflower in oven for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, removing cover in the last 20 minutes. The cauliflower should be tender and develop a golden crust when it’s done.
  5. While cauliflower is in the oven, prepare the Skhug (recipe to follow).
  6. Toast pine nuts by spreading nuts on a heated skillet over medium-low heat, stirring *frequently* for about 3 minutes. Toasting pine nuts over a skillet gives each pine nuts a spotty toast, which I find aesthetically pleasing over the uniformly brown results you get from ovens. Once golden, quickly remove from heat and let cool.
  7. When cauliflower is done, drizzle with tahini, skhug, and top with halloumi cheese, pine nuts, pomegranate seeds and flat-leaf parsley. The topping measurements in the recipe are suggestions, you can dress the cauliflower to taste.
  8. Enjoy!

Skhug Recipe

Makes approx 3/4 Cups

Ingredients

  • 3 Cups of Cilantro (Packed)
  • 2  green jalapeno peppers (de-seeded)
  • 1 small head of garlic (about 10 cloves)
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • Salt
  • 1.5 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

The Fun Part:

  1. Optional Step (for those who don’t like the raw kick of garlic, you can use this additional step to prepare roasted garlic for the recipe): Preheat oven to 350F. Peel away the papery outer layer of the garlic while keeping the entire head of garlic connected and intact. Trim away the top of the garlic, and drizzle generously with olive oil to prevent burning. Wrap with tin foil and bake for 50-55 minutes or until soft.
  2. Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth thick sauce.
  3. Store in a jar in a refrigerator.

Cauliflower2

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