Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that you know you should eat all the time, but sometimes it’s hard to make it yummy enough to want to eat often. I think my favorite cuisine of all time is Middle Eastern food, and I’ve been learning to make it myself so that I don’t feel like I have to order every single thing on the menu when I go to my local favorite Middle Eastern restaurant (Aladdin—which has lights in the ceiling that look like stars and belly dancers on weekend nights) and then become so full I feel sick for a day or two. One of my favorite appetizers is “arnabit,” which is basically cauliflower roasted until it’s brown and crispy with a seriously garlicky tahini dressing on top.
The great thing about this recipe is that the cauliflower by itself is totally yum and goes great with ham or pasta. But the dressing makes it part of a real tasty Middle Eastern feast (“Greek salad,” rice pilaf, hummus, tabouleh, lamb kabobs…sigh!).
- 1 head cauliflower
- Oive oil
- Wash and cut the cauliflower into tiny bits. If you want to get fancy, you can slice the stalks sideways so each piece is a pancake that looks like a flat slice of brain but takes up more space. Each piece needs its own personal space. You can’t overlap any when you lay them out in the pan to roast them.
- Douse cauliflower in olive oil and mix it all up.
- Salt to taste.
- Bake at 350°F for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the cauliflower is golden brown and sizzling.
This dish is best eaten fresh that night, and the crispiest pieces will melt in your mouth. Even kids will love them.
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 4 cloves garlic (yes, garlicky!)
Mix everything together and whisk it with a whisk. Pour on top of the cauliflower and enjoy!