Roasted Cauliflower
with (or without) Tahini Dressing

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!).

Roasted Cauliflower

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • Oive oil
  • Salt

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. Douse cauliflower in olive oil and mix it all up.
  3. Salt to taste.
  4. 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.

Tahini Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic (yes, garlicky!)
  • Salt

Directions:

Mix everything together and whisk it with a whisk. Pour on top of the cauliflower and enjoy!

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13 Responses to Roasted Cauliflower
with (or without) Tahini Dressing

  1. Laura says:

    I love arnabit too, but sadly I believe it’s actually deep fried. (& prob. in GMO soy or canola oil) Glad this recipe is a healthy home alternative.

  2. Leslie says:

    Roasted cauliflower is also wonderful with a grapefruit salsa of sorts on it. Had it once this way at Sportello , in Fort Point, Boston.

    I just broil grapefruit sections and put them on the cauliflower steak, or pieces.

  3. Donna in Delaware says:

    Will definitely try. I love cauliflower, but as you say, it is difficult to make tasty enough to want to continue eating it.
    Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Amanda says:

    Love Aladdin! Another good way to do cauliflower is to toss it with lots of curry powder, lemon juice, olive oil and salt before roasting.

  5. Barbara says:

    I love cauliflower in soup, curries, and stir fries. I have tried it roasted too, but this sounds like another great way to eat it, with the garlicky tahini dressing. Yum. I will try it soon! Thank you. I too love Middle Eastern cuisine, so keep the great recipes coming!

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  8. Beverly Tate says:

    I would recommend mac nut oil or coconut oil rather than olive oil for this recipe as mac nut and coconut have a higher smoke point and do not become carcinogenic like olive oil does when using it for cooking. Use olive oil for cold dishes – like in salads or dripped over foods that have already been cooked – and only use high temp oils for cooking!!

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