Saturday, September 13, 2014

cumin roasted cauliflower + tahini + herbs

This is one of those flavour combinations that just works. I'm not a huge cauliflower fan but when it's charred under the grill and combined with big flavours like cumin and tahini, something special happens (in my opinion). Add some fresh herbs, and you've got a winner.

This recipe works well as a side dish alongside grilled meat, chicken or fish. You can serve it warm or cold. If you're vegetarian or vegan, it could be a good lunch option with some raw nuts and seeds tossed through for added nutrition. The tahini adds creaminess without any dairy and it's full of flavour. All good things.

I haven't given exact quantities in the recipe below, as it doesn't really matter. You just chop up as much cauliflower as you want and then dress with the other ingredients accordingly. If you're not familiar with tahini, it's a paste made from ground sesame seeds.  You can buy it at most supermarkets and at health food stores. I prefer hulled tahini (made from hulled sesame seeds) because unhulled tahini has a slightly more bitter flavour.


  • cauliflower
  • ground cumin
  • sea salt
  • tahini
  • fresh parsley 
  • extra virgin olive oil (optional)


1. Preheat the grill in your oven to a high heat.

2. Chop the cauliflower into florets and lightly steam until just tender.*

3. Tip the cauliflower onto a large baking tray and sprinkle generously with cumin and a good pinch of sea salt (I use a couple of teaspoons of cumin and one teaspoon of fine sea salt for one large head of cauliflower). Toss well so that all the florets are nicely coated. Spread the florets out on the tray so that they form one layer.

4. Place the tray under the grill (making sure that the tray is on the rack closest to the grill element). Once the cauliflower florets are starting to char, take the tray out of the oven, flip the florets over and return to the oven to char the other side.

5. Once the florets are nicely charred, tip them into a bowl, toss in a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (optional) and then drizzle over some tahini and top with chopped parsley to serve.

* You could skip steaming the cauliflower and just char it under the grill, but I prefer to steam it first as cauliflower is a goitrogenic vegetable that may interfere with thyroid function when eaten raw. Steaming or boiling goitrogenic vegetables apparently reduces the the goitrogens (and will also make the vegetables easier to digest).

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