I have moaned more than once about my friend, Colette, being vegetarian as I find it difficult to come up with different and interesting vegetarian dishes for her. Colette either gets one of the few tried and true recipes or some strange concoction that shouldn’t be repeated. As a result, when I spy a vegetarian dish that looks interesting and tasty, I get a little excited. Such was the case when I spied this recipe in Suzanne Husseini’s Modern Flavours of Arabia.
I showed Colette the recipe and it got the thumbs down. To my dismay, Maus was on Colette’s side. Not to be deterred, I decided to make it anyway. Let me tell you, it was fantastic. Maus, the fussy one, ate every mouthful and then apologised for being a doubting Thomas and … the next time Colette visited, she also apologised. The day before, she had been to a restaurant where they had just one vegetarian dish on the menu – roasted cauliflower – so she ordered it … and loved it.
This dish is very tasty. The roasted cauliflower is sweet and delicious. The richness of the tahini is balanced by the citrus in the sauce. It is just perfect. Give it a go.
As there were only two of us, I halved the recipe and it was just the right amount. These quantities would serve 4, with a side salad.
- 1 cauliflower
- about ¼ cup of olive oil
- juice of 2 lemons
- zest and juice of ½ an orange (I used a bit more)
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup tahini
- 3 tbs* olive oil, extra
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
- ½ cup toasted pine nuts, to garnish
- ¼ cup chopped pistachios, to garnish
*These are 15 mil tablespoons
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Slice the cauliflower (core included) into thick slices. Try to keep the slices whole but don’t get too worried if it falls apart a bit.
- Line a baking tray with baking paper. Coat the cauliflower with olive oil, season with salt and then spread it out on the tray.
- Roast the cauliflower until it is golden and crisp and cooked through. Turn it over half way through. It should take about 20 minutes. Try not to break the cauliflower when turning it.
- In the meantime, mix together the lemon juice, orange juice and zest, water and tahini. Set aside.
- In a frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil and gently sauté the onions and garlic until soft.
- Pour the tahini sauce over the cooked onions and bring to a simmer. Cook until the sauce thickens slightly. Taste, and adjust seasoning, if needed.
- Serve about one quarter of cauliflower to each person. Drizzle the tahini sauce over the cauliflower and garnish with the toasted nuts and additional orange zest.