Cauliflower has been used for ages as a vegetarian answer to the classic Middle Eastern Shawarma recipe. The cauliflower is roasted with a range of spices including toasted cumin and coriander, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and sumac. In this recipe, the cauliflower is then dressed with tahini, pomegranates, pine nuts and rose petals. Beautiful Middle Eastern flavours.
This particular recipe, they say, originally came from Josh Katz of Berber and Q, and it is such a beautiful dish. It has sweetness, tartness, creaminess, ‘burntness’ (umami), warmness from the spices and a fragrance that brings the bazaars of the Middle East to your table. Its such a great dish.
Are you looking for Cauliflower recipes? Try Life Changing Fried Cauliflower, Cauliflower Gratin, Achari Gobhi, Burghul and Cauliflower Salad with Hazelnuts, South Indian Cauliflower Soup, Cauliflower Kitchari and Slow Cooked Cauliflower with Lime and Spices.
Cauliflower with Pomegranate and Tahini
0.25 cup plus 1.5 Tblsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tblspn unsalted butter, softened
1.5 Tblspn coriander, finely chopped
1 Tblspn ground cinnamon
1 Tblspn ground sumac
1.5 tspn ground cumin
0.5 tspn ground allspice
pinch ground cardamom
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tspn sea salt, plus more as needed
1 whole head of cauliflower, stem trimmed, leaves left intact
0.33 cup tahini
2 Tblspn pomegranate seeds
1.5 Tblspn finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1.5 Tblspn pine nuts, toasted
1 Tblspn pomegranate molasses
1 tspn dried rose petals, lightly crushed (from Middle Eastern stores)
Light a grill or BBQ and heat the grill plate.
In a small bowl, stir 1.5 Tblspn lemon juice with the butter, green coriander, cinnamon, sumac, cumin, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom, and half of the garlic.
In a large pan of boiling salted water, cook the cauliflower until the stem can be only just pierced with a knife, 8 to 10 minutes. Don’t overcook, or the end result will be too soft.
Drain the cauliflower and transfer to a cutting board. Rub the cauliflower all over with the spiced butter and transfer to the grill. Cook, turning as needed, until charred and blackened all over, about 10 minutes, and transfer to a serving platter.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the remaining 0.25 cup lemon juice and garlic with the 1.5 tspns salt, the tahini, and 3 Tblspns ice cold water until smooth. Drizzle the tahini sauce over the cauliflower and sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds, parsley, and pine nuts. Drizzle with the pomegranate molasses and sprinkle with the rose petals before serving.
If you don’t want to cook a whole cauliflower, separate half a cauli (or less) into florets, and cook as above. Shorten the cooking time to under 5 minutes.