Roasted Whole Cauliflower with Green Tahini Dressing

Cauliflowers, roasted whole, have become a fashionable item for sometime – perhaps you might say it is going out of fashion, along with cauliflower steaks. But riced cauliflower still makes a regular appearance and I am glad about that – late onto the bandwagon as usual, I tried it for the first time recently and it is quite amazing.

So it is a surprise that Ottolenghi has a roasted whole cauliflower recipe in his new book Simple. And simple it is – par boiled then roasted with butter and oil before serving with a green tahini sauce. Elements of Ottolenghi, without all the hoohaa of his other books.

In a way, though, it is shockingly simple. It almost doesn’t feel quite right, doesn’t feel quite  like Ottolenghi. Even the style of the book has changed – the texture is different (different papers used), the layout is different. I am in 2 minds about the style changes – I wanted it to have all the lux of over-the-top Ottolenghi cookbooks, but with simpler recipes.

The book defines simple in 6 different ways (the first letters of which spell out SIMPLE), and each recipe is labelled to indicate which of these various simplicities it belongs to. For me, the most important simplicity is S ie Short on Time. In my household, somewhere between 6 and 8 dishes are made daily, so spending a minimum of 1 hour on an Ottolenghi dish does not make efficiency sense, even though we might adore the dish. HOWEVER, in defence of Ottolenghi’s other books, they contain recipes that can be a whole meal. That is not the case in Simple. TBH, you’d have to make 2 or 3 dishes to make a whole meal from Simple, or pair one dish with other plates of food.

Another first impression is that, reading through Simple, many of the recipes feel like half-recipes. That is not a criticism! It is a comment on the way he layers textures and flavours in his other books, and thus the simplicity of this book shocks! For example, take Whole Roasted Cauli. I might have expected Roasted Cauli, pureed, with cooked and toasted chickpeas, a tahini dressing and herb oil topped with baby falafel with a sumac dust. No, wait! That actually sounds great! (makes note to self). But here in Simple, we have only the cauliflower with a tahini dressing. It does make the recipes very accessible for weeknight cooking. And, for all its simplicity, this dish is a cracker!

Again, the comments on simplicity are not a criticism, it is an emotional response. We all have these when confronted with change. During my project of cooking Plenty More I often lamented the complexity (especially of time) and hankered after some Elizabeth David recipes. I have my wish now, although perhaps the style of Simple is a little like Elizabeth David on a small dose of steroids. She can specify recipes in 2 or 3 lines. Ottolenghi still takes a page or 2 for each dish.

Truthfully, I can’t wait to dive into this book and get to know it as intimately as I know the others.

“I like to serve this in the centre of the table, for people to share with drinks at the start of a meal. We break the cauliflower apart with our hands, dip the individual florets and crisp green leaves into the sauce and sprinkle with salt.”

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. Currently we are cooking through Plenty More (nearly finished), but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian column.

Similar recipes include A Plate of Cauliflower, Cauliflower Roasted in Olive Oil, and Cauliflower Roasted with Mustard Seeds and Curry Leaves.

Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. As we cook more, you will find all of our dishes from Simple here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Spring recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Tahini and Yoghurt Sauce and Dressing

This is an awesome dressing for salads – think green salads, or salads of warm vegetables. It is also perfect for hot potato chips, and a great sauce for snacks. Try it with Falafels! Or use as a dip for celery and carrot sticks. It is made in seconds, all you need is a bowl and a fork for whisking.

Are you after similar dressings? Try Minty Yoghurt-Tahini Sauce and Dressing, Celery Yoghurt Salad, Green Tahini Sauce, and Lemony Yoghurt Dressing.

Browse all of our Dressings and all of our Sauces. Or take some time to explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Chakotra, Laal Mooli and Ganth Gobhi Salad | Pomelo, Radish and Kohlrabi Salad with Tamarind Dressing

Pomelos are around for a while if you know where to look for them. As the season progresses they get bigger and bigger! As I write, they are so huge one considers bringing a ute to bring them home in. (I exaggerate of course 🙂 🙂 ).

This lovely salad combines Pomelo (or use Ruby Grapefruit) with Kohlrabi and Red Radish, and then bathes them in a spicy tamarind dressing before dusting with crushed peanuts. Who needs a better excuse to grab a Pomelo or two?

Are you after other Pomelo recipes? Try Three Citrus Salad with Ginger, Chilli and Crunchy Almond Salsa.

Or other Radish dishes? Try Kohlrabi and Cucumber Salad, Cucumber and Red Radish Salad, and Radish Salad with Coconut Milk.

Browse all of our Pomelo recipes and all of our radish recipes. Our Kohlrabi dishes are here. Or explore our many many Salads. Our collection of Early Winter dishes are here.

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Boondi Salad with Chickpeas and Coconut Dressing

For a change we bring you a salad that features either boondi or puffed rice. You can buy these easily at your Indian grocer. If purchasing puffed rice from the supermarket, make sure that you are not buying sweetened cereal. You need an unsweetened one for this dish.

Boondi are a deep fried, pearl sized, crispy Indian snack food prepared from gram flour (chickpea flour) and few spices. Make sure you have the unsweetened variety of these also. They are available from Indian groceries. Boondi often comes with its own prepared spice mix included in the packet. You can add it to the salad.

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Peanut Noodle Salad with Coriander, Mint and Thai Basil

A herby noodle salad with a sauce that combines the creaminess of both peanut butter and coconut milk, bringing an Asian island flavour to this salad. It is fresh and inviting with a touch of heat and it deserves a place at your table.

Are you looking for other Noodle dishes? Try Broth and Dipping Sauce for Noodles and Tofu, Fox Noodles, and Sesame-Ginger Sauce for Noodles.

Browse all of our Noodle dishes here, and use our basic pasta/noodle recipe to make your own noodles. All of our salads are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Summer Roll Salad

Who does not like Summer Rolls, the South East Asian dish of crunchy ingredients wrapped in rice wrappers and served with a peanut sauce? They are so summery, refreshing and cooling.

This recipe deconstructs the Summer Rolls and turns it into a Salad. It is from Bittman’s 100 Salads. We are working our way through these and doing so has changed the way we eat quite significantly. Salads are definitely a part of our day now.

Are you after some South East Asian dishes? Try Lightly Pickled Cucumber and Tofu Salad, Deep Fried Tofu with Peanut Sauce, and Spicy, Crunchy, Herby Salad.

Browse all of our Bittman Salads, or all of our many many Salads of all types. All of our South East Asian recipes are here. Or explore our Mid Summer dishes.

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Miso and Tofu Dipping Sauce and Dressing

We love our dipping sauces, ones that an be used as dressings and sauces as well. This one, another recipe from a pack of miso, is wonderful. It takes soft tofu and blends it with miso, garlic and saké. Yum!

Similar dishes include Miso and Tahini Sauce, Miso Sesame Dressing, and Chilli Miso and Sesame Sauce.

Browse all of our Miso recipes and all of our Dipping Sauces and Dressings. Or explore our Early Winter dishes.

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Roasted Aubergine with Black Garlic Yoghurt Sauce

For the last couple of years, black garlic has been the thing – slowly fermented until black, the garlic has the taste of parmesan, tamarind and molasses It is gorgeous. Mostly mashed or pureed into other dishes, it is quite versatile, if not an expensive addition to all sorts of dishes including soups, simmered dishes and dressings. Or just spread on some toast.

Ottolenghi took a while to warm to black garlic, but several recipes feature in his books – one absolutely gorgeous one in Nopi, and this one – both with eggplants that have been roasted. In this recipe, from Plenty More, the roasted eggplant slices are drizzled with a yoghurt-black garlic sauce, which is then topped with crispy chilli rings and garlic slices, before being liberally sprinkled with herbs. It is delicious. Of course.

We are cooking our way through Plenty More as our project for the year. We feel free to substitute ingredients that are not readily available in our local area.

Don’t have any black garlic? See the Nopi post for substitutions that work very well.

It is Ottolenghi Cooking the Books Day on the blog – one of two days per month where we publish the latest recipes we have tried in our project of cooking from Ottolenghi’s books – those we have cooked directly and those we have been inspired by. As mentioned, we are cooking from Plenty More, but not ignoring his other books completely. Note that I often massage the recipes to suit what is available from our garden and pantry. For the original recipes, check his books and his Guardian or Telegraph columns.

Similar dishes include Roasted Eggplant with Chickpeas and Herb Yoghurt, Roasted Eggplant with a Garlic Sauce, Smoky Roasted Eggplant in Yoghurt, and Smoky Eggplant and Asparagus.

Our Ottolenghi dishes from Plenty More are here. We have written about our experiences cooking through this book. Or explore our Early Winter recipes.

We use Australian measurements: 1 tspn = 5ml; 1 Tblspn = 20ml; 1 cup = 250ml.

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Creamy Horseradish Dressing or Dip

The garden has recently acquired a horseradish plant, so we are beginning to think about uses. It is commonly included in cocktail sauce, cheese sauces, specialty mustards, dips, spreads, hummus, relishes and dressings. It gives coleslaw, potato salad and baked beans an exciting new taste. Horseradish butter, horseradish mayonnaise, horseradish sour cream dip and horseradish barbecue sauce are common. It can be added to stock, even to pizza sauces! But most of all I am looking forward to liberally as a herb. It can be fermented as well.

If you are growing horseradish, it can be used fresh, but mostly it is grated and mixed with vinegar to maintain its fresh, spicy taste.

However, in these recipes, you can use store-bought horseradish, sold in jars at the supermarket.

Are you after other dressings? Try Yoghurt Tahini Dressing, Herb Dressing, and Almond Butter Dressing.

You can browse all of our Dressing recipes here. Or browse all of our Mid Autumn dishes.

This post contains one of the vegetarian recipes from our first blog which was in existence from 1995 – 2006. You can see more of the Retro Recipes series, our vegetarian recipes from that first blog.

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Cabbage or Lettuce Salad with Swiss Cheese and Rye, and a Russian Dressing

Simple salads are still coming – a few more yet – we are nearly at the end of our 101 Salads project. Simple salads can seem at first glance of the recipe to be incomplete, but put them together and the simplicity leaves the vegetables to shine gloriously. Whether it is tomato or Brussels Sprouts, or lettuce, or avocado, or whatever, simple salads remind us that it is Ok to leave ingredients alone, allow them their own space. Elizabeth David was a great advocate of this approach. Ottolenghi, conversely, breaks all the rules of simplicity.

This salad is shredded cabbage (Napa or Wombok) or some lettuce with some nutty Swiss cheese (I love Ementhal) and some rye bread croutons. Dress it with a dressing with a touch of heat. Nice.

Are you after other Cabbage dishes? Try Chilli Cabbage, Wombok Salad and Radish with Peanut Dressing, and Cabbage Thoran.

Also try Tomato and Lettuce Salad with Pickles and Croutons and Grilled Lettuce with Farro and Lemon.

Browse all of our Cabbage dishes, Cabbage Salads and Lettuce Salads, and all of our many, many Salads. Or simply browse our Late Autumn recipes.

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