Lemon Tahini Cauliflower

I recently went on a work trip with my husband, and one of his coworkers recommended a gourmet sausage restaurant for lunch. I told that story to tell this story: we had a tahini glazed roasted cauliflower. It was really good. I dismissed cauliflower, figuring it was the less nutritious version of broccoli, and broccoli and I have an uneasy alliance at best.

Well, I’m a convert.  I got home from the trip, and cobbled together a recipe to serve to my in-laws.  I may yet tweak it, but the results were very strong on the first pass.  Strong enough that I wrote it down.

  • 2 heads of cauliflower, washed
  • 8 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 bunch of parsley leaves (tender stems are cool, let’s be real here), chopped
  • 1 – 2 lemon’s worth of zest
  • 1 lemon’s worth of juice
  • 1/4 c of well stirred tahini (it’s that sesame paste you use in hummus.  Check the nutritional facts, it’s heavy with oil.  Make informed decisions.)
  • 1/3 c water
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • sesame seeds
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Garlic, lemon zest and parsley leaves.  You can do so much with this.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.  Break up the cauliflower into like sized florets.  Toss the cauliflower with oil (about 2T), season with salt and pepper.  Spread them on a greased pan (I use a Silpat non-stick silicone baking mat, I dig it).

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Remember to spread out the food evenly, ideally not touching and in a single layer.  Ideally.

Bake 12-15 minutes, until the cauliflower is fork tender and slightly browned.

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The original dish I had was more charred, but I don’t really have that capacity in my apartment oven.  It’s not, shall we say, top of the line.  Or new.

MEANWHILE…

Sauté garlic in about 1T of olive oil over medium heat until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.  Stir in lemon, tahini, water.  Simmer 1-2 minutes over low.  Remove from heat.  Toast sesame seeds in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant.

When the cauliflower is done, toss it with the sauce, parsley and zest.  Divide onto plates and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.  We had this as a side, and then mixed the leftovers into a pasta for Dad.  After we ate most of them, chilled.

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