Thursday, February 3, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic and Tahini Sauce

 
Cauliflower gets a bad rap. Yes, it's a member of the cabbage family ~ another famously misused veggie. And yes, we've all had bad experiences in our past with this vegetable in an overcooked, underseasoned state of waterlogged mush that someone tried to pass off as acceptable. But I bet you've had a lame burger or a substandard pizza at some point and you're probably still going steady with those. So let's move on, okay?
Cauliflower isn't just the pretty face of the cabbage family. It's an excellent sourse of vitamin C, folic acid, and potassium (when eaten raw) ~ cooked, it's still a good source of folic acid. It contains niacin and vitamin B6 when raw, and copper when cooked (and it retains that B6). You can take a gander at this page if you want to learn more about the super-fantastic qualities that cauliflower brings to the table.
I'm a huge fan of cauliflower. I say this because I want to be up-front about the fact that it doesn't take much (anything, really) to induce me to eat it. I love it raw. I love it steamed. Roasted. With sauce, without. Lucky me, right? But certain members of my family aren't so fortunate. They suffer through even a few bites of cauliflower, choking it down like it's medicine (and it kind of is ~ it's so good for you). But being determined to eat, and serve, it as often as possible, I really wanted to try to make it palatable to the haters in my house. And guess what? I did it.
For the first time ever, I had no leftover cauliflower at all. And I'm not the one who finished it off. When I asked, casually, "So, what did you think of the cauliflower?" The response was, "I loved it." Which may be a record-setter. I don't even recall that kind of feedback the last time I came up with a new dessert recipe, which happened to be dulce de leche ice cream. (And that was pretty good, if I do say so myself.)
Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic and Tahini Sauce
Serves 4
  • 1 head cauliflower, washed, cored, and broken into bite-sized florets
  • Drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Pinch cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or sesame seeds to garnish, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a roasting pan or baking sheet with foil (if desired) and spray with nonstick pan spray. Place cauliflower in pan and drizzle with olive oil. Toss, or turn with a spatula, to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in oven for 15 minutes.
2. Remove cauliflower from oven, sprinkle with minced garlic and toss, or turn, to coat. Return to oven for an additional 15 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender and becoming golden brown. Meanwhile, combine sesame oil, tahini, soy sauce, lemon, and cayenne in a small mixing bowl. Whisk sauce with a fork until smooth. 
3. Remove cauliflower from oven and pour sauce over. Gently toss, or turn, to coat cauliflower in sauce. Remove to serving dish and garnish with chopped parsley or sesame seeds. Serve hot or at room temperature.

    14 comments:

    1. No wonder they loved it! It looks delicious and I just bought some at the Farmer's Market yesterday...

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    2. I can tell it's a winner just from the ingredient list!

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    3. It doesn't get a bad rap from me- I absolutely love it! This looks like a delicious way to serve it up!

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    4. Cauliflower is fantastic! And anything with garlic is delicious :D

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    5. The only way I'll eat cauliflower is if it's roasted! This looks so yummy!

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    6. Thanks, everyone! I hope you like this as much as I do. :)

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    7. OMG, this looks and sounds delicious!!! I can't wait to try it!

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    8. I too love cauliflower and this looks like a perfect way to prepare it! I really love roasting it...yum!

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    9. Wow, must try cauliflower raw, never even thought to eat it that way. I must confess my partner and I are diehard cauliflower fans - it's so delicious roasted with garlic and a bit of cumin. Will definitley be trying this - didn't think to use tahini in anything other than hummus >.<
      Cheers for broadening our cauliflower horizons!

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    10. Truly wonderful idea of adding tahini to cauliflower.

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    11. If, in the words of Mark Twain, "cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education", then this one graduated with honors! Looks wonderful Sandy. :)

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    12. My favorite veggie is cauliflower and it is NEVER mushy when I cook it. This looks wonderful. Thanks for this one.

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    13. Just bought cauliflower and now I have the perfect recipe. Thanks Sandy.

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