A simple Oven Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini doesn’t get more Middle Eastern than this! Deeply caramelized roasted cauliflower florets topped with a lemony tahini sauce then garnished with an abundance of fresh herbs and tangy pomegranate molasses finish. Oh, and fresh Pomgrantes seeds are always welcomed too.
Oven Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini
This famous levant dish is one of the popular dishes, yet so underrated. Everyone from the Levant region (Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, and Jordan) has grown up eating roasted or fried cauliflower; it’s either served as part of a meze, stuffed into a piece of bread or tossed in a batter to make Ijaza. Regardless of how it’s prepared, a side of lemony garlic sauce is a MUST!
In particular, this recipe is most commonly prepared with fried cauliflower⏤which is absolutely delicious, and it’s highly recommended that you must try it at some point in your life.
However, I decided to share the roasted version as it’s a no-fuss option that allows you time away from the kitchen or, should say it’s one less dinner component that needs your full attention.
This recipe is all about the cauliflower! We’re talking old-school basic roasting—nothing fancy, just roasted cauliflower. Oven roasting your cauliflower is the easiest no-fuss way to prepare this humble veg; you’ll achieve a perfect caramelized looking and well maintaining the taste and texture.
What You’ll Need to Make This Recipe
- Whole head of cauliflower
- Olive oil
- Pomegranate Molasses (optional, but very delicious)
- Fresh Herbs of your choice (parsley, mint, cilantro, or dill)
- Fresh pomegranate seeds are always welcomed but it’s not a necessity
How to Roast Cauliflower
Perfectly roasting your cauliflower is really easy, and fool-proof with just a few tips.
- Heat your oven to 425ºC
- Cut your cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Place into a large bowl, add olive oil, salt and pepper or your spices of choice.
- Prepare your baking sheet. Empty the cauliflower florets onto the baking sheet. Ensure the cauliflower is spread out to avoid steaming well roasting.
- Roast the cauliflower for 25 minutes flip and continue roasting for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven. You’re all done roasting the cauliflower, it should fork tender and so delicious.
How to Make Tahini Sauce?
Tahini is one of my favourite dips. You can read more about my Easy Creamy Tahini Sauce from this link. Tahini sauce is so easy; it’s done in two steps.
- Add all the tahini sauce ingredients into a large bowl.
- Slowly add water. Mix. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more water, it’s too thin, add more tahini. Easy-peasy.
Sarah’s Tip For The Best Oven Roasted Cauliflower
- Bring the cauliflower to room temperature before baking. When roasting the cauliflower, it’s best to add it to the oven when it’s at room temperature. This will prevent the oven from temperature fluctuations, which will result in a slow caramelization. A slow caramelization isn’t as desirable as a quick caramelization when oven roasting a plain tasting vegetable like cauliflower.
- Bake on high heat. You want your oven to be scorching before cooking the cauliflower so you can achieve a perfect caramelization, taste, and texture.
- Give the florets some room. Space your florets prevents them from steaming during the baking process. The last thing you want is a sulphurous smelling cauliflower.
- Place the cauliflower in a bowl to season. Whenever you’re preparing baked cauliflower, it’s best to place it into a bowl for seasoning instead of seasoning it on the baking sheet. This way, you can ensure the seasoning and oil as entirely coated all of the cauliflower. (Sorry, I know no one likes cleaning an extra bowl, but it’s worth it)
Tahini Sauce Variations
There are so many different ways to make the tahini sauce. Here are a few of my favourite add-ins
- 2 tablespoons of Orange juice and a tablespoon of zest
- Miso! Add in a tablespoon of miso for an extra depth of flavour
- Harissa, yes!!! This is my all-time favourite Add-in for tahini sauce.
- Chiptole pepper in abode sauce just one of these peppers will do.
- Honey or date syrup for a sweet sauce. Start with a teaspoon and add more depending on how sweet you would like it.
- Fresh herb, whip up this sauce with some fresh herbs for a green tahini sauce. A blender is needed for this option.
- Finely dice a tomato and parsley and make a thicker sauce. I love this option for sandwiches.
Frequently Asked Questions
As long as the spot isn’t black, you can cut the discolouration away from the surface of the cauliflower. However, if the cauliflower is black, it’s better to toss it.
It’s best to store the cauliflower and tahini separately. However, I’m assuming it most likely will be stored after it has been served. If you find yourself in this situation, then store the prepared food in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat in a frying pan, add the leftover with a little water, and reheat on low heat until warm.
The Tahini sauce can be stored for a week without any issues. However, the cauliflower should be consumed within 3-4 days.
More Middle Eastern Classics
- 1 whole cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup fresh herbs of your choice (parsley, mint, cilantro, or dill)
- 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses (optional)
- 1 cup of tahini
- 1 cup of water
- 1 lemon juiced
- 1 garlic clove, mashed
- 1/2 tsp cumin, ground
- Preheat the oven to 425ºC
- Season the cauliflower. Place the cauliflower into a large bowl. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt. Mix.
- Bake the cauliflower. Pour the cauliflower onto the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip the florets. Place back into the oven and continue baking for 10 minutes.
- Prepare the tahini sauce. In a medium-sized bowl, add all of the tahini sauce ingredients. Mix well.
- Assemble the dish. There are two ways to serve the dish. The first way is to place the cauliflower onto the serving dish and drizzle on the tahini, then sprinkle with herbs. The second way is to pour the tahini sauce onto the plate then top with cauliflower and herbs. I prefer the first way, but the choice is yours.
- Serve. Serve the roasted cauliflower and tahini sauce right away. Cauliflower is most tasty when still warm.
Want to try the traditional recipe?
- Fill a pot with water boiling and Blanche the cauliflower for 3-5 minutes, drain all the water, and allow the cauliflower to dry. (It's crucial the water drained and cauliflower is dry, or the hot oil will splatter during the next step)
- Well, the cauliflower is drying out; heat a pot filled with oil. Stick one piece of dried cauliflower into the oil allow it to become brown. Remove the brown cauliflower, then add the rest of the cauliflower and fry until golden.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 302Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 129mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gProtein: 9g