Roasted Cauliflower G/F Vegan /Vegetarian
Updated: Oct 28
As I was roasting my cauliflower the smell that filled the kitchen took me back to my childhood and to a migrant story that I imagine will resonate with other Immigrants.
My family and I immigrated to Australia in 1975 when I was ten years old. I remember my older sister being devastated, not wanting to leave her best friends behind but my two younger siblings were too young to really give it a lot of thought.
I, on the other hand, was super keen, I imagined it to be just like America on the TV: Sesame Street and Disneyland here I come...
The reality couldn’t have been further from what awaited us. Sydney was super quiet, and I remember thinking where are all the people?
Growing up in Israel, everyone in the hood was like your extended family. We played chase, skipped rope and rode our bikes together.
I remember when one of our neighbours, the first to get a TV set, invited everyone in the building to watch a Friday-night movie, but here I didn’t know who lived next door… Still we made the most of our new lives. We kept our traditions and Mum kept her Middle-Eastern cooking. Cauliflower was a favourite. She used to boil it dipped it in egg mixed with spices and fry it. Boy did we love it, along with Okra, stuffed artichoke and eggplant cooked in beautiful Mediterranean/Middle-Eastern spices which filled our apartment and the rest of the building with the aromas of home, but still no one knocked on our door to ask “What smells so good” So when I saw package left at our front door, I was super excited thinking, it’s a gift, (little did I know). My mum unwrapped it to find a note stuck to a dead fish, we had to have it translated, it said, “YOU STINK”
Things have certainly come along way since then and the stinky cauliflower has now graced the cover of some of the most fashionable gourmet magazines.
I really like cauliflower but I hardly eat it these days (you have to pronounce the ’s’ with a whistle so you sound like a granny) because, well, let’s say some things are best-left undivulged.
I wanted to make something light but tasty for the days I just don’t feel like having a heavy meal.
This can be made for lunch, brunch, dinner or as a side dish. You can use any spice you like, you can add, subtract spices but just start off slow. Start with a 1/4 teaspoon when using spices. You can always add but not subtract, trust me, you’re talking to Mrs impulsive…
I love this dish because it’s not labour-intensive, looks very pretty, and it’s low fat and HEALTHY!
1 medium-large head of cauliflower
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic salt
3 teaspoon zaatar
3 tablespoons oil
1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups plain Greek yoghurt or coconut yoghurt
9 teaspoon (45mls) fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons tahini
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 tsp salt or according to taste
4 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
This amount will make quite a bit of sauce but it keeps well in the fridge for a few days and you can eat this sauce with chicken schnitzel, roast chicken or other roasted veggies
I just kept tasting until I got the flavour I wanted. Start off with 1/4 teaspoon of spices and add more if you want more flavour.
Same with the honey, I started off with one teaspoon.
Pre-heat the oven to 200c.
Line a baking tray with baking paper. Remove leaves from the cauliflower, cut off the bottom stalk without taking too much off; (you want the entire head intact for roasting).
In a small bowl, mix the spices with the oil, then using your hands rub mixture all over the cauliflower.
If you don’t want to get your hands dirty, then use a pastry brush to brush the mixture all over the cauliflower.
Place cauliflower on the tray so it sits flat.
Roast cauliflower until tender, about one hour. Check by piercing the cauliflower with a knife, which should go through easily.
In a bowl mix all of the yoghurt sauce ingredients
A generous handful of mixed fresh herbs, continental, parsley, mint, and dill, coarsely chopped
1 pomegranate seeds
A handful of smashed pistachios
PS - I love hearing from you! Let me know how it went and feel free to spread the word/passion/love, the more the merrier!