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The Queen Of Cauliflower: Roast Cauliflower With Tahini + Skhug


the queen of cauliflower: turmeric and paprika rubbed roast cauliflower with tahini, pomegranates, pine nuts, and skhug // gratitude and greens // #vegan #plantbased #healthy #recipe

My Auntie Agnes is a huge foodie. She knows all the up and coming restaurants in Toronto, where to go for what kind of food, and can probably tell you where all the brunch hotspots are in this city. I love going on foodie adventures with her because, 99% of the time, those places become my favourite eateries, too. This past October, she took me to Fat Pasha’s, a restaurant specializing in Middle Eastern fare, where I had a ridiculously delicious—even ethereal—roast cauliflower dish.

While I adore cauliflower, I had no idea cauliflower could taste that good. It was delicious in ways I never imagined cauliflower could be: perfectly crisp and roasted on the outside, drizzled with creamy tahini and skhug, a spicy green Yemeni hot sauce, and topped with crunchy, toasted pine nuts and pomegranates. The dish was perfect in every way possible. So good that I found myself saying HOLY MOLY IS THIS FOR REAL in my head over and over again. It was so good that I decided then and there that I just had to recreate the dish at home… and I finally did. You know, only five months later.

the queen of cauliflower: turmeric and paprika rubbed roast cauliflower with tahini, pomegranates, pine nuts, and skhug // gratitude and greens // #vegan #plantbased #healthy #recipe

the queen of cauliflower: turmeric and paprika rubbed roast cauliflower with tahini, pomegranates, pine nuts, and skhug // gratitude and greens // #vegan #plantbased #healthy #recipe

the queen of cauliflower: turmeric and paprika rubbed roast cauliflower with tahini, pomegranates, pine nuts, and skhug // gratitude and greens // #vegan #plantbased #healthy #recipe I’m still not sure what the cauliflower was rubbed with, but I decided to improvise with what I thought would go well with the other flavours by whisking together some melted coconut oil with paprika, turmeric, sea salt, and black pepper. I had no idea what the green sauce was, and thought it was green harissa (very similar!) the first time I tasted it. After a little digging on the interwebs, however, I discovered that the green sauce was actually was skhug, a hot sauce originating from Yemen prominent in both Yemeni and Israeli cuisine. I’d never made or even heard of skhug before my fateful meeting with the cauliflower, but it wasn’t too difficult to recreate after a bit of research. I now have a jar sitting in my fridge ready to coat roast vegetables, spread on toast (if your taste buds can take the heat), and for topping other more neutral dishes.

the queen of cauliflower: turmeric and paprika rubbed roast cauliflower with tahini, pomegranates, pine nuts, and skhug // gratitude and greens // #vegan #plantbased #healthy #recipe

the queen of cauliflower: turmeric and paprika rubbed roast cauliflower with tahini, pomegranates, pine nuts, and skhug // gratitude and greens // #vegan #plantbased #healthy #recipe

Ladies, gentlemen, and everyone else in the gender spectrum, I present to you: The Queen Of Cauliflower. Make it for your friends, your Tinder person, or even for yourself. You can thank me later ;)

NOTE: While the original dish was stuffed with halloumi, I chose to recreate it without the cheese. If you aren’t vegan, I highly recommend pan-frying some halloumi to eat with the cauliflower or stuffing the cauliflower with the halloumi before putting it on the oven. The recipe for the skhug was adapted from the following recipes on Cooking Crossroads and Jimena Experience.

QUEEN OF CAULIFLOWER: ROAST CAULIFLOWER WITH TAHINI, SKHUG, TOASTED PINE NUTS AND POMEGRANATE
Serves 2 hungry people or 4 less hungry people.
INGREDIENTS
CAULIFLOWER + MARINADE/GLAZE

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • generous pinch of sea salt and black pepper
  • pomegranates, to garnish
  • pine nuts, to garnish
  • tahini, to garnish

SKHUG

  • 3 cups loose cilantro
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 or 1/2 serrano/jalapeño pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Preheat the oven to 205ºC/400ºF.
2. In a small pan over low heat, melt the coconut oil.
3. Whisk the paprika, turmeric, sea salt and pepper into the coconut oil.
4. Chop the ends and leaves off the cauliflower. Place the cauliflower in a baking tray and generously brush and cover the cauliflower with the coconut oil and spice mixture.
5. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour, until the cauliflower begins to char.
6. While the cauliflower is roasting, prepare the skhug by blending all of the skhug ingredients in a food processor. Set the skhug aside.
7. Heat a pan up on high heat. Add the pine nuts and toast until golden brown, stirring every now and then to prevent them from burning.
8. Once the cauliflower is done, remove from the oven and garnish with the skhug, pine nuts, tahini, and pomegranate.

Wishing you much love and happy kitchen adventures,
Gen.

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58 Comments

  1. Audrey @ Unconventional Baker
    March 31, 2015

    Wow. I don’t even have words. This is absolutely stunning. And I think you pretty much got every single amazing ingredient out there into this dish {well, except chocolate, but that could be dessert ;) }. But seriously, this is such a beautiful dish. ♥♥♥

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      April 11, 2015

      Ahhhh thank you Audrey! This cauliflower is seriously out of this world and I hope you get to try it. You could even have chocolate for dessert afterwards to make up for the lack of chocolate in this dish ;) xo

      Reply
  2. Natalia
    March 31, 2015

    OMG! It looks gorgeous! All those colors, it looks the most beautiful meal on earth!
    Love cauliflower raw or cooked in soups, but can’t wait to try your version! Thanks, Gen!

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      April 11, 2015

      Thank you so much Natalia! I hope you get to try it- it’s super yummy! xo

      Reply
  3. Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes
    March 31, 2015

    When I was in Philly last weekend I ate at a phenomenal Israeli restaurant. And I was so inspired by the flavors in the vegetable dishes. This cauliflower is so epic! <3

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      April 11, 2015

      Thank you Katie! Middle Eastern cuisine has such great textures and flavours. I love trying different dishes hailing from that region! xo

      Reply
  4. Lauren @ Eating with a Purpose
    March 31, 2015

    Love Middl Eastern fare, especially when it includes tahini! Pinning to make!

    Reply
  5. Kelly // The Pretty Bee: Cooking & Creating
    March 31, 2015

    Wow, what a stunning presentation! Gorgeous colors!

    Reply
  6. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    March 31, 2015

    I’m pretty sure cauliflower changes lives! This is a beautiful whole roast!

    Reply
  7. Katie (The Muffin Myth)
    March 31, 2015

    This looks amazing! And hello, stuffing that thing with halloumi?! Incredible! Pinning this to make sometime very soon!

    Reply
  8. Chelsey
    March 31, 2015

    Oh yum!!! This looks incredible…almost too pretty to eat! Thanks for sharing!!

    Reply
  9. Shashi at RunninSrilankan
    March 31, 2015

    WOW – I don’t think I’ve ever seen roasted cauliflower look this good! I think I could eat that whole thing!

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      April 11, 2015

      Thank you Shashi! I ate half of it and took the other half to work the next day… best pick me up ever! xo

      Reply
  10. Steph @ The Grateful Grazer
    March 31, 2015

    Ooooo, yes please! This looks amazing and will definitely calm my tahini cravings! :)

    Reply
  11. Persephone
    March 31, 2015

    I don’t think I have ever seen a cauliflower look quite so beautiful – this is about the first recipe I’ve seen that really has convinced me to give roasting one a go!

    Reply
  12. Jeanette | Jeanette's Healthy Living
    March 31, 2015

    What a gorgeous presentation! This would be a show stopper for any dinner.

    Reply
  13. rachel @ athletic avocado
    March 31, 2015

    Wow! I would have never thought to put all of those ingredients with cauliflower and it looks spectacular!

    Reply
  14. Farrah
    March 31, 2015

    I love all the colors–these photos are absolutely gorgeous! <3 I haven't had Middle Eastern food in a billion years! :O

    Reply
  15. Alison @Food by Mars
    March 31, 2015

    This. is. stunning!! My dear, it looks delicious… I am pinning this recipe as we speak.

    Reply
  16. GiGi Eats
    March 31, 2015

    Cauliflower is so flipping good, I just don’t eat it all that much because it kicks my stomach’s butt! LOL!

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      April 11, 2015

      Thanks Gigi! Maybe you could try using another veggie in this recipe ;) xo

      Reply
  17. Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits
    April 1, 2015

    This roasted cauliflower looks great! I never would have thought to dress it up with so many lovely sauces and toppings. Definitely trying this soon!

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      April 1, 2015

      Thank you Lisa! It’s probably my favourite cauliflower dish xo

      Reply
  18. Sus @ roughmeasures.com
    April 1, 2015

    This looks amazing. A feast for your eyes and bellies. Love the colour in this girl!

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      April 1, 2015

      Thank you Sus! I hope you get to try it- it’s super yummy! xo

      Reply
  19. Lily Lau
    April 3, 2015

    Wow, you’re so creative! This dish looks fantastic :)

    Reply
  20. kate
    April 5, 2015

    I love the word skhug. It’s like shakshuka. Delicious. AND fun!!

    Reply
  21. Anne
    April 5, 2015

    Omg!!! I must make this soon! The way you described it and your pictures make this recipe delicious!

    Reply
  22. Sam @ PancakeWarriors
    April 6, 2015

    Oh my sweet word. First of all this is gorgeous. Second of all you recommend that we make this for our tinder person – I died a little in laughter! This is so much more than that :) It’s gorgeous and I want to try it ASAP! I believe I have all the ingredients too! Pinning for reference!

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      April 11, 2015

      Haha, thank you Sam! I *do* think this would be quite a yummy surprise for everyone’s Tinder person ;)

      Reply
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  24. Emily @ Zen & Spice
    April 8, 2015

    I’ve never heard of that sauce before!! Sounds like a delicious cilantro-based sauce. Yum. I could eat cilantro by the handful ;) And I’ve never tried roasting cauliflower before but I know I need to!

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      April 11, 2015

      I had never heard of skhug before making this, either, because I fell in love! It goes really well with other dishes, too. Gives everything a great kick! I couldn’t recommend roasting cauliflower more- SO yummy, I hope you get to try it soon! xo

      Reply
  25. Christine // my natural kitchen
    April 8, 2015

    Oh my, this looks absolutely delicious!! I love the idea of a whole roasted cauliflower but I’ve never made it – I think this needs to become dinner one night this week though, it’s gorgeous and you literally have me craving that spicey sauce!

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      April 11, 2015

      Thank you Christine! I hope you get to try it- it is so, so yummy. I definitely gave myself a pat on the shoulder when the whole dish came together, haha! There are few things from my kitchen that I have been prouder of than this cauliflower. xo

      Reply
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  28. Kristen @ The Endless Meal
    April 23, 2015

    This might very well be the most beautiful cauliflower ever! Seriously, it’s so pretty. Pinned!

    Reply
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  30. Vickie
    August 29, 2015

    Gen, this looks amazing! I recently visited Fat Pasha, but didn’t have enough people to eat the whole cauliflower :( Do you know how to stuff the halloumi into the cauliflower? Can’t wait to try this!

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      August 29, 2015

      Hey Vickie, I hope you get to visit Fat Pasha again for the cauliflower because it is just SO good! What I did and what Fat Pasha does is just cut the halloumi into small cubes so they fit into the crevices of the cauliflower. I hope this helps! Enjoy the cauliflower! xo

      Reply
  31. andrew grenville
    September 21, 2015

    You nailed this recipe. It was delicious and very much like original. I making this one over and over again. Thanks ever so much for figuring this out.

    Reply
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