Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Tahini Sauce
Cauliflower is a reliable vegetable. One of the few hearty vegetables that can be counted on when other options are buried under a foot of snow or are road-weary from traveling across hemispheres. This cruciferous winter hero not only packs a fiber filled punch but is loaded with vitamin C and vitamin K. The only challenge is finding a healthy way to make it taste good.
I have written previously about my childhood aversion to cauliflower and am still working on warming up to cauliflower in the raw. However, when gently roasted a magical thing happens- an inner sweetness appears turning the chalky and slightly bitter raw cauliflower into something else entirely.
So far, my cauliflower eating has been limited to curry roasted florets dipped in hummus. Yet an article in Vegetarian Times caught my eye, seducing my taste buds with a lemon tahini sauce that sounded too good to resist.
A quick and easy recipe, this is a perfect weeknight way to eat vegetables when cold salad starts to look boring. (Tell me I’m not the only one gets tired of green salad!) Combining lemon juice, garlic, and tahini into a simple sauce is an excellent idea. The bright, nutty flavor of the sauce plays well with the vegetal sweetness of roasted cauliflower. When the sauce is drizzled over warm florets and spiked with a sprinkling of sesame seeds and parsley, a few heads of cauliflower will disappear in minutes. If the lettuce is looking weary, and the asparagus pale, bring home a reliable head of cauliflower instead!
1 large head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets (about 1 1/2 lb.)
Pinch of Salt
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp.)
2 Tablespoons tahini
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
5 Tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 425F with a rack in the top third.
Line a large cookie sheet with foil. Spread the cauliflower florets onto the sheet and drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and then mix the cauliflower around with your hands until well coated. Place the cookie sheet in the oven and roast for 12-15 minutes, until the cauliflower is fork-tender and beginning to brown.
While the cauliflower is roasting, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a small sauce pan over medium heat. When the oil is warm, add in the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes. When the garlic is fragrant (but before it begins to brown) stir in the tahini, lemon juice, 5 Tablespoons of water, and salt. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer the sauce for 1-2 minutes. Set the sauce aside.
When the cauliflower is roasted, divide it evenly among 4 plates. Whisk the lemon tahini sauce and then drizzle it evenly over the cauliflower. Sprinkle parsley and sesame seeds on top of the sauce and then serve immediately.
Nutritional Information (For 1 serving):
Calories: 112, Protein: 4g, Fat: 9g, Sodium: 169mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 2g