It has been a busy summer, and I wish I had more time to blog, or truthfully, to actually finish one of the 10 half-posts that have been hanging around. This is my attempt at getting back on the blogging wagon. Recently, I had a request for some gluten-free, meat-free recipes. I immediately thought of this post, patiently waiting in my drafts section. Three (or has it been four?) weeks later, here it is. Spiced up roasted cauliflower and zucchini with tahini dressing. And it’s vegan!
Plant-based foods have a lot going for them. You’re unlikely to have to worry about them poisoning you if they’re undercooked. They’re easy for weeknight meals and generally forgiving of your cooking skills. On top of that, they don’t normally include parts that make you think “ew, I’m not going to eat that” (Here’s looking at you, brains.)
Instead you can eat veggies that look like brains without all the weird thoughts about neurological diseases (yum).
Cauliflower is pretty low on my list of choice vegetables. But sometimes life gives you cauliflower, and you have to accept the challenge. The best way to handle the hardship of cauliflower is to roast and top it with lots of other nice things.
Like almost any veggie, some time in the oven with fat and spices makes everything better.
Add some sweet slow cooked onions and nutty, savory tahini dressing for a winner. I also like to add extra color in the form of courgettes (zucchini, whatever), because it’s (technically still) summer and there are too many of them anyway.
This recipe is adapted from This is a Cookbook: Recipes for Real Life, by Max and Eli Sussman, given to me by a very good friend back in the States.
15 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
45 minTotal Time
On the Counter
- 4 tbsp (90mL) olive oil (extra virgin if you have it) plus 1 tsp
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 1 cauliflower head (300g/10.5 oz), cut into 1 in (2.5 cm) pieces, including the stems
- 2 small, or supermarket sized in the UK, courgettes (zucchini)
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp paprika (sweet, hot, smoked - your choice)
- small handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped (optional)
- 100 g (1/3 cup) tahini
- juice from 1/4 lemon
- 1 tsp cider vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- table salt to taste
What to Do
- Preheat the oven to 230C (450F).
- In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower pieces, courgette/zucchini, 1 tsp drizzle of oil, dash of salt, cumin and paprika together, until the vegetables are evenly coated.
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat, until it's just shimmering.
- Add in the onions.
- Lower the heat, stir in 1 tsp salt, and stir frequently.
- Keep the onions going over low heat until they're soft and sweet, at least 20 minutes. If you want to fully caramelize them, it will be around 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, on a baking sheet, drizzle the remaining olive oil and spread it along the tray.
- Put the cauliflower and zucchini/courgette pieces in one layer on the tray. Try to ensure they're not piled on top of each other. Season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
- Roast the veggies for 10 minutes to start, and check on them. They'll likely need another 5 minutes before they're lightly toasty brown. Once they are, toss them around and roast for another 10 minutes.
- To serve, combine the roasted vegetables and soft onions. Toss them gently to spread the seasoning around. Drizzle the tahini dressing (below) on top, and then sprinkle on the fresh parsley.
- In a small bowl, whisk together tahini, 100mL (1/3 cup) water, 1 tsp salt, lemon juice, vinegar and garlic.
Between this and cauliflower cheese, maybe there’s hope for cauliflower yet.