Susie Csorsz Brown
Whole Roasted Cauliflower
Honestly, what can't this wonder-veg do? Rice it, pizza crust it, buffalo spice it, add it to soups and stews, dip it in hummus ... I mean, it is unstoppable. This version is pretty tasty, and a perfect side to an otherwise meat-centric meal (like Shawarmas), or a lovely addition to any dinner. You can prep this ahead, even going so far as to preboil it. Then, when you're ready to make dinner, you can just heat the oven, toss the carrots and spread them on the pan, rub the oil on the cauliflower and ... voila! Into the oven it goes.
Note: If you do not have sumac on hand, you can also zest a lemon and sprinkle that over the top. It isn't the same, but does add a lovely tart bit to the dish.
Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini, Yogurt, and Pomegranate
Serves 3 - 5
1 head cauliflower (2 lb.), stem trimmed flush with the head
1/2 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
⅓ cup tahini
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. finely grated garlic clove
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound carrots, cut into 1/8 thin discs
½ cup pomegranate seeds
1 tsp. ground sumac
Bring a large pot of generously-salted water to a boil. Carefully lower the cauliflower into the pot and boil, turning the head halfway through cooking, until just tender, 12–15 minutes. Transfer to a colander, and allow to drip dry.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, tahini, vinegar or lemon juice, garlic and enough water to thin the sauce to drizzling consistency (2–3 tablespoons). Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450ºF. Line a baking pan with foil, and toss carrot discs with 2 T olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper and arrange in a mostly-single layer on the pan. Rub the oil all over the cauliflower, place it on the bed of carrots and then bake until deep golden and charred in spots, about 20 minutes.
Cut it in half lengthwise, then transfer to a large platter. Pass with reserved sauce, a sprinkle of sumac and a sprinkle of pomegranate seeds.
Serve hot or warm. Enjoy!