This roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce is a fancy, restaurant-inspired side dish. All vegan and super easy to make!
In case you missed it in my newsletter or Instagram, I’ve declared this February winter vegetable month here on TNB.
We’re in the thick of winter now and it’ll be a while before anything exciting shows up at the farmers markets. But until then, I’m showing some love to the unsung-hero, taken-for-granted, quote-unquote boring vegetables: the carrots, potatoes, and cabbages of the world.
For this roasted cauliflower with tahini dish, I took some cues from a recent restaurant outing. I was meh about ordering the cauliflower, since I make it at home all the time, but my friend insisted and now I’m glad she did.
The florets were piled on a bed of a creamy curried tahini sauce and sprinkled with dried currants. The fragrant sauce combined with pops of sweetness from dried fruit made this basic roasted vegetable feel so “extra”. I knew I’d have to recreate it at home.
Despite fancy looks, this recipe is extremely easy. It calls for just a handful of ingredients and requires little effort and no special equipment. But the combination of the contrasting flavors (coriander, curry powder, dates), plus the crispy cauliflower edges, and the addictively tangy tahini sauce, make this dish just wow.
You start by dissecting a cauliflower into florets and tossing it with EVOO and spices. While it roasts, you can pit and chop your dates, and mix up the sauce.
This curry tahini sauce has some seriously creamy, cooling, yogurt-y vibes, except it’s plant-based and really good for you. It has a satisfying tang from lemon juice, a little kick from raw garlic, and a warming, perfumy aroma from curry powder.
Be patient when incorporating water into tahini. To start, you need to add enough water to emulsify the oil-water mixture. If you add too little, the tahini will seize up; if you add too much, the two will separate and become goopy. (I’m talking about whisking by hand, by the way. You won’t have these problems when using a blender.)
I start with a one-to-one ratio of tahini to water and whisk the duo with a fork. After the sauce becomes creamy, I add a bit more water to make the sauce more pourable.
I recommend Medjool dates for this roasted cauliflower with tahini since they’re mushy and caramel-y. As alternatives, you can use dried currants, chopped dried apricots, or even plain ol’ raisins.Print
This roasted cauliflower with tahini is a fancy, restaurant-inspired side dish. All vegan and super easy to make!
For the Cauliflower
- 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 pitted Medjool dates, finely diced
For the Sauce
- 1/4 cup well-stirred tahini
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from about 1 lemon)
- 4 tablespoons filtered water
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon yellow curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
- Place the cauliflower on a large rimmed baking sheet and add the oil, coriander, garlic, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat evenly. Roast until the cauliflower is crispy, tossing once halfway through cooking, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a small bowl, using a fork, stir together the tahini, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons water until smooth. Then add the garlic, curry powder, salt, and remaining 2 tablespoons water, and whisk again until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed.
- To serve, spread about 1/3 of the sauce on a serving platter and scatter the cauliflower on top. Drizzle with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the dates.
- Serving Size: 1/4 of the recipe
- Calories: 260
- Fat: 18.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 21 g
- Fiber: 6.5 g
- Protein: 6.8 g
Keywords: cauliflower, tahini, dates, curry