I am a well-roasted cauliflower fanatic. It's one of my favorite vegetables to roast. Roasting can bring one of the most boring vegetables to life. Gorgeous nutty aromas start coming out, the color changes to brown, and the flavor transforms from flat to multidimensional. So I was all over this recipe from Saveur, which roasted the vegetable with a dusting of cumin in a 500°F oven and served it with a tahini sauce. My only question was how to make this more of a main dish.
Luckily I remembered that Barbara Kafka loves roasting at extreme temperatures, too. To my great luck, in her cookbook Roasting: A Simple Art, she advocates roasting chicken legs for the exact same amount of time as it takes to cook the cauliflower. It couldn't be much simpler. Load everything up on a baking sheet, set in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, and toss occasionally. While that's heating up your place, whip up a simple tahini sauce and serve it along side.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into 2” florets
- 2 chicken legs
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1 large clove garlic, finely minced (about 1 1/2 teaspoons)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
- Smoked paprika
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat the oven to 500°F. Meanwhile, mix 2 tablespoons of the oil, 2 teaspoons of the cumin, the cauliflower, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss well, and then dump onto a baking sheet, leaving one end empty.
Rub the remaining oil onto the chicken legs. Season with the rest of the cumin, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place on the open end of the baking sheet, skin side up.
Set the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Flip the cauliflower and the chicken legs, and return the oven. Cook for 10 more minutes. Flip everything again, and then cook for a final 5 to 10 minutes. Remove when both the cauliflower and the chicken are nicely browned.
While chicken is cooking, make the tahini sauce. Mix together the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup of water in a bowl. Season with salt.
Serve the chicken and cauliflower with the tahini sauce. Sprinkle a little smoked paprika on top of everything.