Roasting cauliflower—or any vegetable for that matter—is a pretty foolproof way to ensure delicious results, and it's always tempting to just leave it at that. So this recipe from Kimberly Hasselbrink's new cookbook, Vibrant Food, was good encouragement to take it a step further. She tosses the roasted cauliflower with fresh parsley, Kalamata olives, sweet currants and a lemony, earthy tahini dressing. The dish has a great richness from the tahini and a lovely balance of savory and sweet. While this is a recipe from the book's 'Winter' chapter, it's light and accessible enough to work year-round.
Why I picked this recipe: I wanted to give one of Hasselbrink's cold-weather recipes a go, and cauliflower is obviously easily available in the summer months. Plus, I'm a big fan of dried fruit in savory dishes.
What worked: As with the other recipes I tested from this book, Hasselbrink's balance of ingredients is just right.
What didn't: In the recipe, Hasselbrink instructs readers to toss all the ingredients together. This results in a tahini-beige, delicious mess that only passingly resembles her photo. For a more aesthetically appealing presentation, I'd recommend setting at least some of the olives, currants, and parsley aside to sprinkle over the top.
Suggested tweaks: Maybe it's the Greek in me, but I think this would be even more fantastic with a crumble of creamy feta. Also, the day after making this, I added chickpeas, couscous, and a dollop of yogurt to the leftovers for a very satisfying lunch.
Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Food, written and photographed by Kimberley Hasselbrink (Ten Speed Press, © 2014).
- Yield:Serves 4
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:30 minutes
- 1 large cauliflower (about 3 pounds), trimmed and cut into florets
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup currants
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Tahini Dressing
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons water, plus more as needed
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Toss the cauliflower florets with the olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt to taste. Arrange the cauliflower florets in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes, turning once, until the edges are brown and caramelized.
While the cauliflower roasts, make the dressing. Whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and salt until smooth and creamy. Add the water and whisk until combined. The sauce will be thick. Add more water to thin it slightly if you like. It will continue to thicken as it sits.
Toss the warm cauliflower with most of the dressing. Add the currants, olives, and parsley and toss to combine. Taste and add more dressing or salt, if desired.
Serve warm or at room temperature.