Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini-Lemon sauce

Perhaps it’s the paint fumes, but the Australian Man and I remain suspended in a smiley, dreamlike state over the quirky “us”-ness of our new home. After months of renovation frustrations and victories, it’s a joy to witness this now bright, beautiful space slowly come together as the boxes dwindle and little trinkets settle into their spots.

As the dust settles (literally – construction creates unimaginable amounts of dust), we find ourselves gathering at our island stools to share share simple, healthy meals as a break from unpacking.

A recent favorite were these golden, caramelized cauliflower morsels slathered with citrusy tahini sauce. It is an embarrassingly easy dish to make, and can be eaten hot or cold, served with any array of things like salad, oil-packed tuna, or stuffed into a hot pita pocket. Simply brush the cauliflower with olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin and roast until practically singed. The result is an amazingly sweet, crunchy cauli you’ll hardly recognize from the mushy boiled stuff of school cafeterias.

A note on tahini: I’ve found that different brands yield different consistencies when mixed with other elements (like lemon juice or water). Some brands split and go oily, while others morph into a stodgy, unspreadable mess.

In the event you find yourself in either of the aforementioned scenarios, fear not. Do a test run with a small scoop of tahini (say 1 tbsp, mixed with a drop of lemon juice or water). If   the consistency changes for the worst, simply deconstruct the sauce instead of mixing it together. Mix the lemon juice and garlic and drizzle over the baked cauliflower, followed by a generous spoon of tahini.

Serves 2

1 head cauliflower, sliced into 1″ discs or broken into florets
Cumin powder, to taste (about 2 generous teaspoons)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil, for brushing
1/2 cup tahini
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 big spoonful plain yogurt (if mixing the tahini sauce)
Pre-heat oven to 200C / 400F. 
Slice the cauliflower into 1″-thick discs (all the way across), or separate into large florets. Arrange on a nonstick baking sheet. Brush each piece lightly with olive oil (coating both sides) and sprinkle with the cumin, salt and pepper. Place in the oven to roast for 20 minutes or until golden brown, carefully flipping once halfway through.
In a small bowl, combine the tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic and yogurt. Add a pinch of salt to taste, if desired. Drizzle or spread atop each crispy piece of cauliflower. 
If tahini becomes oily or too thick when mixed with other ingredients, mix the crushed garlic with the lemon juice and drizzle over the cauliflower, followed by the plain tahini.

Audio pairing: Blackalicious, “Make You Feel That Way”
  • Rosa May

    Scrumptious! A great idea and wonderful middle Eastern flavors.



    • Yasmeen

      Thanks, Rosa! The cauliflower itself can follow many cultural paths since it’s so versatile and can really be paired with any sauce. But admittedly this is my favorite.

  • Sarah at Buttered-Up

    Definitely trying this out. I’ve got a cauliflower hater in my home and this just might turn him into a believer with that punchy bright sauce.

  • Winston

    Yummy! I love how there’s so many ways to eat cauliflower, it’s one of the few veggies that I loved eating as a kid (cuz I was so picky then, tsk tsk tsk)… Roasting them with tahini sounds enticing! So trying this. Very happy to hear you and your hub are settling in nicely, comfortably in your new home. Marriage bliss eh? 😉

    • Yasmeen

      Naughty, picky Winston. I never would have imagined!

  • leaf

    It must be so nice to finally settle in your new home! The cauliflower looks excellent, it can be such a fine line between brown and burnt, but here it looks really perfectly roasted and must go so well with that nutty lemony sauce.

    • Yasmeen

      It really is nice. I’m trying not to rush myself into furnishing anything, either… I prefer to find things randomly here and there. I need to post some photos…

  • Hannah

    There are no words for how perfect this dish is for my soul.

    • Yasmeen

      Would a cheesy emoticon satisfy? :*

  • Candace

    I’m so excited for you to be happily married in your own beautiful space. I would love for you to share photos if you fell comfortable doing so. Roasted cauliflower is my favorite way to have it. Have you tried it with za’atar on it? Seriously so good. I made some lamb and chicken with your spicy yogurt marinade and planned to serve it with cauli prepared that way and forgot. Thankfully I made enough for leftover pitas tonight and the cauli will definitely be on the menu.

  • Eileen

    Roasted cauliflower is the greatest! I love those beautiful wide slices, too–they’d be a great base for so many main dishes. :)

    • Yasmeen

      Agreed – any variety of sauces would go well with these. I’d love to see what you come up with.

  • theviewfromGreatIsland

    These slices of cauliflower look like perfect little trees of life! The embarrassingly easy dishes often turn out to be the best… congrats on getting settled in your new home!

    • Yasmeen

      Thanks for the congrats and I totally agree, the easiest recipes are most always my favorite.

  • Ambara

    My dinner tonight, thanks for a great recipe.

    • Yasmeen

      You’re most welcome :)

  • MulberryPomegranate

    Beautiful, simple and healthy! What a great dish – I m going to try this one tonight! Congrats on your new home!!

  • Bel | Ooh Look

    So delicious, love the crispy bits on the cauliflower. I’m definitely going to try this wonderful recipe tonight.

    • Yasmeen

      The crispy brown bits are the best part!

  • Libby

    I have heaps of tahini at home and mum’s lemon tree is growing beautifully. This is perfect :)

  • Natasha Venzke

    This is delicious. I only made the cauliflower, but we’re going to try it with pitas and the sauce next week.

  • Miranda N Steve Brown

    Do you have the nutrition information or maybe just the calorie info? Thank you I cant wait to try these!

  • Tamzin Pettitt

    Roasted cauliflower is my favourite!

  • Tutti Dolci

    I love roasted cauliflower, this looks scrumptious!

  • Marisol Jensen

    Bless you, you make me happy! ♥ We are going through moving into our first home and your description on this lovely recipe rings familiar bells over here! 😀

    • Yasmeen

      We packers, movers and renovators are kindred spirits :)

  • Averie Cooks

    This looks killer crazy good! Pinning!!!

    • Yasmeen

      Thanks, Averie! So glad you like it.

  • Marisol Jensen

    Hi, any advice… the cauliflower didn’t really get crunchy… Is the trick Olive oil? Should I use more?

    and I did not have any yoghurt handy so I used creme fraiche and it worked great. I got the sauce down (which I used with carrot sticks instead.). Let me know how you get your cauliflower crunchy. I’m so jealous! 😛

    • Yasmeen

      Try a bit of extra olive oil should help. Brush each piece liberally – it’ll help them crisp up in the hot oven. Was your oven preheated to 200C / 400F? If at the end of 20 minutes they’re not browned, keep cooking until they are. Or, if you fear they’ll get too mushy, try cranking up the broiler (keeping a very close eye as they’ll burn quickly) until they get nice and golden.

      Still not working? Let me know and I’ll try to help further.

      Creme fraiche as a substitute is a great idea! It makes it a bit more decadent than yogurt, but who could say no to that?

  • Heidi – Apples Under My Bed

    Looks so delicious, lady!!
    Heidi xo

  • Rihamah Omar

    great recipe, just a note about tahini (Tahina) don’t mix it with lemon until you have mixed it with the rest of spices, also use a small amount of vinegar for mixing (1-2 small spoons for the half cup) you can also use 3 big table spoons of water for mixing, then when you finish all the mixing and reach the desired texture, add the lemon juice. try it and tell me what you think.

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  • Shilpa Sharma

    Amazing recipe..made this today and turned out gorgeous. Thanks for sharing..saw this on pinterest. ..totally brilliant…

  • GreenBrevity

    Made this tonight, without the sauce, and it was so good I had to control myself from eating it all in one sitting. Thank you! Will be a new staple in my house.

  • sarah da jay jay

    what is tahini

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  • Julia // A Cedar Spoon

    I saw this on pinterest and had to stop over! I love this idea. The sauce looks amazing.

  • Ingrid

    Must try this! When preparing tahini, I use a heaped tablespoon of tahini paste and slowly add water, stirring all the time, until it has reached a creamy pale consistency. I then add lemon juice, salt, a sprinkle of cumin to taste, and top with a sprinkle of finely chopped parsley. Goes well with any barbecued meat and of course falafel.

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