Updated: Sep 14, 2021
My husband and I are avowed Omnivores. We love a good steak, and, I'll be honest, I could never give up pork. But we generally adhere to the philosophy best stated by Michael Pollan that we are at our healthiest AND happiest when we "eat real food, not too much, mostly plants."* As such, I am always on the lookout for ways to incorporate more produce into our diet, and this is one of my new favorites. With only about 5 minutes of active prep time required, this whole-roasted cauliflower can easily become the centerpiece of your next meatless meal (as it was here, served with some tri-color quinoa and a big ol' salad) or a beautiful compliment to your next steak dinner.
This recipe utilizes Za'atar Spice Blend, which is a gorgeous combination of tangy sumac, nutty sesame seeds and earthy oregano, marjoram, and thyme. And don't skip the Tahini Sauce here. The nutty tanginess just sings with the earthy cauliflower.
Let's get cooking, shall we?
Za'atar Roasted Cauliflower
1 large head cauliflower (about 2 1/2 pounds)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Kosher salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Za'atar Spice Blend
1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup lemon juice
2-3 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon honey
Chopped parsley, for serving
Preheat oven to 450 F. Trim the bottom of the cauliflower so that it stands upright on its own. Rub all over with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper, followed by 2 tablespoons of Za'atar. Transfer the cauliflower to a shallow baking dish and add 1 1/2 cups water to the baking dish. Roast for 1 hour, until tender and browned, adding water if necessary.
While the cauliflower is roasting, combine the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, honey, and remaining 1 teaspoon Za'atar to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt to taste.
Serve cauliflower whole or cut into thick slabs arranged on a platter. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with parsley, and serve tahini sauce on the side.
* If you haven't read any of Michael Pollan's books, I HIGHLY recommend them. Start with The Omnivore's Dilemma, which will open your eyes to the reality of the food system in America, then move on to In Defense of Food, followed by Food Rules. He is an amazing journalist and writer, and I voraciously devour everything he writes, but these three are must-reads for anyone seeking to be a more responsible eater.