27 October 2014

Roasted Cauliflower with Dates, Almonds, and Tahini

If summer is cobbler season, then fall is definitely roasting season. I've been roasting my way through the beginning stages of our cool weather, warming up the house just enough to take the chill out of the air as it's not quite time to turn on the heat.

This is a favorite fall/winter vegetable dish of mine, and it's past time I shared it with you - I have unintentionally been holding on to it for close to two years now. It's a typical example of my style of cooking; combining savory with sweet and always seeking a balance of tastes and textures. Small, but worthwhile details that I feel make a meal more satisfying. Plus, it's quick to come together and is festive enough to fit into any upcoming holiday meal spread. And leftovers, if you have any, are great tossed with chickpeas and/or quinoa, rolled up in a wrap or stuffed into a pita for lunch the next day.

Roasted Cauliflower with Dates, Almonds, and Tahini
Serves 4

Notes: If you do not enjoy the flavor of cilantro, use mint and parsley instead.

1 large head cauliflower (or 2 small heads:  ~580 g total)
Extra-virgin olive oil
4-5 dates, chopped
1/3 cup (46 g) slivered almonds, toasted
Generous handful cilantro, chopped
Tahini sauce (recipe below)

Preheat oven to 450 F (232 C).

Cut cauliflower and tender stems into florets and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; drizzle with olive oil. Toss to combine and roast, tossing once, for 20 minutes.

In the meantime toast almonds in a small pan on the stove top, stirring often, until golden brown and fragrant. Chop dates and cilantro. When cauliflower is cooked immediately add to tahini sauce with dates and almond. Toss gently, sprinkle with cilantro and finish with an extra squeeze of lemon juice, if desired.

Tahini Sauce
2 Tbsp. tahini
Juice 1/2 lemon
1/8 tsp. salt + freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses (or 1 tsp. honey)
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Mix everything together in the bottom of a large bowl. If it's too thick, add a few teaspoons of water to thin to desired consistency.