Cauliflower gets a bad rap. It’s not all that flavorful and is white in color, which often makes people think it doesn’t have as much nutrition in it as other vegetables. But the thing about cauliflower is that many times people don’t like it because of the way they’ve had it prepared. Boiled or steamed cauliflower is pretty much as dull and boring as people think it is, but that’s because cooking it like that doesn’t do anything to enhance the cauliflower’s texture or natural flavors.
Olga, the sassy writer and photographer behind the sassy blog, Sassy Radish has got a cauliflower recipe that will change all of that. This Russian-born Brooklynite and finance professional-turned-food writer puts as much spice and sass into her recipes as she did the name of her blog. Take, for example, her Za’atar Roasted Cauliflower.
This recipe takes cauliflower to another level. The fresh cauliflower is tossed in a bit of olive oil, salt and za’atar, a Middle Eastern spice blend that consists of toasted sesame seeds, dried thyme, dried marjoram and sumac (a fruity spice made from the dried berries of a decorative Middle Eastern bush.) Once it’s finished roasting, the edges are browned, crisp and crunchy, with intensified flavors of cauliflower and spice.
Olga loves to dunk this cauliflower in a simple, creamy dip made of Greek yogurt, mango chutney and cilantro. If you’re feeling fancy you can sprinkle a handful of pomegranate seeds over the top.
Roasting really is one of the best ways to cook vegetables because it caramelizes the natural sugars in the vegetables and creates a delicious, slightly charred flavor.
Next time you find yourself with a bulky head of cauliflower at home, keep your steam baskets and stock pots in the cabinet. Instead, pull out one of your trusty baking sheets, crank up the oven, season and roast away. I’m willing to bet you’ll change your “I hate cauliflower” tune.
Za'atar roasted cauliflower with crisp, charred edges.
Roasted vegetables are a one-pan wonder.