Tahini is expensive, so I became determined to make use of it outside of the realm of hummus. Cauliflower serves as the perfect vehicle and the combination of the roasted spices, the nuttiness of the pine nuts, and the lemony tahini sauce were better than I even imagined they would be. This is a perfect side dish to share, or even a vegetarian lunch or dinner. —kedivine
Test Kitchen Notes
An easy side dish that hits all the right notes: spicy, sweet, bitter, and salty. The spice mix is a winner and the tahini sauce adds a deep nuttiness that compliments the spice blend. Even my notoriously cauliflower-hating boyfriend loved it—and I highly recommend putting the whole lemon in to brighten it up even more. —Cally Rhine
3-4 as a side
For the spice-roasted cauliflower and pine nuts:
cauliflower head, cut into florets
extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh-cracked pepper, to taste
pine nuts, toasted for a few minutes in a dry pan on medium heat
In a large mixing bowl, combine the cauliflower florets and spices. Drizzle the extra-virgin olive oil over top and toss to combine. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Toss in the mixing bowl to coat the cauliflower evenly, then spread out on a sheet pan.
Roast the cauliflower for about 40 minutes (depending on your oven), flipping once half-way through to ensure the cauliflower is evenly browned and roasted. About 10 minutes before they are done, sprinkle the toasted pine nuts over the florets and give the pan a shake to mix them in with the spices and oil.
While the cauliflower is roasting, make your tahini sauce. In a small mixing bowl, add in the tahini, and mix in half of the lemon juice. Whisk to combine, and then add in a garlic clove and salt and pepper to taste.
Start adding in warm water a little bit at a time, and continue whisking, until it reaches your desired consistency (I prefer something drizzle-able)! Taste and make sure there is enough salt and pepper, and if you like a little more tanginess add as much of the remaining lemon juice as you'd like (I went with the whole lemon).
Add a generous handful of chopped parsley to the tahini sauce and set aside.
When the spiced cauliflower and pine nuts are done, remove them from the oven and arrange in a serving bowl. Drizzle with some of the tahini sauce, to taste, top with more fresh chopped parsley, and serve warm. Save the rest of the tahini sauce as a dip or make into a dressing for another day!