Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini and Tomato Salsa | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini and Tomato Salsa

Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini and Tomato Salsa

Amanda Ruben's Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini and Tomato Salsa. Courtesy of Elisa Watson

Serves 4–6

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Cauliflower is probably my favorite vegetable and I could eat it cooked like this every day. One of my chefs, Matthew Wihongi, created this recipe for our catering business and it really wows. If you don’t have time to slow roast the cauli, parboil it until it is soft enough to pierce with a fork. Then put it in the oven with the saffron liquid and baste until golden.

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1 large cauliflower head

1 tablespoon saffron threads

1 tablespoon sumac

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon ground chilli

90 ml (3 fl oz) olive oil, plus extra if needed

1 teaspoon salt

540 g (1 lb 3 oz/2 cups) Tahini dip

80 g (2 ¾ oz/ ½ cup) slivered pistachios, to garnish

2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds, to garnish

2 tablespoons chilli hair, to garnish

Tomato salsa:

¼ red onion, finely diced

5 tomatoes, deseeded and finely diced

2 tablespoons chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 teaspoons lemon juice

sea salt, to taste


Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Place the cauliflower head on a baking tray lined with baking paper.

Combine the saffron threads with 500 ml (17 fl oz/ 2 cups) boiling water and set aside to steep for 15–20 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the saffron liquid with the sumac, ground spices, oil and salt. Pour the mixture over the cauliflower, making sure it is evenly coated.

Cover the tray with foil and roast the cauliflower in the oven for 2 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the saffron liquid. Add more oil if needed to keep the cauliflower moist.

Remove the foil and roast for a further 10 minutes to brown the cauliflower a little.

While the cauliflower is browning, make the tomato salsa. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Season to taste with salt.

To serve, spread the tahini dip on a large platter and place the cauliflower on top. Cut out a generous wedge of cauliflower and pile the tomato salsa inside and around the edge of the cauliflower. Garnish with slivered pistachios, pomegranate seeds and chilli hair.

Note: Chilli hair is available from specialty food stores.

Recipes excerpted with permission from Feasting: A New Take On Jewish Cooking by Amanda Ruben, published by Hardie Grant Books March 2018.