whole roasted cauliflower with sabzi khordan

whole roasted cauliflower with sabzi khordan

This summer, I got to spend some time in NY/Philly/NJ catching up with my friends from grad school and even a couple fellow bloggers. It was so much fun seeing everyone again, and (of course!) there was a lot of good food. My friend Anita cooked the most beautiful dinner, including a whole roasted cauliflower appetizer with a wonderful herby tahini dipping sauce. When we got home, I was inspired to put my own spin on it, so I made a vegan sabzi khordan plate, with whole roasted cauliflower in the center instead of the hunk of cheese I usually serve. Sabzi khordan is essentially a big plate of herbs and veggies, so the big wreath of fresh herbs worked wonderfully with an Anita-inspired lemony tahini sauce on the side. The spices I chose for this whole roasted cauliflower were inspired by Persian Mama Blog’s advieh berenj, a seasoning for rice. It adds a lovely warmth and depth to just about anything.

whole roasted cauliflower with sabzi khordan
whole roasted cauliflower with sabzi khordan
whole roasted cauliflower with sabzi khordan
whole roasted cauliflower with sabzi khordan
whole roasted cauliflower with sabzi khordan
whole roasted cauliflower with sabzi khordan

whole roasted cauliflower with sabzi khordan

serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer, 4 to 6 as a side
active time: 15 minutes
total time: 2 hours
download a
PDF to print

  • 1 medium/small head cauliflower (700g)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • 1/8 teaspoon rosewater (optional)

  • Salt to taste

  • 1/4 cup tahini (60g)

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (45g)

  • 3 tablespoons water (45g), optional

  • 1/4 teaspoon crumbled rose petals (optional)

  • 1 bunch basil

  • 1 bunch cilantro

  • 1 small bunch chives

  • 1 small bunch mint

  • Bread for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

  2. Cut the stem so the cauliflower sits level, and (optionally) discard the leaves. Combine the olive oil, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, cardamom, rosewater (do not add extra—it should be very subtle), and salt to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon) and brush all over the cauliflower, getting under the leaves. Place in a cast iron skillet or another baking dish with room around it, and place in the oven. Bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes for al dente, or longer for more tender cauliflower (up to 2 hours). Decrease the temperature to 350°F and tent with foil if it starts to brown too much for your liking, and check on it often after the first hour.

  3. While it’s in the oven, make the tahini dipping sauce. Combine the tahini, lemon juice, water, and salt to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon), and whisk together until it thickens. Set aside.

  4. Remove the cauliflower to a plate. Top the cauliflower with the rose petals. Arrange the basil, cilantro, chives, and mint around it. Serve with the dipping sauce on the side, and encourage guests to grab a big handful of their favoirte herbs with every bite of cauliflower/bread/tahini.

To make ahead: The cauliflower can be roasted ahead of time, stored in the refrigerator, and then reheated in the oven before serving (it will soften more as it reheats, so cook it for about 15 minutes less than you’d like earlier on, and let it finish cooking through as it reheats). The tahini sauce can be mixed up ahead of time, and then stored in the refrigerator for a couple days. The herbs can be washed, dried, wrapped up in slightly damp kitchen towels, and stored in a resealable container for several days.

whole roasted cauliflower with sabzi khordan

see more:

tahini and apricot green goddess salad

tahini and apricot green goddess salad

When I was a little kid, my mom grew nasturtiums, and my sister and I used to pick and eat them right from the ground to freak out the other neighborhood kids. Nowadays, I don’t often buy edible flowers, because they’re a bit of an expensive habit if you don’t grow them yourself. But a couple weeks ago, my friend Mai gave me a bunch of chive blossoms from her garden, which made me feel like I was back in my parents’ backyard, with a little patch of nasturtiums and no regard for the effort it took to get them growing there. This time, I used Mai’s chive blossoms for a much better purpose than a practical joke—this tahini and apricot green goddess salad! You certainly don’t need your own chive blossoms to make this salad special, but if you’ve got them growing right now, throw them in. The dressing itself is super delicious and adaptable—feel free to increase the amount of tahini a smidge, but I just love this particular balance.

tahini and apricot green goddess salad
tahini and apricot green goddess salad
tahini and apricot green goddess salad
tahini and apricot green goddess salad

tahini and apricot green goddess salad

serves 6
total time: 20 minutes
download a PDF to print

  • 1 small clove garlic (3g)

  • 1 medium bunch chives (30g)

  • 1 small bunch basil, leaves only (30g leaves)

  • 1/2 cup sour cream (115g)

  • 2 tablespoons mayo (30g)

  • 2 tablespoons tahini (30g)

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (45g)

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 6oz bag spinach (170g bag)

  • 3 large apricots (315g) (can sub peaches or nectarines)

  • 6 small tomatoes (230g)

  • 3 Persian cucumbers (215)

  • 1 14-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and strained (400g can)

  • optional: a few minced chives and/or chive blossoms for garnish

  1. Place the garlic in a food processor fitted with the blade (or in a blender), and pulse to finely mince. Add the chives, basil, and sour cream, and blend until the sour cream turns green and the chives and basil are completely puréed. Add the mayo, tahini, lemon juice, and salt, and continue to blend until combined.

  2. Place the spinach in a large salad bowl. Slightly toss with some of the dressing. Top with the apricots, tomatoes, cucumbers, and chickpeas. Top with more dressing, and garnish with chive blossoms.

To make ahead: The dressing can be made for guests up to a day ahead of time (and keeps really well leftover for a few days). All the veggies can be prepped ahead of time, and everything tossed together at the last minute. If you’re slicing the apricots ahead of time, coat them in a little bit of lemon juice to keep them from oxidizing.

tahini and apricot green goddess salad

see more: