Roasted Cauliflower in Tahini Sauce

Post by Paula Jahn, Co-owner and Registered Dietitian at Nourish Northwest


Where were roasted vegetables when I was growing up? I feel like they were just invented in the last ten years. My mom, who did a good job of almost always putting a cooked vegetable and a salad on the table, would never think to put broccoli doused in oil and salt in a really hot oven. I am grateful that I was not required to eat canned peas, but it was steamed, unseasoned vegetables almost every night. Steamed broccoli is probably the inception of my love for mayonnaise; we used to dip the green trees in a glop of mayo just to add some flavor. And really, that makes sense. Cruciferous vegetables love salt, tang, and fat. Mayonnaise has all three!

Needs nothing, but tahini sauce helps!
Needs nothing, but tahini sauce helps!

Okay, enough about mayonnaise. Let’s move on to my grown-up, more nutritious condiment that covers all things cruciferous: tahini sauce with lemon and garlic. Roasted cauliflower is so good by itself, but the nutty, sour and creamy sauce brings out the sweetness and the best in its flavors. The most common use for tahini is mixed with pureed chickpeas to make hummus. Tahini, in its pure form, is sesame seed butter. Sesame seeds are a good source of non-dairy calcium (12% daily value in 2 Tablespoons).

A good sign when the ingredients fit on the front of the label.
A good sign when the ingredients fit on the front of the label.
Tip: Microplane raw garlic destined for sauce or dressing.
Tip: Microplane raw garlic destined for sauce or dressing.

Below is a simple recipe that dresses up plain roasted cauliflower. The sauce is also fantastic on roasted broccoli, drizzled over raw kale, or as a dip for cooked carrots.



Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Tahini Sauce


1 large head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets (about 1 ½ lb.)

2 Tbs olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced or grated

2 Tbs. tahini

1 Tbs. lemon juice

¼ tsp. salt

1 Tbs. chopped parsley

1. Place oven rack in top position. Preheat oven to 425°F.

2. Toss cauliflower with 2 tsp. olive oil, and season with salt. Spread on large cookie sheet, and bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until cauliflower is fork-tender and slightly browned.

3. Meanwhile, whisk garlic, tahini, lemon juice, 3-4 Tbs water, and salt.

4. Toss hot cauliflower in sauce and sprinkle with parsley. Serve warm.


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