Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mustard Coriander Roasted Cauliflower

I have probably professed my love for roasted cauliflower before - I don’t know how I could have not mentioned it somewhere in the past couple of years writing here. There is something about how the edges of those little florets get so crunchy that makes this a very addictive snack, side dish, or salad topper. It hardly even needs to be dressed up to taste incredible, but sometimes a fancy twist is in order just to make things exciting. We all need to shake it up from the routine every now and then, and in this case, an aromatic-earthy combination livened up this Plain Jane veggie just right.

Mustard and coriander is not an uncommon combination, but they do make a very good flavor team. Mustard has that tangy edge and coriander has a bright, vibrant quality that pairs really well with simple foods. However, though not necessarily title worthy, I actually think the tahini is what makes this dish seriously slammin. After some discussion with my sister, my kitchen confidant and bearer of many tricks of the trade, we decided that tahini just has a “je ne sais quoi” that makes it irresistible. How does it turn chickpeas into “hummus” [said with a middle eastern throaty grimace], how does it transform raw garlic into an incredible dipping sauce for french fries? Magic. Je ne sais quoi. It’s a must have on your shelf, right next to the peanut butter, in between the nutritional yeast and pomegranate molasses (ok it’s not that obscure).

So while this recipe is title “cauliflower” - I actually used summer squash as well, as you probably deduced from the photo, you Sherlock you. I think many simple roasting veggies would be terrific in this dressing - broccoli, carrots, turnips, artichokes. Play around with whats in the fridge and if you don’t have tahini, get your booty to the nearest middle eastern market and buy a jar. It deserves staple status in any pantry.

Mustard Coriander Roasted Cauliflower
Makes 4-6 servings
Cook time: 20 minutes


4 cups cauliflower florets
(or 2 c. cauliflower + 2 c. summer squash)
1 ½ T. olive oil
1 ½ T. stone ground mustard
½ T. ground coriander
2 tsp. tahini
1 tsp salt
¾ tsp. black pepper


Preheat oven to 450F.

Place cauliflower in a medium mixing bowl and spray evenly with cooking spray (this will help the dressing coat evenly). In a smaller bowl, combine remaining ingredients and whisk until well blended. Pour dressing over cauliflower and toss. Roast for 15-20 minutes or until cauliflower is tender and golden brown around the edges.

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