In this recipe, Whole Roasted Cauliflower is drizzled with a flavorful Black Tahini Sauce, made form Black Sesame seeds, my little nod to Halloween. However, know that of course you can use regular tahini paste in the recipe -this black one is just for kicks.
Also know you cut the cauliflower into pieces….but if you have a little more time, and want to try something fun, roast the cauliflower whole in the oven. It will come out perfectly golden and tender. For the tahini sauce, I used black sesame seeds, instead of white, to give the cauliflower a ghoulish effect for Halloween. Black sesame paste is also available in many Asian markets.
If you can t find the black sesame paste or if you want to experiment a bit more, make your own sesame paste by toasting sesame seeds, grinding them up finely in a food processor or blender, and adding oil, preferably sesame oil, and blending until very smooth. It’s a bit of a chore, so be warned.
First, start by carefully trimming the leaves off the cauliflower leaving the stem in tact. Cut a disk off the bottom of the stem, leveling it, to allow the cauliflower to stand up strait.
Place it in a parchment lined pan, and give a good drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt ( I used smoked salt) and fresh pepper.
If you want to try making your own sesame paste from scratch, remember to toast the seeds beforehand, otherwise the sesame paste will be bitter. Even black seeds need to be toasted, and these are most easily burned.
Toast seeds for 7-8 minutes in the oven along with the cauliflower.
Remember a regular white tahini sauce, is perfectly fine to use too.
1 head cauliflower
1-2 T olive oil
generous pinch salt
sprinkle of sumac
1 T chopped Italian parsley
Tahini Sauce ( see below)
1/2 C tahini paste ( black or white)
1/4 C fresh lemon juice
2 T olive oil
1-2 T water as needed
2-3 cloves garlic- finely minced
1 tsp cumin
1/2-3/4 tsp kosher salt or ( try smoked salt)
Homemade Sesame Paste:
1 Cup TOASTED sesame seeds ( black or white)
4-5 T sesame or olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 425F. Carefully remove leaves of cauliflower and using a pairing knife clean up the sides of the stem. Cut a slice off the bottom of stem – to level it- so cauliflower sits upright. Place on a parchment lined sheet pan or baking dish.
2. Drizzle with 1-2 T olive oil, a generous three finger pinch of kosher salt or smoked salt, and fresh cracked pepper.
3. Cover tightly with foil, sealing the edges well, and place in the oven for 45-50 minutes, or until just tender. Uncover and let brown 15-20 minutes.
4.While cauliflower is roasting, make tahini sauce. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients together using a fork. Set aside.
5. When cauliflower is dark golden and tender, pour tahini sauce over it, sprinkle with sumac and parsley.
To make your own home made sesame paste from scratch, toast 1 C sesame seeds first, 7-10 minutes in a 400F or 425 F oven, careful not to burn- especially the black ones. Toasting them removes some of the bitterness. Grind seeds dry in a blender, coffee grinder or food processor, scraping down sides, until very fine. Add 2 T oil, and then add 1 T at a time until it’s the consistency that you want. I usually will add 4-5 T of oil ( both sesame and olive oil) . One cup of sesame seeds yields a little over half a cup of sesame paste.