The following original recipe first appeared in the July 2011 City Natural Therapies e-newsletter. Click the link if you’d like to sign up for a free serving of health tips and delicious food every month.
As a child I found the cruciferous winter vegetables rather boring. The whiff of sulfur did nothing to stir the palate. Fortunately all that changed the day that I discovered roasted cauliflower.
With just a dash of oil and seasoning this ho hum winter vegetable becomes a star. But roasting cauliflower is only the beginning of the story. Throw in an extra head of cauli to use later and you’ve got the makings of a great, calcium rich, dip.
1 head of cauliflower, rinsed and dried, broken into small florets
1 tab olive oil
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 195c.
Put the florets (small pieces) of cauliflower in a bowl and toss with olive oil, plus a little salt and pepper. Make sure the vegetable is covered with oil. A little goes a long way. Spread on a large baking dish in a single layer. The cauli needs a little room to turn golden; if it’s heaped up it will steam instead.
Place in the hot oven. Give it a shake every 10 minutes or so. It will take about 20-30 minutes to bake depending on how large or small your pieces are. The cauliflower will turn golden brown when ready to eat.
Roasted cauliflower dip
You might recognize the template of this recipe, it’s based on hummus. For a dip with this great combination of flavours you don’t have to use chickpeas. Replace them with any other bean, roasted or steamed vegetable, and have some fun.
Quantities don’t have to be exact, let your taste buds guide you.
2 cups roasted cauliflower
2 cloves garlic (roast them with the cauliflower if you like a milder flavour)
1-2 tablespoons tahini
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
A dash of warm water or olive oil
Sea salt (optional)
In a food processor (or a large bowl and a stick bender) roughly process the cauliflower, garlic and 1 tablespoon each of tahini and lemon juice. How does it taste? Does it need more of the earthy flavour of tahini or sharpness of lemon juice? Add more of what is need and a dash of salt if desired. Whiz until ingredient have combined, without being too uniformly smooth. If too thick slowly add warm water or olive oil and process until you have a good consistency to use as a dip.
Variation: Try adding roasted, ground cumin seeds for an authentic Middle Eastern flavour.
Don’t forget to experiment with other vegetables e.g. roasted beetroot, carrot, pumpkin.