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Spice-Roasted Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Tahini Drizzle

From Food52

An easy side dish that hits all the right notes: spicy, sweet, bitter, and salty. The spice mix is a winner and the tahini sauce adds a deep nuttiness that compliments the spice blend. Even my notoriously cauliflower-hating boyfriend loved it—and I highly recommend putting the whole lemon in to brighten it up even more.

Wine Pairing

Our Rhone-style Grenache is a standout pairing with roasted cauliflower. For something a little different, pair this dish with our crisp, clean, and slightly oaky 2013 Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc.

Serves 4

For the spice-roasted cauliflower and pine nuts:

  • 1 cauliflower head, cut into florets
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh-cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted for a few minutes in a dry pan on medium heat
  • Freshly-chopped parsley, as garnish

For the tahini sauce:

  • 1 cup tahini
  • Juice of 1 lemon, divided
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed or grated
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh-cracked pepper, to taste
  • Warm water
  • 1 handful Freshly-chopped parsley


  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cauliflower florets and spices. Drizzle the extra-virgin olive oil over top and toss to combine. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Toss in the mixing bowl to coat the cauliflower evenly, then spread out on a sheet pan.
  3. Roast the cauliflower for about 40 minutes (depending on your oven), flipping once half-way through to ensure the cauliflower is evenly browned and roasted. About 10 minutes before they are done, sprinkle the toasted pine nuts over the florets and give the pan a shake to mix them in with the spices and oil.
  4. While the cauliflower is roasting, make your tahini sauce. In a small mixing bowl, add in the tahini, and mix in half of the lemon juice. Whisk to combine, and then add in a garlic clove and salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Start adding in warm water a little bit at a time, and continue whisking, until it reaches your desired consistency (I prefer something drizzle-able)! Taste and make sure there is enough salt and pepper, and if you like a little more tanginess add as much of the remaining lemon juice as you'd like (I went with the whole lemon).
  6. Add a generous handful of chopped parsley to the tahini sauce and set aside.
  7. When the spiced cauliflower and pine nuts are done, remove them from the oven and arrange in a serving bowl. Drizzle with some of the tahini sauce, to taste, top with more fresh chopped parsley, and serve warm. Save the rest of the tahini sauce as a dip or make into a dressing for another day!

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