You can have a bowl of cauliflower or you can have a BOWL of cauliflower! This caramelized roasted cauliflower with pomegranate glaze and lemony tahini sauce is the latter. It’s for when you want to make your meal a bit more special, a bit more flavorful, a bit more colorful, or all of the above. The recipe is full of middle eastern intrigue – as I love finding ways to incorporate my half Lebanese roots into my dishes.
I find that side dishes are often an afterthought. When it comes to special meals, like during the holidays, I actually prefer giving sides the most attention while keeping the mains deliciously simple. This recipe – which can be easily doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled – is an ideal pick for doing this.
To make the lemony tahini sauce
This tahini-based sauce is so easy, yet so tasty. And, if you like, you can it in advance. Just blend or whisk together tahini, lemon juice, unsweetened peppermint or green tea (or water), olive oil, garlic (if you wish), and sea salt. (Hint: I prefer using tea for bonus flavor and nutrition, but water is fine.) The recipe below makes 1/2 cup. Since you’ll only need 1/4 cup of it for the cauliflower recipe, you can reserve the rest for other recipe use, such as for a creamy salad dressing, or you can double the main recipe.
To make the pomegranate glaze
The pomegranate glaze is just a simple pomegranate juice reduction. And that just means you simmer 100% pomegranate juice in a small saucepan until it thickens … just until it coats the back of a spoon. That’s it! Just note that it does thicken more as it cools, so be sure to remove from the stovetop before its fully thickened. The finished result is kind of like molasses. Luckily, here this pomegranate glaze is full of gorgeousness, natural sweet-tartness, and health-promoting antioxidants.
To make the roasted cauliflower
Here you’re just roasting cauliflower florets in a preheated 450°F oven until you get nice caramelization (browning). First, toss the florets with olive oil, sea salt, and nice pinch of cinnamon (which give it a bit more flavor interest!). On the baking sheet, be sure to keep florets separate, since they’ll steam if too crowded. For best results, rotate each floret with tongs halfway through roasting. I find 20 minutes total is just about perfect.
To serve this awesome side dish
Now, all that’s left to do is serve this side in style. Transfer the roasted cauliflower to a platter or bowl, drizzle with the Lemony Tahini Sauce and then the pomegranate glaze, and garnish however you like. Here I dressed the cauliflower with chopped salted roasted pistachios, fresh pomegranate arils, and fresh mint leaves. Mmm!
You can have a bowl of cauliflower or you can have a BOWL of cauliflower! This caramelized cauliflower with pomegranate glaze and lemony tahini sauce is the latter. It’s for when you want to make your meal a bit more special, a bit more flavorful, a bit more colorful, or all of the above. The recipe is full of middle eastern intrigue – as I love finding ways to incorporate my half Lebanese roots into my dishes.
Garnishes (optional): Roasted salted pistachios, toasted sliced almonds, or toasted sesame seeds; pomegranate arils; and fresh mint leaves or sliced scallion
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Make the pomegranate glaze (reduction sauce) by simmering the pomegranate juice in a small saucepan over medium heat until slightly thickened (just coats the back of a spoon), about 22 minutes. (Note: Makes 2-3 tablespoons. The sauce will thicken as it cools.)
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, toss together cauliflower, olive oil, salt, and cinnamon. Arrange on a parchment-paper or silpat-lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast until caramelized, about 20 minutes.
Transfer the roasted cauliflower to a platter or bowl, drizzle with the Lemony Tahini Sauce and pomegranate glaze. Garnish, if desired. And serve warm.