Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Pomegranate and Tahini
Whether you want a vegan-friendly main course for an upcoming dinner party, or a new method for cooking one of your favorite veggies, this cauliflower fits the bill. Inspired by Eyal Shani's world-famous whole roasted baby cauliflower served at his Miznon restaurants, we seasoned a head with cumin and coriander for a subtle hint of spice, then made a nutty tahini sauce for drizzling over the top. Fresh green herbs and tart ruby pomegranate seeds add a pop of color and flavor to this impressive dish.
For the cauliflower: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Remove the leaves from the cauliflower, then trim the stem flush with the bottom of the head so the cauliflower sits flat and upright. Transfer to a medium ovenproof skillet. Rub the outside of the cauliflower with the olive oil, then sprinkle evenly with the cumin, coriander, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and several grinds of pepper. Pour 1 cup water into the bottom of skillet, then wrap tightly with aluminum foil.
Bake until the cauliflower is crisp-tender, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cauliflower is very tender and golden brown, 30 minutes more. (The core of the cauliflower should be tender but the whole head should hold its shape and not fall apart.)
For the tahini sauce: Meanwhile, stir together the tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and several grinds of pepper until combined. Whisk in 3 to 4 tablespoons of water until the sauce is very smooth and creamy. The sauce may look lumpy at first, but will come together once the water is incorporated. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Transfer the cauliflower to a serving platter, then top with the parsley, pine nuts, pomegranate seeds and a pinch of flaky sea salt. Drizzle with some of the tahini sauce, then cut into wedges and serve with more tahini sauce on the side.
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