Recipe courtesy of Duskie Estes

Fried Cauliflower with Tahini, Labneh, Baba Ghanoush

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Driving my daughter, Brydie, back to college in Minnesota, we spent a night in Salt Lake City. We got mocktails at Swig (very Mormon), and I had a DIZZLE—pineapple, coconut, peach and Sprite, all over crushed ice—very important. And instead of French fries, which used to be my road trip food of choice, we got the vegetable-forward Fried Cauliflower from Laziz Kitchen, recommended by my buddies at JBF and on Triple D! A double win. I have considered making cauliflower cool a lifelong mission of mine. This was delicious road trip food that was also good room temp in the car. NO BATTER NECESSARY! GF all the way people.
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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 9 hr 5 min (includes overnight chilling)
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

Labneh:

Tahini Dipper:

Baba Ghanoush:

Cauliflower:

Directions

Special equipment:
cheesecloth; butcher's twine; a deep-fryer or deep-fry thermometer
  1. For the labneh: Place the yogurt in a couple layers of cheesecloth and tie with butcher's twine, creating a ball. Tie the cheesecloth to a spoon or utensil over a bowl to let any excess liquid drain. Let sit in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. For the tahini dipper: Preheat the oil in a deep-fryer to 375 degrees F. Preheat your oven to 475 degrees F.
  3. Combine the tahini, lemon juice, coriander and cumin with 1/3 cup water in a food processor and blend. Season to taste with salt.
  4. For the labneh: In a small bowl, combine the oil, parsley, sesame seeds, sumac, thyme and lemon zest, creating your homemade "zaatar" oil.
  5. Place the labneh in a pretty bowl, then create a divot in the middle. Spoon the zaatar oil in the divot and over the top.
  6. For the baba ghanoush: Place the eggplants on a baking sheet and roast, turning every 5 minutes, until the skin is blackened and all sides are soft, about 15 minutes. Place in a bowl until cool enough to handle. Cut off the tops and cut the eggplants in half. Spoon out the flesh, separating it from the burnt skin.
  7. In a food processor, combine the eggplant, tahini, olive oil, pomegranate molasses, sumac and lemon juice until smooth (reserve the zest for the cauliflower). Season to taste with salt.
  8. For the cauliflower: Fry the cauliflower until brown and crispy, 3 to 5 minutes.
  9. Toss in a bowl with the ras el hanout, turmeric, parsley, lemon zest and salt.
  10. Serve with the tahini dipper, baba ghanoush, labneh and pita chips.

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