Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini and Lemon

Roasting is for veggies! And one of my favorite ways to roast veggies is drizzling with olive oil, lightly salting then broiling. Cauliflower, broccoli, brussle sprouts, and eggplant – are my favorites to roast. Potatoes are a candidate for those that like that tuber. The great things about roasting is that it keeps the nutrients in the food, is not messy like frying, and is a healthier way of enjoying your veggies without the added oils.

Back where I grew up, in Amman, Jordan, Ma’loubeh is a common dish. Cauliflower florets are roasted and layered with meat, rice, and a dash after another of spices including all spice, cinnamon and nutmeg! My mom’s Ma’loubeh with cauliflower, stew beef and rice is outstanding! Watching her cut the cauliflower head while keeping every 2 ½ inch floret intact, spreading on a baking sheet, spraying with olive oil and lightly salting, then broiling till perfectly golden made the process seem so easy to me. Now, roasted cauliflower is a staple and we oftentimes replace starches such as rice or pasta with cauliflower; the adults in the house 🙂

Sprinkling Zaatar seasoning or drizzling Zaatar spread is another way to prepare your roasted veggies. Veggies are coated with the Zaatar Spread and baked for 15-20 minutes. Zaatar adds flavor and health benefits to the vegetables. If you enjoy a spicy kick in the food, the HOT Zaatar is just perfect for that!

This recipe, Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini and Lemon is a variation on Diane Unger’s- Milk Street Magazine. We tried it at home and absolutely love it! Thanks Barbara Wilder for letting me borrow your treasured magazines where I found this new favorite!

The sauce is prepped in a bowl and added to the florets before roasting. I substitued the hot sauce with HOT Zaatar spread which made for an even more intense and layered flavor. I added a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to complement the nutty tahini flavors. I did double the amount so it will keep giving! I started with 2 Heads of cauliflower- cleaned and trimmed them, then doubled the amount for all other ingredients.

Tahini and lemon juice add texture and nutty lemony flavors to any dish. The HOT Zaatar spread is rich in Olive Oil and adds herbaceous notes from the thyme and nutty notes from the toasted sesame. This concentrated coating is bold and perfect! I hope you enjoy. Sahtain- with good health!


3 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons tahini, plus more to serve

1 tablespoon HOT Zaatar Spread (or regular) click here

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon cornstarch

¼ teaspoon salt

a dash of My Baba’s Pepper click here

2- to 2 ½ -pound head cauliflower, trimmed, cored and cut into 1 ½ -to 2-inch florets

¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

HOT Zaatar seasoning for more garnish

  • Heat the oven to 450F with a rack in the middle position.  Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray generously with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, oil, tahini, HOT Zaatar spread, lemon juice, cornstarch, salt, black pepper, and 2 tablespoons water.  Add the cauliflower and toss with your hands, rubbing the mixture into the florets.  Transfer the cauliflower to the prepared baking sheet and turn the florets cut side down as much as possible. Spray the florets lightly with oil. Roast without stirring until tender and lightly charred, 20-25 minutes.  For crispier doneness roast for 15-20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the cilantro, HOT Zaatar seasoning, and lemon zest. When the cauliflower is done, transfer to a platter, then sprinkle with the cilantro-Zaatar-zest mixture.  Serve with lemon wedges and additional tahini for drizzling.

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