This quick and easy Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic Tahini Sauce will have you falling in love with cauliflower. It’s naturally vegan and gluten-free, and easy to make. Read on, or jump straight to the recipe, HERE.
You guys, I just realized as I edit these photos how freakin’ Christmasy they look. Like unintentional little red-white-and-green Christmas trees. Oops! Guess I should’ve shared this recipe back in December? But hey, I’m not going to let that stop me, because it’s just way too tasty to keep all to myself.
Cauliflower doesn’t get talked about a ton, but it’s one of my favorite veggies. (Shhh, don’t tell the green beans!) And I KNOW you know what I’m about to say: my favorite way to prepare it is roasting it in the oven.
I am so predictable. But seriously, cooking cauliflower any other way can leave it soggy and bland. Roasting brings out the sweetness and gives the edges a beautiful golden-brown char. Without a doubt, roasting is the way to go.
This is actually a re-vamp of an old recipe I shared way back in 2011. To this day that recipe is one of my favorite ways to eat cauliflower, but this time I decided to mix it up a little by simplifying the ingredient list and making the sauce entirely vegan.
You might be wondering, how can a creamy sauce possibly be vegan? The answer is, cashews. Cashews are like the magic ingredient in vegan sauces, because they have a super mild and creamy flavor when blended up with other ingredients.
In this case, a little tahini and a whole head of roasted garlic bring tons of flavor to the sauce. The richness and protein from the cashews and sesame seeds make it super filling, too, so even though this dish is basically just vegetables, you’ll be surprised how hearty and satisfying it is.
Before we jump into this recipe, I want to introduce you to a friend of mine — Lauren over at the blog Lauren Caris Cooks. Lauren and I have been blog buddies for going on two years now, and though we’ve never met in person, I’m pretty sure she and I would get along like sisters in real life. If only we didn’t live half a world apart!
While I was over here in Michigan making this roasted cauliflower with tahini garlic sauce, Lauren was in Zurrick, Switzerland, making these Roasted Cauliflower Detox Bowls. (How good does this look?!) We decided to work together on this one by using the exact same creamy, delicious sauce in both our recipes. This way, you get two ways to use it for the price of one! (Er… free?)
(Click the image above to check out Lauren’s recipe, and try this sauce and cauliflower two ways.)
It was actually Lauren who inspired me to do these 31 Days Of Healthy Recipes in the first place. Back in December, she did a recipe advent calendar — that’s 24 days of recipes leading up to Christmas — which I thought was such a cool idea. Even though the holidays are over, those recipe are still season appropriate and yummy as ever, and you can check them all out here. If you’re in the market for more healthy and simple vegan recipes, Lauren’s blog is the place to go!
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked and drained (OR roasted cashews, as they are -- if your cashews are salted, reduce the salt in this recipe as needed)
- 2 TBSP room temperature tahini
- 1 head garlic, roasted*
- 4-6 TBSP water, or more as needed
- ¼-1/2 tsp. kosher salt, to taste
- 1 large head cauliflower
- 1-2 TBSP olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- ¼-1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (arils)
- 2-3 TBSP fresh chopped parsley, or cilantro
- Add all ingredients except the water and salt to a food processor. While blending, drizzle in the water a little at a time until the sauce starts to become smooth. Continue processing, scraping down the sides or adding additional water as needed, until the sauce is as smooth as your food processor can make it. Add salt to taste.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Remove the leaves from the base of the cauliflower, but leave the stem intact. Slice the cauliflower into 1-inch thick slabs (I like to call them "steaks" just for funsies). The center of the cauliflower should hold together, while the edges may crumble into florets, but that's okay.
- Place all the cauliflower on a baking sheet (line with foil or parchment for easier clean-up) and drizzle with olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper, and roast for about 25-30 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and the edges are golden brown.
- Drizzle cauliflower with garlic tahini saucce, and sprinkle with fresh pomegranate seeds. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro or parsley (whichever you prefer) and dig in!
I like to throw my garlic in the oven about 15 minutes before the cauliflower, and pull it out a few minutes before the cauliflower is done. This way I can make the cream sauce and have everything ready at about the same time.
This recipe works well as a side dish (and will serve about four that way) or you can make it as light main course, in which case it will serve 2-3, depending on how hungry you are. You can mix it up by serving the cauliflower over a bed of salad greens, or a bowl of rice, if you'd like to bulk it up a little.