Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini

This roasted cauliflower with tahini is an impressive side dish or vegetarian main made with a whole roasted cauliflower that’s painted with garlic-tahini paste and topped with a pistachio and parsley mixture.

A whole roasted cauliflower with tahini and pistachios cut into four pieces in a cast-iron skillet.

Through his two restaurants, Saba and Safta, Alon Shaya is a voice for Israeli cuisine in the States. He does a roasted cauliflower that was our favorite dish when we first ate at his restaurant. We’ve used it as inspiration for this dish so you can cook it as often as you like.–Amy Zitelman

Do I need to steam or boil my cauliflower before roasting it?

Allow us to back up a little. Some recipes for the spectacularly spiffy whole roasted cauliflower have you first steam or boil the whole head of cauliflower. The idea behind this is to partially cook the cauliflower before you roast it, which results in a shorter oven time. Honestly? This approach requires a touch more fuss than we prefer. Plus we’re partial to the slightly less watery nature of cauliflower that is given a dry sauna in the form of the oven.

Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 20 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Serves 4 to 6
5/5 - 2 reviews
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Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Spray a cast-iron skillet, roasting pan, or rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray or slick it with olive oil.

In a small bowl, stir together the tahini, the garlic paste, the lemon juice, olive oil, hot sauce, cardamom, salt, and pepper.

Using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, slather all but a few tablespoons of the tahini mixture all over the cauliflower. It’s easiest to do this by holding the cauliflower upside down in one hand and using the other hand to brush its underside. Then invert the cauliflower into the prepared skillet, pan, or baking sheet and finish coating the top and sides.

Roast until the cauliflower is tender and a knife inserted into the center meets no resistance, 55 to 70 minutes, depending on the size of your cauliflower and just how tender you like your cauliflower.

While the cauliflower roasts, in a small bowl, mix the pistachios and parsley.

Remove the cauliflower from the oven and brush the reserved tahini mixture over the top. Sprinkle the pistachio-parsley mixture over the top and return to the oven until the nuts are toasted, 5 to 10 minutes.

Carve in wedges to serve.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

I’ll be adding this whole roasted cauliflower with tahini to my rotation—it’s a great way to roast cauliflower whole that has a lovely spice and flavor profile. I feel like this is versatile enough to go with a lot of different proteins—chicken and fish for sure are good matches. I appreciated getting the little crunch of the roasted pistachios on top as the cauliflower gets nice and tender.

I got 4 servings out of the cauliflower and served it with the JW chicken.

One of our favorite sides is hummus, tahini, chickpeas, garlic, and lemon on some roasted cauliflower. This combination is a very good hybrid of the two.

It preps rather quickly, in about 10 minutes, then it's mostly roasting time. I used Tabasco for my hot sauce but I think a much better option would be harissa paste or possibly just a little cayenne pepper. There is a lingering hint of Tabasco vinegar, not unpleasant, but it didn't seem to fit the dish. The pistachio coating adds a nice nutty sweetness at the end. I served this with some Middle Eastern spiced chicken and it paired nicely.


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  1. I’ve had three cauliflowers at home for this recipe. Each time, for various reasons, the cauliflower ended up in a soup pot until this last specimen… I swear it winked at me from the crisper on a few occasions. I was determined to get it in the oven and I did! As rewarding as this was, the real pleasure was the slathering on of the spices and then taking the final masterpiece to the table. The flavour and texture were everything the recipe promised and more. The aromas were also very enticing. Served it with crispy green and yellow beans sprinkled with the same spices for a full vegetarian meal. Keeper recipe!

    1. Wow, Ilda, that’s a masterpiece! Absolutely stunning. We’re delighted that this turned out so magnificently for you. Can’t wait to hear what you make next.

  2. Made this for supper tonight and the two of us (my husband and I) ate the whole thing. I have to admit I didn’t have any pistachio nuts so I didn’t use anything. Also I didn’t reserve any tahini mixture since I didn’t see the need if I wasn’t putting the nuts on. When I tasted the sauce before putting it on the cauliflower it seemed rather salty but somehow that excess saltiness disappeared during the roasting process. Coincidentally my grocery store has cauliflower on sale this week so I’m going to get 2, instead of the 1 I had planned. Might serve it on Christmas Eve!

    1. Thanks, Wendy! We’re so pleased that you and your husband enjoyed this so much. Thank you for taking the time to let us know.

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