Cauliflower ‘shawarma’

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January 10, 2016 by dgarnett2013

Cauliflower ‘shawarma’: Honey & Co.: Food from the Middle East by Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich


Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a side dish.

  • 1 medium sized cauliflower, leaves still attached
  • 2 tabs olive oil
  • 3 tabs baharat spice
  • 1 tsp sea salt


For the caramelised onions

  • 2 large onions, peeled and sliced (about 300g)
  • 1 tab olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar


For the tahini dressing

  • 1 lemon
  • 125g tahini paste
  • a pinch of salt
  • 100 – 130ml water


For the garnish

  • 2 tabs roasted pine nuts
  • 1 tsp sumac (optional)
  • crispy pitta shards or crackers


Preheat your oven to 200℃.

Place the whole cauliflower, leaves and all, in an ovenproof saucepan that fits it snugly.

Fill the bottom of the pan with enough water to just cover the stem and leaves.

Drizzle the oil all over the florets and sprinkle with the spice mix and sea salt – it will look like a lot, but you want a layer of spice as a crust.

Place in the oven and roast for 1½hours. You will know it is cooked when you can insert a small knife through the centre of the cauliflower all the way down into the stem and it goes in easily.

While the cauliflower is cooking, place the sliced onions in a frying pan with the oil and salt and fry on a low heat until they start to soften and go golden. Add the sugar and continue cooking until the onions are caramelised and brown. Remove from the heat.

Halve the lemon. Mix the tahini paste in a small bowl with the juice from one half of the lemon and the salt. Add 100ml of water and mix well. Continue mixing and adding water very slowly until the paste loosens to a creamy texture.

Carefully lift the cooked cauliflower out of the water and cut it into thick slices, including the stem and the leaves, which will taste great after the slow-cooking.

Divide the cauliflower between 2 plates.

Squeeze the juice from the remaining half of the lemon all over, then top with the caramelised onions and tahini paste.

Garnish with the pine nuts and the sumac (if using) and serve with the crispy flat bread.

Made the day David Bowie died. January 10, 2016. Me with Bowie at Plum Sykes’ engagement party to Damian Loeb, 2000.

aladdinsane davidbowie1


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