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ROASTED CAULIFLOWER AND TARATOR SAUCE

ROASTED CAULIFLOWER AND TARATOR SAUCE

Adapted from MasterChef Australia’s Matt Preston

Tarator sauce is a Lebanese sauce based on tahini, with a whole variety of different additions like yogurt and herbs, the recipe below uses bread and almonds to create a super delicious sauce which is great served alongside roasted, meats, fish or vegetables.

Even though there are a ton of components, none are difficult to make. And everything can be made the day before, store each component (once made) separately in airtight containers in the fridge. Bring back to room temperature before assembling and serving.

For Cauliflower:

  • 1.1 kilo (extra large) cauliflower, cut into medium florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Chickpeas:

  • 2 (x400g) tins (cans) chickpeas, drained, rinsed, dried well
  • 60g (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • ¼-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt to taste

For Currents:

  • 2 tablespoons dried currants
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

For Tarator Sauce:

  • 100g bread (any bread will do)
  • 100g raw almonds, toasted
  • 120g (½ cup) raw tahini
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 120g (½ cup) ice water
  • Juice of one lemon (reserve the rind for assembly)
  • Salt to taste

To Serve:

  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Grated lemon rind
  • Fresh mint, chopped
  • Cumin seeds (about 1 teaspoon)
  • Pomegranate molasses
  • Olive oil

For Cauliflower:

Heat oven to 220℃ (450℉).

Place the cauliflower florets in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 7-8 minutes until fork tender but still holding its shape.

Place microwaved cauliflower florets on a baking tray in a single layer and rub in the olive oil, salt, and pepper, roast for 10-15 minutes on the top shelf of the oven until the ends begin to brown.

Remove from the oven.

For the Chickpeas:

Dry the chickpeas well with a clean tea towel, place on a roasting tray dress with olive oil, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt, place in the oven along with the cauliflower and roast until the chickpeas begin to dry, ad turn crispy. About 10-15 minutes.

Remove from the oven.

For the Currents:

Place the currents and red wine vinegar in a small saucepan, bring the vinegar to a boil over medium heat, as soon as it starts to boil, turn off the heat and allow the currents to absorb the vinegar, set aside.

For the Tarator sauce:

Soak the bread for no more than 30 seconds in warm water and then squeak out as much water as possible, discard the water and place the bread in the large bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Add the almonds, tahini, and garlic to the bread and process until the almonds have broken down and you have a stiff paste. Add the ice water and lemon juice and process again until you have a smooth spread that looks a lot like hummus. Season to taste with salt.

To Serve:

Using the back of a large spoon spread the tarator sauce over a large round flat plate. Pile the roasted Cauliflower in the center in a pyramid fashion, sprinkle all over with the roasted chickpeas, and currents. Top the pile of cauliflower, with pomegranate seeds, mint, lemon rind, dress with olive oil and pomegranate molasses.