Baked Cauliflower with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce

One of the most common excuses I hear from people who say they could “never become vegetarian” is that they wouldn’t know what to make if they couldn’t cook with meat. When my mom and I began thinking of possible vegetarian (and even some vegan!) meals, we realized there is a plethora of great and easy meals, side dishes, and desserts.

To show you what I mean, here’s a very quick and easy baked cauliflower recipe my mom always makes whenever we have Mediterranean food, always served with a yogurt sauce.

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The great thing about this recipe is how easy it is—all you need is cauliflower, salt, pepper, olive oil, garlic, yogurt, and tahini. If you’re unfamiliar with tahini—also called “tahina,” from the Greek “takhini” (which is based on Arabic “tahana,” to crush)—is a Middle Eastern paste made from ground sesame seeds.

Out of all the ingredients, tahini is the only one that’s a little more out-there. You should be able to find it at any Middle Eastern grocery store, but I heard Indian grocery stores have it too, as well as Whole Foods and some regular supermarkets (look in the “ethnic foods” aisle).

tahini sauce

Tahini is also used in hummus, so you’ve probably tasted it already, even if you didn’t know what it was.

cauliflower in the oven

Putting the seasoned cauliflower in the oven.

When I was younger, I absolutely despised vegetables. However, as I grew (slightly) older, I started to enjoy the tastes of veggies more—now enjoying them more than meat. One of my favorite vegetables is cauliflower… when made right of course!

This baked cauliflower recipe is simple yet elegant and best as a side dish to other Mediterranean recipes. What really makes it is the tahini-yogurt sauce. This recipe is not the same—and not fun nor interesting at all!—without it, so make sure you make it. (It’s basically all mixing, anyway.)

Tahini Yogurt Sauce

The tahini-yogurt sauce is only yogurt, tahini, garlic, salt, and pepper.

Mixing Tahini Yogurt Sauce

Mixing the tahini-yogurt sauce.

Honestly, the hardest part about this recipe is just waiting for the cauliflower to cook. Well actually, it might be not eating it until it’s time for dinner!

As a side note, my dad actually ate half of the cauliflower as soon as I was finished with pictures, since my mom and I were working on another recipe (which will be up soon) immediately after. So if you fall into the trap of eating too soon, don’t worry, others have too!

Baked Cauliflower, Tahini Yogurt Sauce

Baked Cauliflower with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients

Serves 2–3 people.

For the baked cauliflower

  • 1 small head of cauliflower
  • a little bit of olive oil
  • a little bit of salt
  • a little bit of pepper

For the tahini-yogurt sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ¼ cup plain non-fat, European-style (or Greek) yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • about 1 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of pepper

Instructions

For the baked cauliflower

  1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  2. Wash cauliflower and cut into small, bite-sized pieces. Place in a tray to put in the oven.
  3. Lightly drizzle the cauliflower with olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the cauliflower.
  5. Cook for 20–25 minutes.

For the tahini-yogurt sauce

  1. Combine garlic, yogurt, and tahini sauce in a small bowl. Stir until well-combined.
  2. Sprinkle salt and pepper according to taste. We recommend to start with about 1 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper.

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4 Responses to “Baked Cauliflower with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce”

  1. Cecilia
    June 11, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    Joshua you are so articulate and express such passion in your writing, I can almost taste the food as I read your blog. What a wonderful bounding experience you and your mom are having. I will be trying out the recipes for sure, but if you need a taste tester I AM AVAILABLE!!!

    • June 15, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

      Thanks! Be sure to write on here (or on Facebook) how it goes—we’d love to know! And we’ll definitely keep you in mind as a taste-tester. ;)

  2. June 11, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

    I love cauliflower but I usually just steam them. This will make for a nice change to steamed veggies. I’ll start looking for tahini today, but what does it take like? Is it tangy or spicy?

    Btw, great start to a wonderful food blog! Sending you and your mom hugs!

    • June 15, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

      Yes, baked cauliflower is so tasty! :D We have a jar of tahini sauce in our post, which is the same one we used. Tahini sauce is almost like peanut better, except instead of the nice peanut-y taste, it’s the strong taste of sesame seed! Don’t try it by itself; I just tried it so I could explain it to you, haha!

      And thanks! I’ll pass it along. :)

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