I don't think you really need to be vegan to appreciate good vegan or vegetarian food. When I opened Laura Wright's new cookbook, The First Mess cookbook not only was I greeted by a compendium of beautiful photos but also by a list of recipes that were enticing. Laura has a knack of creating good food that's flavorful and tasty yet simple in approach. Take her chipotle seasoned pumpkin chili with tempeh and beer or her crispy lentil salad with shaved roots or her goji berry cream that I pretty much used on every vegetable dish I could.
Today, I'm sharing one of my favorite recipes from her book, this green tahini sauce dressed roasted cauliflower and chickpea dish. The sauce has the elements of success, a little sweetness, a little acidity and just enough creaminess for texture. The chickpeas and cauliflower are seasoned with za'atar but you could probably use another type of seasoning such as baharat or even garam masala. But that exactly is the beauty of Laura's recipes, not only are they rich in flavor and unique ideas but they are also highly adaptable to ingredients you might already have in store at home. This book is a keeper!
Laura's book comes out this week and to celebrate she is kindly giving away one copy of her beautiful cookbook to readers in the US and Canada. To enter all you need to do is leave a comment below and tell me what is your favorite way to eat vegetables. The giveaway will last from March 8 till March 14th, 2017. Good luck and happy cooking!
roasted cauliflower with green tahini
makes 4 servings
5 cups (about 1 small head) small cauliflower florets
1 cup (250ml) cooked chickpeas
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon za'atar
salt and pepper to taste
green tahini (makes extra)
1/3 cup (75ml) tahini
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons filtered water, plus extra depending on the thickness of tahini
1 tablespoons pure maple syrup (or agave nectar)
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
4 green onions/scallions, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh lemon wedges (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped green onions/scallions
Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cauliflower florets and chickpeas on the baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice, and season with the za'atar spice mix, salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly. Bake in the oven for about 30 to 45 minutes tossing the vegetables frequently. The chickpeas should be crisp and the cauliflower quite browned.
While the vegetables are roasting, make the the green tahini. In a blender, combine all the ingredients from the tahini to the salt and pepper. Blend on high until it has a smooth creamy texture. Add more filtered water if needed to make the dressing pourable. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Serve the caramelized cauliflower and chickpeas hot with the green tahini drizzled over top and some fresh lemon wedges and green onions on the side, if you like.