If you’ve been reading My New Roots for a while, you’ll be familiar with my obsession with Middle Eastern cuisine. Ingredients like tahini, lemon, pomegranate, sumac, za’atar, cardamom, thyme, and sesame have big, bold flavours, and act as strong backbones for plant-based recipes, so I enjoy them on a regular basis and rely on them heavily in my recipe development. And if I am out and about in the world, I seek out restaurants serving this style of food, knowing that they’ll have a solid selection of vegetarian options with satisfying flavours.
Speaking of which, whenever I am back home in Toronto, I love going to a restaurant called Fat Pasha. It’s an Israeli place that serves the most decadent, delicious, over-the-top versions of all my favourites: falafel, hummus, fattoush, pickles, salatim, shakshuka…but the menu show-stopper is their whole roasted cauliflower. Brought to the table like a holiday roast, a giant knife sticking out of the top, ready to be carved, I love the ceremony of the entire thing, and the myriad of flavours and textures that it delivers. Slathered in tahini sauce, topped with glistening pomegranate jewels and golden toasted pine nuts, it is savoury, salty, sweet, herby, spicy, crunchy, creamy, nutty, BAM. Stunningly beautiful and deliciously satisfying.
At Fat Pasha, they also serve the whole roasted cauliflower with an incredibly spicy, tasty concoction called skhug. Skhug is a Yemeni hot sauce made from chilies, spices and fresh herbs, mainly cilantro. It ranges from wicked hot to warmly herbaceous, with cumin, coriander, cloves, and black pepper providing added depth and complexity. I friggin’ love this stuff (*pours skhug over entire life*). It’s delicious with hummus and pita, but also yummy folded into a grain salad, stirred into soups and stews, and drizzled over roast veggies, and to whisked into dressings and sauces.
Skhug comes in two varieties, red (skhug adom) and green (skhug yarok). Both are delicious, but I chose green for my version since it tends to me more common, and I was trying to get into the festive spirit and looking for a contrast to the pommies, which were so assertively red. Use the kinds of chilies you can get your hands on, and add them to suit your taste. I (embarrassingly) only used one green Thai chili for my sauce, but I also wanted to enjoy the other flavours coming through (and also because I am a wuss). It was still very spicy, but not so much so that I couldn’t generously dollop it on my cauliflower.
Trying to recreate the whole roasted cauliflower dish at home is all too easy and the results are extraordinary. First, the cauliflower is doused in a spice-infused coconut oil before being roasted to golden perfection (this on its own is waaaay delish). But taking it to the next level is easy with a simple tahini sauce and the skhug, followed by a generous topping of toasted pine nuts and pomegranate seeds. This thing becomes unreasonably beautiful, just a warning, and if you’re looking for something truly special to serve at a holiday meal this year – whether you’re vegetarian or not – this recipe will impress the pants off anyone.
Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Skhug
1 large head cauliflower
1 ½ Tbsp. coconut oil
½ tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. ground paprika
¼ tsp. ground turmeric
¼ tsp. fine grain sea salt
¼ cup / 30g pine nuts
1 small pomegranate, seeds removed
2 bunches cilantro (about 3 cups chopped)
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 green chilies, minced (add more to taste)
½ tsp. cumin
¼ tsp. ground cardamom
Pinch ground cloves
a couple grinds black pepper
¼ – ½ tsp. fine grain sea salt, to taste
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 Tbsp. cold-pressed olive oil
2 Tbsp. water, or more as needed
Simple Tahini Sauce:
¼ cup / 60ml tahini
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. honey or other liquid sweetener
4-6 Tbsp. water, as needed
1. Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.
2. In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, melt coconut oil and add spices and salt. Stir to combine and remove from heat.
3. Remove any outer leaves from the cauliflower and wash it well. Pat dry with a clean towel, then pour the coconut oil and spice mixture over the top and rub it in to all the nooks and crannies, making sure to coat the bottom as well. Place on a baking sheet and in the oven to roast for about 45 minutes. If it is getting too much colour before it is cooked, place a piece of foil over the top to prevent it from burning. The cauliflower is finished when it is tender.
4. While the cauliflower is roasting, make the sauces. Start by washing the cilantro well and spinning it dry. In a food processor or blender, add all the skhug ingredients and blend on high to make a smooth sauce, or pulse to make a chunkier one. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. (Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to one week.)
5. To make the tahini sauce, combine all ingredients together in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. (Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to one week.)
6. In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast the pine nuts, stirring often, until they are slightly golden. Remove immediately from the heat and set aside.
7. When the cauliflower is cooked through, remove it from the oven and place on a serving plate. Top with the various sauces, and sprinkle with the pine nuts and pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately and enjoy.
This will be my last post before 2017, so I want to wish all of you out there a warm, happy, healthy holiday and an abundant new year! Thank you for all for your love and support with all of my projects this year: the My New Roots app, Naturally Nourished, the Gourmet Print Shop and the blog too. You will never know how much you all mean to me! For real.
In health and happiness,
* * * * * *
Exciting announcement! The Gourmet Print Shop is officially open! My vision of creating affordable and beautiful art for your walls is now a reality. After so many of you have requested high-res images of my food photography to print, I’ve answered the call with larger-than-life photo files that you can download and print yourself. It’s a fast, easy, and inexpensive solution to fill that blank space above the sofa, add some colour to the desk at your office, and keep you inspired in the kitchen. Did I mention it makes the most perfect holiday or hostess gift? Obviously. Check out the Gourmet Print Shop today and get printing!
100 thoughts on “Whole-Roasted Cauliflower with Skhug”
thanks for sharing
This is really amazing and I was Shocked
This looks unbelievably beautiful! I can’t wait to try! at least once!
That’s great I just love this!
This looks unbelievably beautiful AND delicious!
Thanks for sharing. It’s really informative for me.
Loved this blog. Thanks for sharing!
I’ve never ever commented, but I am just so grateful for you. The joy from the inspiration you give, is so real
Thank you so much for your kind words and for being here!
After reading this post i really want to try this dishes because this dishes come in my one of my weekly routine diet . thanks for sharing such a wonderful post.
I love your post very much . the food was just amazing i never tried such a combination with skhug . and plant recipes was so delicious
Thats great my mom love this!
I just found this recipe and love the look of it. Skhug sounds fantastic. Pauline
We have quite recently made the spiced bit without the dressing however discovered it took longer than 45 mins more like 90 minutes. extremely top notch however when it inevitably cooked through.
Amazing tips. I didn’t even think cauliflower can be cooked in this way. By the way, thanks for sharing with us.
Goodness, my gosh the cauliflower at Fat Pasha is AMAZING. The first occasion when I had it I adored it so much that I went home and reproduced it and was charmingly amazed at how basic it was! I call it the Queen of Cauliflower since it is so. damn. great. I likewise adore every one of their plunges. One of my most loved spots to go in Toronto!
Yeah cauliflower at Fat Pasha is really very amazing. I told my wife the recipe and she made it too. She was glad to make it as it was very simple. Thanks for sharing.
This looks beautiful! I’m cooking center eastern roused food out of the blue this evening for a supper gathering, and I can’t get over how stunning everything looks. A debt of gratitude is in order for the Toronto tip– I live here, so I’ll unquestionably be looking at Fat Pasha.
I made a similar dish yesterday and my family loved it… I am looking forward to trying your roasted cauliflower recipe.
can vegetables be frozen? will it affect the general taste of the dishes?Very interesting recipe, thanks for sharing 😉
When the cauliflower is cooked thru, get rid of it from the oven and vicinity on a serving plate. Top with the numerous sauces, and sprinkle with the pine nuts and pomegranate seeds. Serve right now and revel in.
I love caulflower based recipes! I will definitely try this one out!
I thoroughly love this. You explained everything so well, leaving nothing to chance. This recipe is also one I’ve never heard of and I thought I’ve heard just about all of them.
Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂
xo, Sarah B
Wonderful recipe it i really like this cauliflower because as a vegetarian i always find a different types of recipe like this thank you
I had sweet potatoes and squashed myself out by Dec. I held out choosing, furtively trusting you’d post another formula. It worked! What’s more, your formula surpassed all desires. So natural, so dazzling, thus delectable. I’ve made it a couple of times now, and the cauliflower alone is in my steadily developing customary pivot. Much obliged to you.
It looks amazing and I love cauliflower. So, I just can’t wait to try such kind of experiments with cauliflower. It looks really nice. thanks for sharing.
The cauliflower at pasha is amazing. The first grow primeval-fashioned I had it I loved it thus much that I went ablaze and recreated it and was enjoyably surprised at how easy it was! I call it the Queen of Cauliflower, because it is in view of that. damn. earsplitting. I plus adore all their dips. One of my favorite places to go in Toronto!
I was on veggie duty for our annual Christmas potluck, and feeling pretty uninspired. I had sweet potatoed and squashed myself out by Dec. I held out deciding, secretly hoping you’d post a new recipe. It worked! And your recipe exceeded all expectations. So easy, so gorgeous, and so delicious. I’ve made it a few times now, and the cauliflower alone is in my ever-growing regular rotation. Thank you.
I cannot wait to try. This looks fabulous.
– Gustavo Woltmann
Good morning from Germany – Berlin. That looks sooo fantastic. Although it is only breakfast time, I just get huge hunger for this delicious recipe! Thanks for the great and healthy inspiration!
Greetings from Berlin
I just read the sample version of your new books on iBooks and I’m super interested in it. I love your idea of roller overs. I’m always having a hard time thinking of how to use the leftovers of one meal to create another. And this makes total sense. I have your first book and love it too!
Yes! Thank you so much for posting this. I used to live in Toronto and loved going to fat pasha’s and having their roasted cauliflower. I recently moved to Shanghai, China and unfortunately haven’t been able to find anything like it since. Really looking forward to making this!
WHOA. I made this last night and it was amazing. I’ve been cooking from your blog and cookbook for a long time and this recipe is definitely in the top 5. It was easy, made for a stunning presentation, and looked delicious. I will definitely be serving this at my next dinner party, and considering the cauliflower at Fat Pasha is now apparently priced at “market price” (like it’s a lobster or something??) it’s all the more reason to stay home!
What? I am still trying to figure out all of these flavors! I NEVER would have put these all together but oh my gosh it looks amazing! I can NOT wait to try this!
This looks delicious but I know that I won’t be able to make it. My wife will definitely give it a try though.
I made this last night and OMG was it delicious. I used one serrano pepper with most of the seeds scraped out for the skhug and it was pretty darn spicy, which I love, but most people would probably be fine with even a half of a serrano! I made this with another recipe from another vegan site, and hands down this was my favorite! Will make this again for sure.
I love all of your recipes,
They are always very delicious. I love the idea of making healthy foods interesting, I do the same. I love creating recipes to show that eating healthy does not have to be bland and tasteless.
I think your pictures are beautiful too and would like to know which camera you use? I really want to buy a camera but I do not know which one, and I want your opinion
So I mistakenly bought two bunches of italian parsley instead of cilantro and didn’t realize until I had everything out and ready for the food processor. I decided to keep going and made the sauce anyway and it turned out delicious. Can’t wait to try this with cilantro as intended.
Gjort aftes, jeg kan sige er, de er lækre i smag…
this photo is absolutely amazing. really great job!
The colours! <3 I'm not a vegan and even I'm totally in love with this recipe! Thanks for sharing!
I love the recipe..I cant wait to try
Great idea. I think that even a non-vegan family will love this dish. It is simple and is very healthy that most family needs.
I made this for dinner Friday night. Absolutely loved it. It tasted wonderful, looked beautiful and I will make this again and again. Thank you. Am loving your website and recipes.
I am glad to be here and i used to have roasted cauliflower sometimes. i like your recipe and its seems very healthy too. Thanks for sharing.
This look scrumptious! I would definitely try this! Thanks for sharing.
Amazing recipe! This is a great way of incorporating cauliflower into our daily diet.
This looks ah-mazing! I love this cilantro sauce. One can never have too many recipes for cilantro sauce haha
This reminds me of the meals we used to have when we were mountain biking through the Middle East.
Have always wanted to cook middle eastern inspired cuisine for my mates and I’ll be giving this recipe a go.
Great idead with the Print Shop! I hope the number of prints will grow quickly. My favourite are the beetroot crystals, I think you could build on this idea and take it further, creating ‘out of the box’ shapes from vegetable.
So I wasn’t sure what cilantro was, so I did a search and it says its coriander, is this correct or is it a different form of coriander? I don’t want to mess this up. Thanks!
cilantro and corriander are the same thing 🙂
Oh so exciting! I love visiting Toronto and getting all of the delicious culinary experiences available there. I’ve had many wonderful dishes at Fat Pasha’s but this one BLEW MY MIND!! Thank you for posting this recipe as I have obsessed over this cauliflower ever since I’ve had it and now I can try to recreate it at home 🙂 Happy to see that it’s so simple! Thanks!
Wonderful recipe. Thank you for the wonderful blog. I am a hardcore foodie based out of South India. Calicut is the city where I am based and everything here is centered around food. I keep trying new recipes and this one sounds quite doable.
I too write a food blog called Dinner thoughts’’ .Everything in this blog is around food, but beyond food. The blog started as a documentation of Malabar’s A princely state in South India) diverse food culture. Now it has grown beyond it.
Hi I am a dietitian from Mumbai and India and being a vegetarian, cauliflower forms a major part of our curry dishes. But I really liked this recipe of the roasted cauliflower and I am sure to try this out soon! Thanks!
This looks gorgeous! I’m cooking middle eastern inspired cuisine for the first time tonight for a dinner party, and I just can’t get over how lovely everything looks. Thanks for the Toronto tip–I live here, so I’ll definitely be checking out Fat Pasha.
Congrats on the print store! Looks stunning!
That looks so good 🙂
What can be done with cauliflower!!! Amazing. Loved it.
I’m so very excited about your print shop! I’ve been looking for something to hang in my kitchen and can’t think of anything more perfect. Great idea.
This whole roasted cauliflower was divine! Just in time for a Christmas Eve dinner …thank-you, thank-you, and thank-you Sarah! As promised it was enjoyed by all, looked beautiful and was a taste explosion… even without the skhog (I couldn’t find cilantro in my last-minutedness:) My husband has asked for a repeat performance- Hoooha! You have nailed another winner! Thanks so much for sharing you passion. I always look forward to reading about what you have created, seeing your beautiful inspirational photos and to experiment in my kitchen. A great big thanks from another Canadian living abroad (Zambia)
You have no idea how happy I am to have found your blog! I am so bad at cooking every time I look for recipes I get confused just from reading the ingredients…
I am from Israel so I have all these things in my house on the regular ;p
Ça a l’air bon ! Personnellement je conseille aussi ce livre de cuisine, c’est ma bible, depuis que je l’ai découvert je ne m’en lasse pas. Et il y a toutes sortes de plats variés ! En plus c’est vraiment un bel objet…
I didn’t knew that we can use cauliflower in this way. Amazing tips.
I love the idea of “unreasonably beautiful”. Thank you for the inspiration, I will try it soon.
I will be trying this out next next year. This would be the number 2 on my to-do list. I didn’t know cauliflower would be this appetizing! would really really try this. any more recipe there??? Thank you!!
*pours skhug over entire life* That made me laugh.
Merry Christmas and thanks for all your hard work. I have made many of your recipes; each one a winner.
Wow ! It’s so pretty. I love the idea, I think my non-vegan family can really love it ! 🙂
Your pictures are just amazing !!
Would you consider this, primarily, a side dish or a main course? It looks and sounds delicious!
I know it as zhug. Is that the same thing?
Some time ago I’ve been asked what gives me inspirations and I said that one of the sources are restaurants and cafes, it’s so nice to read that it inspires you as well to cook sth yummy. I love the idea <3
This recipe sounds absolutely amazing. Pinned it for next year!
Rae | Love from Berlin
I LOVE cauliflower but don’t necessarily like the mess I always make cutting it up. This looks amazing – can’t wait to try!
We have just made the spiced bit without the dressing but found it took longer than 45 mins more like an hour and a half. very tasty though when it eventually cooked through !!
Oh my, that looks deliciously divine! Thank you for the inspiration. I will most certainly be making this dish!
Blessed Solstice, merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, healing Boxing Day, joyous Yule, heartfelt Kwanzaa, and a hopeful New Year filled with festive food!
Can’t wait to try it! When will it be available on the app?
This seems so healthy and delicious, it in mind for upcoming New year 🙂
This look utterly divine! Thank you!
What is the best Thini to use? So many different kinds. What a good one for dressings and sauces?
Can’t wait to try this! I love the idea of “unreasonably beautiful”. Thank you for the inspiration Sarah! ??
I am allergic to oils – is there a way to substitute something? Can’t do anything very spicy either but would love to try this dish.
Love this!! I have tons of cauliflower and pom seeds so this is perfect and I will try it for the holidays! Your images are also amazing and I am glad you are selling prints of your amazing images!
The cauliflower looks good. I will try it soon seeing that I am getting into Middle Eastern cooking especially the spices.
This is right up my alley, Sarah! And I totally agree that Middle Eastern flavors are a perfect match for plant-based foods. Congrats on all your new projects 🙂 How fun!
That’s the prettiest cauliflower dish I’ve ever seen!
This sounds fabulous. I’d have to go for the mildest version of the skhug, because my stomach is not handling heat very well these days (boo, hiss, a terrible thing since we live right on the border with Mexico). I wish you happy holidays also, and hope that 2017 is a wonderful year for your
This looks unbelievably beautiful AND delicious! I can’t wait to try!
These flavors sound unreal. And it looks so beautifully festive. I was just looking for a showstopper to make for date night tomorrow, and I think I found the winner here.
O I love middle eastern cuisine too! And whole roasted cauliflower is the best! My favorite way to have it! So tender and melt-in-your-mouth!
This sounds fantastic! I’ve never considered doing cauliflower like this but it’s brilliant!
I’ve never ever commented, but I am just so grateful for you. The joy from the inspiration you give, is so real 🙂
Happy holidays 🙂
I love that I’m always discovering a new ingredient or a new technique here! I’ve never heard of skhug before, but it’s spicy and has the word “hug” in it, so I’m down! 😉 Wishing you and your family a very happy holiday, Sarah! <3
This is incredibly gorgeous! I was looking for a vegetarian side dish for Christmas to pass. Thank you and happy holidays! xx
Oh my gosh the cauliflower at Fat Pasha is AMAZING. The first time I had it I loved it so much that I went home and recreated it and was pleasantly surprised at how simple it was! I call it the Queen of Cauliflower, because it is so. damn. good. I also love all their dips. One of my favourite places to go in Toronto! Happy holidays, Sarah!