Ever since first trying a roasted whole head of cauliflower with tahini, I've been obsessed with it. It makes for quite the showstopper too! But, cooking a whole head of cauliflower can be a lot more work, plus the inside of the cauliflower doesn't get roasted. So I much prefer these roasted cauliflower florets with tahini. The tahini sauce is the perfect consistency and spread on the bottom of the baking dish so it doesn't drown the florets in sauce. It's fairly simple to make once you have the cauliflower chopped, making it great to prep ahead and then bake in the oven when ready to eat.
I love that the cauliflower gets roasted quickly in a hot oven for those charred bits. Made with simple ingredients, it's important to buy the best tasting ingredients you can find. Especially with the za'atar spice as that's what will be seasoning the cauliflower. Check out more about za'atar below.
Here's everything you'll need to make this roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce.
So what is Za’atar exactly?
It’s the name of a spice mixture that is used as a condiment. It contains herbs such as oregano, thyme and/or marjoram, sumac, toasted sesame seeds and salt. It can also contain a few other ingredients depending on the region in the Middle East.
You can find the blend at Middle Eastern grocery stores, online at Amazon, or you can make your own.
I love using it on vegetables, like in this sheet pan roasted vegetables with za'atar and halloumi and in this creamy whipped feta dip with tomatoes.
As I stated at the top of this post, you can easily prep some of the components for this roasted cauliflower and tahini ahead. See my prep notes below.
Preheat the oven to 450ºF.
Spread the cauliflower florets on two large baking sheets and drizzle with the oil. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle the za'atar evenly among the florets. Rub the seasoning well into the cauliflower, adding a drizzle more oil if needed to be sure it's coated.
Transfer both baking sheets to the oven and bake for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 425ºF. Continue baking for ten more minutes, then remove and flip the florets over. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, until browned in spots and roasted.
While the cauliflower is baking, make the tahini sauce. Pour the tahini into a medium sized bowl and add in the water, lemon juice and garlic. Whisk very well until fully incorporated and the tahini turns into a pale white colour. Drizzle in the remaining olive oll and whisk to incorporate. Season with salt. Set aside.
In a small skillet over medium-low heat, add the pumpkin seeds and a small drizzle of olive oil. Cook until toasted and seeds begin to pop, about five minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with the sumac and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
Spread the tahini mixture over a serving dish and place the cauliflower and chopped dates on top. Garnish with the pumpkin seeds and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
I don't recommend baking the cauliflower ahead as it tastes best when cooked fresh.
If you're in a pinch and need to cook the roasted cauliflower ahead, you can. Reheat in the oven at 350ºF for ten minutes or so until warmed.
I recommend using a high quality tahini brand that you love the taste of. I absolutely love Soom tahini and highly recommend it.
I exclusively use Diamond Crystal kosher salt for all of my recipes. I prefer the texture, taste and consistency of this brand and highly recommend it for everyday cooking.
I love using these large baking sheets with the rack that can go on top.
Ready to make this delicious and easy roasted cauliflower with tahini?
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These za'atar roasted cauliflower florets with a tahini sauce, dates and pumpkin seeds are packed with flavour and make a stunning side to any main.