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3.21.16 Curry Roasted Cauliflower with Freekeh and Tahini Sauce

3.21.16 Curry Roasted Cauliflower with Freekeh and Tahini Sauce

This dish is one whose sum is greater than its parts. I mean, let’s take a look at the ingredients here - cauliflower, grains, arugula, yogurt, golden raisins - I’ll be honest when I say that none of these on their own are anywhere near my top favorite foods. Yes, I suppose I could consider cashews to be a relatively tasty snack-type food, but otherwise, in my opinion, we’re looking at some b-squad ingredients here.

So when I thought up this recipe, I knew I had to trust in the combination of flavors, rather than the individual components. I knew that these ingredients, once combined and gussied up a little with some warm, spicy curry powder, savory tahini, and a bright squeeze of lemon would be pretty fantastic. What I didn’t anticipate was that it would somehow become - dare I say it - craveable. I found myself sneaking bits of roasted cauliflower off of the pan, and licking the spoon for the tahini sauce a few times too many. When it all came together, I cleaned my plate in record time.

Is it a salad? A grain bowl? Something else entirely? Truth be told, I’m having a hard time assigning it any sort of designation beyond absolutely delicious. So go ahead, eat it as a vegetarian main dish (a side of naan would not be remiss here), or as a side dish along with some simple roasted chicken or fish, or just simply mix everything together in a bowl and call it a meal. However you go about this dish, the fact remains that if you’re like me, you’ll find that it’s been eaten before you know it.

Curry Roasted Cauliflower with Freekeh and Tahini Sauce

Serves 2-3

This recipe is very forgiving when it comes to which grain to use. I chose freekeh, mainly because I had a lot on hand, love how quickly it can be cooked up (about 20 minutes and you’re done) and can’t get enough of its nutty, slightly smoky flavor. But truth be told, most any whole grain would be great here, so use what you have on hand!

  • 1 ½ lbs cauliflower (about 1 medium head), cut into medium sized florets
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • ¾ tsp salt, divided
  • ½ cup greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp tahini paste
  • Juice from half of a lemon (about 1.5 Tbsp)
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp honey
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • 1 ½ cups cooked freekeh (from about ½ cup dried) or other whole grain*
  • 2 cups arugula (loose packed)
  • ⅓ cup cashews
  • ⅓ cup golden raisins

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, toss together the cauliflower pieces, olive oil, curry powder, and ½ tsp of salt until well combined. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet, and roast at 400 degrees until tender and beginning to brown, about 25 minutes. Stir once halfway through roasting to help keep even browning.

3. To make the tahini sauce, whisk together the yogurt, tahini paste, lemon juice, water, honey, cumin, and the remaining ¼ tsp salt. Add a bit more water to the sauce if you’d like a thinner consistency.

4. Divide the freekeh evenly between plates (or bowls, or what have you), top with equal amounts of arugula, roasted cauliflower, cashews, and golden raisins. Drizzle tahini sauce over top and serve immediately.

*If you’re using freekeh or a similarly quick cooking grain, you can cook it while the cauliflower roasts and the timing should work out perfectly. I served the grains warm when I originally made  this dish, but have also tried it with previously cooked room temperature grains, and found this to be delicious as well.

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