Baharat roasted and smoked cauliflower, pomegranate cauliflower couscous, tahini dressing

Not yet rated

Rukmini Iyer's glorious ode to the cauliflower is full of Middle Eastern flavours from the mellow spice mix baharat, nutty tahini and pomegranate-studded cauliflower couscous.

First published in 2015

If you’ve got a cauliflower or two lurking in your fridge, you could do worse than try out one or all of the components of this dish, if not all, for a spectacular dinner party starter. The spicy baharat roast cauliflower makes a wonderful contrast to the slices of soft, smoked cauliflower, with extra texture and crunch from the cauliflower and pomegranate couscous.




Roasted cauliflower

Smoked cauliflower

Cauliflower couscous

Tahini dressing


Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, and add the baby cauliflower. Boil for 2 minutes before draining
Place the cauliflower in a small roasting tin, dry them off with a bit of kitchen roll, then dust each one generously with the baharat and sea salt. Dot with the butter and place in the oven to roast for 35 minutes
For the smoked cauliflower, take 2 sheets of foil and place the wood chips in the middle. Fold up into a flat parcel, then slash a few holes in the top of the foil. Place into a wok or saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Rub the cauliflower with the olive oil and sea salt, and place in a steamer basket over the foil packet
Place a layer of foil over the pan, followed by the lid, then place the pan on the heat (in a well-ventilated kitchen, or ideally outside). Heat until the foil becomes taut with the volume of smoke underneath (this will take about 10 minutes) then lower the heat and cook for a further 10 minutes
Turn off the heat and leave for 10 minutes before taking the pan outside to remove the lid, or you’ll fill your kitchen with smoke
For the cauliflower couscous, place the cauliflower and coriander in a food processor and pulse on 2 second bursts for 15-20 seconds, until blitzed to rubble. Tip into a small bowl then stir through the pomegranate seeds and olive oil, adjusting the sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and lemon juice to taste
For the tahini dressing, mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and season to taste with sea salt
To finish the smoked cauliflower, heat a griddle pan until smoking, then briefly char the smoked cauliflower slices for a minute on each side until you have nice char marks
Divide the roast cauliflower, smoked cauliflower and cauliflower couscous between four plates, along with the tahini dressing, and serve
First published in 2015

Having left a career as a lawyer to pursue her foodie passions, Rukmini went on to work at Tom Kitchin's The Kitchin in Edinburgh. She is now a food stylist, food writer and recipe developer based in London, and is the author of The Roasting Tin.

Get in touch

Please sign in or register to send a comment to Great British Chefs.