Whenever I discover a shortcut in the kitchen, I’m happy to share it! I love recipes that allow me to cook once and eat twice. My Roasted Mediterranean Cauliflower is simple to make and so versatile. Watch my video to learn how to make the base recipe, then read on for ideas on how to transform the leftovers into a tasty, new dish.
Tahini-Harissa Dressing The key to Roasted Mediterranean Cauliflower is my homemade, tahini-harissa dressing. This can be made ahead and stored (covered) at room temperature if you are planning to use it the same day. The dressing will also keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. You’ll find the flavors improve over time.
Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. It can be found on the shelf with other nut and seed butters, or in the international aisle.
Harissa is a spicy and aromatic chili paste that is widely used in North African and Middle Eastern cooking. Harissa is most commonly found in the ethnic aisle of most large grocery stores. I like to use two tablespoons in this recipe, and find it is not too spicy, although the level of heat varies among brands. Try tasting the sauce with one tablespoon of harissa, and add more as desired.
- ⅓ cup tahini
- 2 TBSP lemon juice
- 1–2 TBSP harissa
- 4 TBSP water, plus more to thin
- ½ teaspoon salt
Mix together all ingredients. If the dressing is too thick and does not drizzle easily, add more water, one tablespoon at a time. You may also add another squeeze of lemon to taste. Feel free to prepare in advance, as the flavors will meld and improve over time.
- For a tasty side dish, when roasted cauliflower has cooled for five minutes, toss it in a bowl with ⅓ of the dressing to coat. Add more to taste. Stir in chopped, fresh herbs; 3 Medjool dates, pitted and diced (or 2–3 tablespoons of raisins); and ¼ cup toasted pistachios (or nuts or seeds of your choice).
- If you can’t find tahini, try substituting nut or seed butters of your choice. I made this with a combination of cashew butter and sunflower seed butter, with great results. Stick with milder tasting butters—peanut butter may be too strong a flavor.
- Substitutes for harissa: though they will not replicate the flavor precisely, other chili pastes may be used. The closest is sambal oelek, which is more neutral in flavor. Add a pinch of some spices like cumin, smoked paprika and ground coriander for additional flavor. In a pinch, sriracha sauce with these added spices could work, and red curry paste could be quite nice.
- This dressing can be enjoyed on other roasted vegetables, such as potatoes and carrots, or used on salads, chickpeas, fish, chicken, rice and more.
Transforming Your Leftovers
Once I’ve made Roasted Mediterranean Cauliflower with tahini-harissa dressing, which I like to eat as a side dish the first night, I enjoy getting creative with the leftovers.
Try adding these ingredients, or other favorites from your pantry or refrigerator, for a hearty lunch or dinner:
- Lentils and greens—Add 1 cup cooked lentils and several handfuls of greens. Try baby spinach, finely shredded kale, Swiss chard or mixed baby “power” greens. Add dressing and a sprinkle of nuts or seeds for a hint of crunch. If you don’t have lentils, try a cup of rinsed, drained canned beans (I like garbanzo).
- Healthy salad—Add leftover roasted vegetables (try broccoli, sweet potatoes or winter squash), leftover black rice or a grain of your choice, a handful of mixed greens, canned tuna and pumpkin seeds or chopped, roasted almonds. You can swap out the tuna for canned salmon, or use leftover cooked salmon or shrimp. Halved grape tomatoes and diced avocado add even more color and flavor.
For more ideas on meals you can make from leftovers, see my blog post on all-in-one bowls.