Cauliflower Love {CtBF}


I loved most vegetables, but there were always a few exceptions, like broccoli, cauliflower, and a few root vegetables like rutabagas and turnips.  Then I discovered roasting vegetables.  When the outside caramelizes and starts to scorch, the sugars come out and the texture gets creamy. All those vegetables I was unconvinced about suddenly became favorites.

This week, I had a cauliflower trifecta.  It started with the latest recipe for Cook the Book Fridays: Dukkah-Roasted Cauliflower.  This recipe from David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen one ups simple roasted cauliflower.  First, you start the cauliflower florets roasting.  After about half an hour, even though I would usually consider the cauliflower done, it’s tossed with dukkah and roasted some more.  When it’s done, it’s crusty on the outside and melting on the inside.  Delicious!

Dukkah Cauliflower

As for the dukkah, a while back, I bought a jar at Trader Joe’s.  We dipped bread into olive oil and the Egyptian spice and nut mixture.  It was good, but not exceptional.  For the cauliflower recipe, I made my own dukkah (per David Lebovitz’s instructions), and as you might expect it was a completely different story.  A mixture of toasted hazelnuts, toasted seeds (pumpkin, sesame, coriander, cumin, fennel, peppercorns) and kosher salt are ground up though not too fine.  The fragrance was amazing.  I can’t wait to have a chance to try dipping bread in the leftover dukkah!


The cauliflower makes a great side dish.  My cauliflower must have been small because there is no way it made 4 servings, only 2.   Next time I’ll make two whole cauliflowers to ensure leftovers.   This is a definitely new favorite.

The second hit was a whole roasted cauliflower with an almond-herb sauce from the New York Times by way of Joanne Weir’s new cookbook Kitchen Gypsy.  The entire cauliflower is roasted in a hot cast iron pan for 1-2 hours until burnished on the outside and melting on the side.  I shared it with a friend for dinner, so we just cut it in half, covered it in sauce, and served it with jasmine rice and salad. I’m seriously excited about cauliflower.

This week I’m in Philadelphia visiting my sister.  The catalyst was the chance to attend the 76ers basketball game on Harvey Pollack Tribute Night with my sisters, aunt, and cousins.  My great-uncle Harvey, who passed away last summer, was a unique character and a basketball legend.  He wasn’t a player, rather a statistician, known affectionately in the NBA as “Super Stat”.  He expanded what’s collected and “invented” many of the stats in use today (like triple-doubles).  Even though the team lost the game, we all had a great time and were proud to be there to help celebrate our uncle’s achievements.

While I’m in town, my sisters and niece and I went to dinner at Zahav, a modern Israeli restaurant in downtown Philadelphia.  We enjoyed a tasting menu where each dish was better than the next.  One of the standout mezze we had was the fried cauliflower with an herb-and-garlic labneh for dipping.  I’m inspired to try this at home with roasted cauliflower, maybe even coated with dukkah.

If you want to know how my friends enjoyed their cauliflower, check out their links here.  Due to copyright considerations, I don’t publish the recipes here.  You can find the cauliflower on page 224 of David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen (Dukkah recipe on page 81).  Or feel free to drop me a line and I’ll share it with you.


Posted on 4 March 2016, in Cook The Book Fridays, Family, my paris kitchen, Philadelphia and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. We really enjoyed this cauliflower and now I want to try the other two methods you mention – it’s one of my favourite vegetables and there are so many ways to enjoy it. I’m glad you were able to celebrate your uncle with your family at the tribute night – that must have been wonderful!

  2. Three delicious ways to have cauliflower! They all sound great!
    Your uncle sounds like a fascinating man, what an amazing legacy to leave behind.
    I just recently bought the Zahav book, I’ve read that the food is fantastic.

  3. This is exactly how I felt about brussels sprouts. I hated them as a child and still hate how my mother used to prepare them, plain, boiled, yuck! It wasn’t until someone introduced me to roasted brussels sprouts as an adult that I saw the light.

    There’s also fried cauliflower recipe in Jerusalem which I have been tempted to try, but the quantities of oil keep putting me off. Maybe I need to dive in and give it a try.

  4. The dukkah itself was good and hope to enjoy it as a dip soon. Cauliflower dish was good too!

  5. Looks great Betsy, definitely a recipe to be repeated. Such a wonderful tribute for your great
    uncle, it must have been so exciting. Excellent photos too.

  6. Yes! Fresh roasted dukkah is MUCH more flavourful than any you can buy in the stores.
    That is a lot of cauliflower in one week…which one was your favourite?

    • Hard to choose! Made the sukkah one again last night so that’s probably my current favorite, but that could change with the next one I make!

  7. A great post, Betsy. I’ve enjoyed the pictures and knowing about your Uncle. I am so glad that you and your family had this experience. I’m sure it’s brought back many memories of “Super Stat” although I have no idea what triple-doubles are. I agree with you completely about Dukkah. TJoe’s got me started by Hugh Whittingstall’s version for Cottage Cooking Club and David’s version which is fabulous will replace store-bought. I saw Joanne Weir’s recipe in the NYTimes, thought I’d like to try it and then forgottabouit. I will try it because I like to cook with my cast iron pan. Did you ever make Melissa Clark’s Cauliflower Parmesan? So delicious

    Zahav sounds yummy.

  8. This is a great post, Betsy, to echo what Mary said! First, 2 great cauliflower recipes and I’m so glad you liked the dukkah. The one from CCC is pretty good, too, though different. Then that other cauliflower recipe sounds delicious and I will have to bookmark that. Finally, how fun to celebrate your uncle that way–it’s neat that they are doing so. And to have such a special meal on top of it all at Zahav…well, it sounds like a fabulous time!

  9. A lovely tribute to your great uncle. So sorry for your loss.
    Your Cauliflower and dukkah looks wonderful! I had never heard of dukkah before…I was thrilled to be introduced to such a unique addition to my pantry! We loved it!

  10. Great post! Discovering dukkah hasbeen a higligjt for me too! 👍

  11. I hope you had a lovely weekend! Sounds like a great way to remember a loved one,
    Enjoy Zahav – I have the cookbook and it is very interesting to compare it to Ottolenghi’s books.

  12. I am so jealous of your trip to Philadelphia, and especially Zahav. We keep meaning to go up there. Everything I read about it sounds amazing. The whole roasted cauliflower sounds excellent too. Thanks for the link.

  13. I’ve been to Zahav and had a wonderful meal there which I remember fondly! I am excited to have so much dukkah leftover so I can experiment even more with these fabulous flavours!

  14. peggygilbey814628432

    Hello Betsy, what a fabulous Post. I read it the other night too when I was out but was not able to comment then. In any event what a cool tribute on your great-uncle Super Stat! I’ll have to try My Paris Kitchen Cauliflower on your raves. It is so nice your group is back together now onto David Lebovitz who I especially enjoy for his excellent writing and very dry humor. I hope next time you are in Philadelphia we could meet for coffee or something… I live in Blue Bell, a Philadelphia suburb and would love to meet you in person. Happy you got to experience Zahav, and between the cookbook and restaurant both are making a real sensation everywhere. I remember in a former Post of David Lebovitz him taking the train from someplace just to try their hummus! See you soon.

  15. The dukkah was amazing and we love the roasted cauliflower. Looks like you had a good time in Philadelphia!

  16. Enjoy reading this post. So full of joy and excitement about roasted vegetables. Since I made the whole roasted cauliflower, my vegetable sides I serve on my family table has not been the same. We have not get tired of it yet.

  17. My mom never made cauliflower when I was growing up, so I am slowly learning to add it to my repertoire. This recipe was a revelation to me and I will be roasting cauliflower a lot from now on! I am glad you described it as “melting”, because I thought so too.

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