For most vegheads, the highlight of Thanksgiving is the abundant amount of vegetables which flank the holiday table. Although Thanksgiving is a celebration notoriously known for overindulging, it can be quite nutritious if done right. To continue my healthy holiday series, I am featuring a seasonal cauliflower dish that will be sure to light up any festive table.
Cauliflower comes in a few different color varieties, and any can be used for this recipe. During the fall months, I cannot resist purple cauliflower - there is something whimsical and fun about the vibrancy and playfulness of a purple vegetable. If you are unable to find purple cauliflower, white, green, or orange would work just as well. The Kitchn did a nice round-up profiling the differences in cauliflower varieties.
Even if you are not a fan of the bright hue of this vegetable, you should be a fan of the fully loaded nutrient profile that this vegetable contains. Purple cauliflower garners its hue from the antioxidant anthocyanin, which is also found in blueberries and red cabbage and helps to fight cellular damage. Purple cauliflower is also rich in vitamin C and, like all fruits and vegetables, contains fiber.
To take the cauliflower up a notch, lemony garlic tahini gently drizzled packs some pep, and sweet and tart pomegranate seeds leave a festive mark on this Thanksgiving appropriate dish.
roasted cauliflower + green tahini + pomegranate seeds
serves 4-6 with additional tahini sauce left over (Great for salad dressing - just thin out with a little water, oil, and/or vinegar.)
- 1 large head cauliflower (preferably purple), cut into florets
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced in half
- 1 cup salt-free tahini
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 scallions, ends trimmed, white and green parts roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1/2 cup parsley
- 1/2 cup water
- Pomegranate, seeds removed
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and prepare an ice bath. When the water boils, add a tsp salt and the cauliflower. Blanch for one minute, and transfer to the ice water. Drain and blot dry with a paper towel. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined sheet tray.
- Season the cauliflower with salt and pepper and toss with 1 tbsp olive oil. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, tossing from time to time, until cauliflower is tender and lightly browned.
- In a food processor, pulse the garlic lightly. Add tahini, lemon juice, scallions, and herbs. With the motor running, pour in up to 1/2 cup water or enough to make the sauce have the consistency of runny yogurt. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed.
- Place cooked cauliflower in a bowl, drizzle with green tahini, and top with pomegranate seeds.