I don’t think you really need to be vegan to appreciate good vegan or vegetarian food. When I opened Laura Wright’s new cookbook, The First Mess cookbook not only was I greeted by a compendium of beautiful photos but also by a list of recipes that were enticing. Laura has a knack of creating good food that’s flavorful and tasty yet simple in approach. Take her chipotle seasoned pumpkin chili with tempeh and beer or her crispy lentil salad with shaved roots or her goji berry cream that I pretty much used on every vegetable dish I could.
Today, I’m sharing one of my favorite recipes from her book, this green tahini sauce dressed roasted cauliflower and chickpea dish. The sauce has the elements of success, a little sweetness, a little acidity and just enough creaminess for texture. The chickpeas and cauliflower are seasoned with za’atar but you could probably use another type of seasoning such as baharat or even garam masala. But that exactly is the beauty of Laura’s recipes, not only are they rich in flavor and unique ideas but they are also highly adaptable to ingredients you might already have in store at home. This book is a keeper!
Laura’s book comes out this week and to celebrate she is kindly giving away one copy of her beautiful cookbook to readers in the US and Canada. To enter all you need to do is leave a comment below and tell me what is your favorite way to eat vegetables. The giveaway will last from March 8 till March 14th, 2017. Good luck and happy cooking!
roasted cauliflower with green tahini
makes 4 servings
5 cups (about 1 small head) small cauliflower florets
1 cup (250ml) cooked chickpeas
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon za’atar
salt and pepper to taste
green tahini (makes extra)
1/3 cup (75ml) tahini
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons filtered water, plus extra depending on the thickness of tahini
1 tablespoons pure maple syrup (or agave nectar)
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
4 green onions/scallions, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh lemon wedges (optional)
2 tablespoons chopped green onions/scallions
Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cauliflower florets and chickpeas on the baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and lemon juice, and season with the za’atar spice mix, salt and pepper and toss to coat evenly. Bake in the oven for about 30 to 45 minutes tossing the vegetables frequently. The chickpeas should be crisp and the cauliflower quite browned.
While the vegetables are roasting, make the the green tahini. In a blender, combine all the ingredients from the tahini to the salt and pepper. Blend on high until it has a smooth creamy texture. Add more filtered water if needed to make the dressing pourable. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Serve the caramelized cauliflower and chickpeas hot with the green tahini drizzled over top and some fresh lemon wedges and green onions on the side, if you like.
This looks amazing! I have been wanting to find a recipe where I could use the za’atar I purchased at a wonderful market in Denver.
I love my vegetables grilled. Simply seasoned with salt and pepper and then thrown on the grill.
Ohhh I can’t wait to make this! And my favorite way to eat veggies would be to roast them and cover them with a dressing of sorts. This tahini one sounds amazing 🙂
I LOVE my veggies roasted!! A close second is blended… into a green juice or smoothie!
My favorite way to eat vegetables is to roast them. As soon as I come in the door I turn the oven to 400. It’s my way of getting dinner "started." For some reason it’s a whole lot more difficult for me to pick up the phone and order take out when I’ve got an oven ready & waiting… Thanks for the give-way. I’ll be trying this sauce on my veggies tonight
Ha! I wish I’d seen this yesterday, I put a head of cauliflower to a much less delicious use. For flavor and ease of preparation, pan roasting vegetables with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt can be beat.
Roasting is my favorite way to prepare veggies… I like to have a variety of roasted veggies, brown rice and some lovely sauce and make a wrap. The cookbook looks amazing.
Roasting is my go-to method for enjoying vegetables!
This looks divine!! Veggies… in the winter, roasted to caramelize and concentrate the sweetness, topped with a sprinkle or drizzle of something savoury to balance the flavours 🙂
This looks fantastic! It will be dinner tonight…I love grilled vegetables in the summer, and roasted ones in the winter, and salad all the time! Oh, and soups!
This looks amazing! I eat lots of veggies, and roasted roots, or kale salad are my favorite ways right now. Or carrots sticks dipped in cashew cream…
I like them roasted with salt and pepper, and maybe a spice!
This book looks amazing- it is definitely on my wish list. We were talking about eating our veggies last night over dinner and my six-year-old said, "Everyone needs to find a way to eat their veggies that tastes good to them." Then we brainstormed all the ways to eat them: green smoothies, salads, roasted, on the grill…on and on. I think our family fave is roasted veggie taco night!
Gorgeous photos, as always Nik!
This looks delicious! I’ve been on a cauliflower kick as of late, and it looks like I’ve found a new way to enjoy it.
As far as my favorite preparation for veggies.. I’m a sucker for roasted veggies. Brown them up in a cast iron skillet real quick and then finish roasting in the oven – yum!
I love them marinated in lime juice & oil (favs are avo or mustard) & cooked in tandoor.
Such a lovely recipe! And this book is such a winner, thank for the giveaway!
I love my vegetables(raw) fermented and also roasted, I always use to mix them so that I can get the maximum of nutrients! But during the winter, the soups are my way of eating vegetables! Gorgeous shots, so delicious looking!
This looks delicious! How much zaatar is used on the cauliflower?
My favorite method depends on the vegetable… good tomatoes get cut up and given a dusting of pepper, asparagus belongs in risotto, rapini sauteed with garlic and chili flakes.
I’ve been trying to get my cauliflower into my oven for some roasting, however, I am out of my go to spice sumac…there is no where in this town to get any so I will season my favorite veggie of the season with this yummy recipe since I do have za’atar on hand for now…if I run out of that then I am in double trouble!
Favorite way with vegetables… Roasted with olive oil and salt, crispy edges are my favorite part!
Salads! Right now I’m loving chopped broccoli in leiu of lettuce. Love your work. Thank you for creating and sharing.
I need this!
My fav way to eat veggies is raw if possible, if not then roasted with olive oil and Indian spices and topped with cilantro.
My faaavorite way to eat vegetables are when they’re grilled and have a boatload of hot peppers and chile powder. But I also love them roasted in the oven with some olive oil and sea salt. Oh, and also raw in a bowl with fresh citrus. Basically, I have a hard time choosing! Haha!
I eat with the seasons. My favorite way to use veggies in any season is curry, so easy and versatile. In the summer I gorge on raw veggies right at the farm stand. My best prepared summer veggie dish is ratatouille. In the winter simple roasted roots, soups, or stir fry. But all the curries!
This recipe looks delicious! There isn’t one way I eat my veggies per se but here are some of my fave veggies and how I prefer to eat them
A good sweet potato would be cut up and tossed with chili infused olive oil, truffle salt and pepper and left in the oven to bake into fries
I prefer Brussels sprouts steamed and then lightly stir fried with some soy and chilli sauce
I add spinach to multiple recipes be it daal or a smoothie or my salad.
This book looks amazing! My favorite way to eat veggies is roasted and then smothered in something creamy just like this recipe!
I really enjoy exploring the border between raw and cooked vegetables. Flash steaming them and then a quick ice water bath gets them just to that sweet point where the flavors begin to get more complex but they still retain their form and crisp bite. Super simple and easy. I love doing this with broccoli or snap peas. Followed by a splash of fat or an acid like vinegar or lemon juice. Just perfect.
I love roasted vegetables. I’ve been known to polish off a sheet pan (or two!) of my favorites (crispy brassicas) when ravenous.
Oven roasted, drizzled with lemon-infused olive oil (the winter veggies).
This looks so delicious, I could eat the entire bowl!
Wow! For vegan food this seems so full of flavor! I love your blog and photos….as well as the recipes. Every recipe is so special!