cauliflower tacos with cumin and za’atar


Nik Sharma

Hey Friends, I’m a multi-award-winning and best-selling cookbook author and photographer.

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Last weekend, I found out that I am a very good accidental gardener, it’s true, I might not have plenty of luck when it comes to planned gardening but when it comes to unexpectedly growing stuff, I have a green thumb! I went to open up a bag of sweet potatoes that I remember picking up a week or two ago and lo and behold, they were growing shoots and leaves. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, I once grew a date tree in my backyard in D.C. after tossing a medjool date by mistake into my garden (we got a few palm leaves but it didn’t make it through the first snow). I was tempted to pull the shoots of the sweet potatoes but I decided to give them a chance and I’ve planted them. Who knows maybe they will grow well and I might get to eat my own accidentally homegrown sweet potatoes.

If you asked me if I could remember my first taco, I’d sadly say, I couldn’t but I will say this, they always make me happy every time. When it comes to talking about tacos, I get pretty excited because every taco is a bundle of joy waiting to be enjoyed with the promise of goodness. There are so many different and wonderful ways to eat tacos so I thought, I’d share one of my personal favorites! 

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cauliflower tacos with cumin and za'atar

For these tacos, it all starts with a few splashes of color courtesy of these beautiful purple and yellow cauliflowers that get tossed and seasoned with some tasty spices. Cumin and za’atar push these florets to a whole new level of tastiness with an added depth of citrusy and herb flavors. Though I’m only sharing the recipe on how to make the filling here, you can dress the cauliflower tacos with any type of salsa or toppings you love. I did however, share my favorite way to eat these guys at the end of the recipe section but seriously take liberties, because that what makes a taco special, you can individualize to your heart’s (tummy’s) desires!

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cauliflower tacos with cumin and za’atar 

yields: 4 -6 servings (depends on how many and how big your tacos are)


1 small yellow cauliflower

1 small purple cauliflower

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground red chili powder

1 teaspoon za’atar

1 lime

1. Place a wire rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400F. 

2. Chop both cauliflowers into small florets. Rinse under cold water, drain excess liquid and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the olive oil, salt, cumin, and chili and mix to coat the cauliflower. Spread this mixture onto a non-stick baking sheet and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the cauliflower florets are tender and slightly roasted.

3. Sprinkle the za’atar and squeeze the lime juice over the cauliflower. Serve immediately with your favorite taco fillings and tortillas. 

Note: I like to serve these with a few extra wedges of lime on the side, fresh avocado slices, some shredded purple cabbage, salsa and my cilantro mint chutney. You can also serve these anyway you love your tacos!


18 Responses

    1. Thanks, Dixya, I’ve been hunting for the purple ones at the farmer’s markets and was finally happy to grab some!

    1. I know Sini, I was so disappointed about the palm tree too. Thanks, the tacos were quite a hit at home.

    1. Sarah, I struggle with rosemary. I got a new plant and I hope it makes it this year. They are supposed to be super easy to grow and I never have any luck with them.

  1. These are some stunning tacos, and the flavors sound incredible! I definitely want to try them with your chutney. Yum!

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