Olive Magazine
cauliflower shawarma

Cauliflower shawarma, pomegranate, tahini and pine nuts

Published: July 13, 2015 at 11:59 am
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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Total time
  • Easy
  • Serves 2-4

This recipe for cauliflower shawarma, pomegranate, tahini and pine nuts comes from Berber and Q Grill House in East London. Serving cauliflower whole like this, fresh from the BBQ is inspired, particularly, when it's smothered in shawarma butter

  • Vegetarian
Nutrition:
NutrientUnit
kcal410
fat36.1g
saturates15g
carbs6.8g
fibre6.2g
protein11.4g
salt1.9g
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Ingredients

  • 1 whole cauliflower
  • 80g tahini
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed 
  • sea salt flakes
  • 1 tbsp (thinned down with water)  pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • 1½ tbsp toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tsp (optional) dried rose petals
  • 1½ tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

SHAWARMA SPICED BUTTER

  • 100g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1½ tbsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • a pinch of grated nutmeg
  • a pinch ground cardamom

Method

  • STEP 1

    Trim the outer cauliflower leaves, but don’t be afraid to leave some on – they taste good and look great when charred and crisped on the barbecue.

  • STEP 2

    Put the cauliflower in a large pot in enough salted water to cover it, and bring to the boil on a high heat. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat down to medium so it has a gentle roll, and continue to cook for approximately 5-8 minutes. The intention is to par-cook the cauliflower before finishing it on the BBQ. It should be removed from the water when it still has some resistance when pierced with a knife.

  • STEP 3

    Whilst the cauliflower is cooking, whisk the tahini, lemon juice and garlic with ½ tbsp sea salt in a large bowl. Gradually add ice-cold water. At first the tahini will form a lumpy paste, but continue to add liquid and keep whisking until it turns into a smooth, silky sauce and reaches drizzling consistency.

  • STEP 4

    Mix the ingredients for the shawarma-spiced butter together. Brush the cauliflower liberally all over with the butter, and where possible, try and get beneath the floret canopy to reach the inner sections of the cauliflower. Keep some of the butter for brushing at a later stage.

  • STEP 5

    Prepare a BBQ for grilling. If using charcoal, bank the coal to one side for direct grilling and leave an area for indirect cooking. When the BBQ is searing hot, grill the cauliflower on direct heat until it blackens on its outer edges. Turn the cauliflower regularly so it colours all over. The aim is to char the cauliflower in parts. This lends not only flavour, but looks great. Throughout the cooking processs, continue to brush with any leftover butter.

  • STEP 6

    Once the cauliflower is cooked through and charred, remove from the heat and transfer to a plate. Spoon over the tahini sauce and pomegranate molasses, and finish the dish by sprinkling the pomegranate seeds, pine nuts, rose petals and chopped parsley over the top.An additional drizzle of olive oil adds a nice glossy finish.

COOK’S NOTES

If you’re not using a BBQ, heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Put the par-boiled cauli in a roasting tin, brush liberally with the butter, then roast for 45 minutes-1 hour (depending on the size of the cauliflower) until tender and charred, brushing with butter a couple of times during cooking.

Dried rose petals are available from Middle Eastern supermarkets and online.

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