When I was growing up, cauliflower was merely a vehicle for lots of ranch dressing. I never really wanted to eat it but you had to have something to dip into your ranch.
I’ll never forget my first encounter with roasted cauliflower.
I was in my early 30’s, engaged and we had been invited over to a client of hubby’s for dinner.
Since I’m shy, I was a nervous wreck. To make matters worse, the wife of the client was ahigh level executive for a major corporation while I was on a break from my corporate career trying to figure out what it was that made my heart sing. (Read: I was unmarried and unemployed by choice which was hardly impressive to someone as accomplished as she was.)
I spent most of the evening in awe, pretty sure I was dining with super woman.
She was warm and friendly and not the least bit pretentious. The kind of person you just can’t not love. Their house wasn’t just amazing, it had been made amazing by all of her DIY projects. You know, little things, like refinishing the kitchen cabinets. Did I mention that she’d just had the most adorable baby…at 41? (Which at the time seemed positively ancient to be having a baby but yet she had done it. The renegade. Yeah, that last one makes me laugh more than a little right about now.)
And then there was the dinner, which was not only delicious but she seemed to put it together effortlessly after a full days work and while making sure her 2 month old was taken care of.
Looking back, I know it seemed so effortless because she stuck with dishes that are simple but reliably tasty, like roasted cauliflower. At the time though, I didn’t know just how easy it was to transform something that was known to me as only a ranch dipper into something pretty darn spectacular. Good thing I’m a quick study.
I’m not really sure why it took me this long to put quinoa and roasted cauliflower together, but I will tell you that it was so worth the wait.
- 1 head of cauliflower, chopped
- 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- ¼ cup tahini
- 3 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/3 cup water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 3 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- Place oven rack in the top position and preheat oven to 425.
- Toss cauliflower with 2 teaspoons of oil and season with salt. Spread on a baking sheet and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining oil over medium heat and add garlic. Cook for one minute. Add tahini, lemon juice, water and salt. Cook over low heat for two minutes and remove from heat.
- Toss cauliflower with quinoa in a large bowl. Divide among serving plates. Spoon sauce over the cauliflower mixture and sprinkle with parsley and sesame seeds.