za’atar cauliflower

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  • 2 pounds cauliflower, cut into florets (900g, from a 1100g head)
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (30g)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (60g)
  • 1/2 cup za’atar (50g)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated hard cheese, e.g. parmesan or cheddar (20g), optional
  • 1 tightly packed cup cilantro leaves (25g) (plus a few for garnish)
  • About 30 chives (10g)
  • 1/4 cup tahini (60g)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice (45g)
  • 3 tablespoons water (45g)
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (35g)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
  2. Add the cauliflower and garlic to a large mixing bowl (or sheet pan), and toss together with the oil until it’s evenly coated. Sprinkle on the za’atar and salt to taste (about 3/4 teaspoon), and toss together again until evenly coated. Move to a sheet pan, spread into an even layer, and top with the cheese (if using).
  3. Roast for about 20 minutes, until the cauliflower is al dente and charred in a couple spots.
  4. While the cauliflower is roasting, add the the cilantro, chives, salt to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon), tahini, lemon juice, and water, to a food processor and pulse a few times to blend. Scrape down the sides, and run until pureed.
  5. Scrape up the cauliflower, transfer to a mixing bowl, garnish with the sauce, extra cilantro, and pomegranate seeds, and serve. It’s wonderful warm or at room temperature.


Make ahead: The cauliflower and garlic can be coated in the za’atar, salt, and oil ahead of time, and then roasted with the cheese closer to the last minute. Or you can roast everything ahead of time, refrigerate it, and rewarm the cauliflower in the oven closer to the last minute. The sauce can be made a couple days ahead of time and refrigerated until serving.