Roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce

February 29th 2016

Food cart pods all over the city are getting the boot to allow for more high rise apartments. The beloved food cart scene in Portland could go extinct. One by one iconic carts are getting pushed out in the name of commerce. It isn't a good thing for food culture here, many great places have gone brick and mortar, but not everyone can afford that as rent prices climb to all time heights. For me the carts are a thing that makes Portland great, it evens the score for folks at all price points and has a fun feeling of (usually) friendly competition, the American version of a lively street food scene. Lucky for us St. John's still has a great cart pod, with a legit beer, wine, and cider pub inside what I can only describe as a poor man's circus tent. It is awesome, and just happens to have some of the best falafel ever. They do it right, down to making their own bread, certainly this rivals any falafel place in PDX. They do legit, filling, tasty vegan cuisine, and one of the side dishes I love is the roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce. It's a delicious combo and super easy to make a home version. This a a great side dish for parties as it can hang out at room temp without worrying about the temperature sensitive issues that go along with egg and dairy dishes. Plus its a good choice for diverse diets, gluten free, vegan, and paleo friendly. Oh did I mention it super easy and delicious, yes it would be both! So try this one out.
You will need:
1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
1 T. Cooking oil, or spray I am in love with my coconut oil cooking spray right now, cuts about 200 calories of the end result without much compromise on flavor, also it has a good high smoke point which makes it taste good.
2 T. Tahini
2 T. Hot water
1 clove garlic
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
1 T. chopped cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, spray or oil sheet pan and roll florets around so each gets coated with a bit of oil, or if you use the coconut oil spray just give em a shower of coconut love over the top, season with salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes then turn them over for even browning then allow to roast an additional 10 to 15 minutes until golden. While the cauli cooks, make your dressing by combining tahini, garlic, water, lemon juice, and a pinch each of salt and pepper place in a food processor or blender and pulse a few times. Place cooked cauliflower in a bowl, add sauce, top with zest and cilantro. Serves 4 to 6.
Simplicity at its finest! Try this and you will be hooked.