Cumin-Roasted Cauliflower With Sichaun Pepper & Peanut Dip

Cumin-Roasted Cauliflower With Sichaun Pepper & Peanut Dip

Packed full of flavours, this vegetarian dish is a real winner. If Sichuan peppercorns aren’t your thing, you can just leave them out – there are so many other flavours involved, the dish won’t be poorer for it.
Photography: CHRIS TERRY
Total Time
40 Minutes
For the cauliflower
2 tbsp of grapeseed or vegetable oil
1 tbsp of cumin seeds
1 whole medium cauliflower, separated into florets, leaves kept and trimmed
For the dip
2 tsp of Sichuan peppercorns, crushed in a pestle and mortar
1 red chilli, chopped
1 tbsp of finely chopped root ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp of sesame seeds
3 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 tbsp of chilli oil
1 tbsp of soy sauce
2 tsp of toasted sesame oil
5 tbsp of crunchy peanut butter
For the topping
25g of cashews or peanuts, toasted in a dry pan and finely chopped
½ garlic clove, finely chopped
25g of breadcrumbs, toasted in a dry pan
¼ tbsp of black sesame seeds
To garnish
One small bunch of Thai basil, leaves picked
4 spring onions, finely chopped
Step 1

Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/gas mark 7.

Step 2

Mix the oil and cumin seeds together in a bowl.

Step 3

Put the cauliflower on a baking tray and pour the cumin oil over the top of the florets. Roast the cauliflower in the oven for 20–30 minutes until soft. For the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the cauliflower leaves to the baking tray and roast those too.

Step 4

To make the dip, put the Sichuan peppercorns, chilli, ginger, garlic and sesame seeds in a heatproof bowl.

Step 5

Heat the vegetable and chilli oil in a small pan. When hot, pour the oil over the Sichuan peppercorn mixture. It should crackle and pop. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil and whisk in the peanut butter. You might need to loosen the dip with a little water to give it more of a dressing consistency.

Step 6

For the topping, mix all the ingredients together, either chopping by hand or using a food processer, to a fine crumb and set aside.

Step 7

To serve, spoon a generous pool of peanut dressing onto each plate and top with the roasted cauliflower. Garnish with the peanut and breadcrumb topping and, lastly, the Thai basil leaves and spring onions.

WEEKEND: Eating at Home: From Long Lazy Lunches to Fast Family Fixes by Matt Tebbutt (Quadrille, £22) Photography: Chris Terry

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