Roasted Cauliflower, Tahini & Pecans

Roasted Cauliflower, Tahini & Pecans

When roasted with lots of butter, cauliflower takes on an indulgent meatiness with lots of inherent nuttiness – it's no surprise it pairs so well with tahini and pecans. Use regular tahini if you can’t find the black version – although the dramatic appearance of the black one is worth the effort of finding it.
Photography: CHRIS TERRY
Total Time
40 Minutes
2 large or 4 small cauliflowers
6-8 tbsp of natural cauliflower purée (p.52)
Extra-virgin olive oil
50g of unsalted butter
4-8 small cauliflower leaves (optional)
Aea salt flakes (kosher salt)
4 tbsp of tahini (black, preferably)
For the dressing
80g of pecans, toasted and crushed
4 natural dried apricots, finely chopped
1 tsp of thyme leaves, chopped
10 chives, finely sliced
1 tbsp of capers, rinsed and chopped
4-5 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp of vinegar (red, white, apple cider or moscatel)
Step 1

Heat the oven to 210°C/190°C fan/415°F/gas mark 6-7.

Step 2

Cut 4 steaks from the central part of the cauliflowers – if the cauliflowers are large you should be able to cut 2 steaks from
each. Alternatively, you could just cut wedges and follow the recipe as per normal. Use the leftover cauliflower to make cauliflower purée.

Step 3

Put a little olive oil in a large, ovenproof frying pan and place over a medium-high heat. Add the steaks (you may need to do this in two separate pans) and sear for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Step 4

Season both sides with a little fine salt, turn the heat down and add in half the butter. As the butter melts, use a spoon to keep basting it over the cauliflower.

Step 5

Once you have basted the cauliflower a few times, add the remaining butter to the pan, turn the cauliflower over and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Baste the cauliflower halfway through the cooking time.

Step 6

Take the cauliflower out and drain on a piece of paper towel.

Step 7

Before serving, place the cauliflower leaves, if using, into the hot butter and baste for 20-30 seconds or until they turn golden brown.

Step 8

Drain on paper towel and season with fine salt.

Step 9

Mix together all the ingredients for the dressing.

Step 10

To serve, smear the cauliflower purée onto the plate, drizzle around the tahini, add the cauliflower steaks, spoon over the dressing, and cauliflower leaves (if using).

Ideas & Inspiration

+ You could just coat the cauliflower florets in a little olive oil, season – a dusting of Kyseri spice or curry powder would be good, too – and bake at 210°C/190°C fan/415°F/ gas mark 6-7 for 15 minutes, or until soft with golden edges. 

+ Instead of making a purée, you could chop up the trim of the cauliflower, caramelise in some butter and, once cool, blend through some thick yoghurt, to provide a creamy contrast to the cauliflower steaks.

Three: Acid, Texture, Contrast by Selin Kiazim (Quadrille, £25) Photography ©Chris Terry

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