Adapted from Oh.She.Cooks description of Nadira’s recipe
I am making mansef as my main dish this Sunday. Son-in-law, Chris, is not eating starch, so I need a second, vegetable dish to fill him up. He requested roasted cauliflower.
Mansef is the Jordanian national dish, so I thought I would look for a Jordanian cauliflower recipe. This turned out to be harder than I had hoped. One problem with ethnic family cooks is that, unless they have a tech-savvy child or grandchild, their recipes do not get posted to the internet.
Note: A perfect example of this is the amusing video of Fatema and her mother.
I finally found this recipe on the blog Oh.She.Cooks. Her Jordanian friend, Nadira, had come over to cook an entire Jordanian Vegan meal. Oh,She.Cooks describes the ingredients in the recipes that Nadira is making, but she is a bit vague about quantities and temperatures.
Note: I also changed the dish to be vegetarian. If you want to return it to its original Vegan state, replace the ghee with olive oil.
After Dinner Note: I think they liked it, there were no leftovers.
Karl’s Jordanian Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower
3 Tbs. Ghee (clarified buter), for Vegan use olive oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
½ tsp. black pepper
1 large heirloom tomato, diced finely
¼ cup tahini
¼+ cup flat leafed parsley, minced
¼ cup cilantro, minced
5 cloves garlic, crushed to a paste
4 Tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
¼ tsp. black pepper
Pinch Kosher salt
1. Cut the cauliflower into medium/small florets.
2. Brush a shallow baking dish with one tablespoon of ghee and set it in a 400° F oven to preheat.
Tip: Set the oven rack to its highest level before turning on the oven.
3. Toast the cumin in a dry pan for 1-2 minutes and then grind it to a powder.
4. Peel and seed the tomato. Chop the tomato and put it into a small bowl.
Tip: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Rinse and cut a cross-hatch the tomatoes on the end away from the stem. Blanch the tomatoes for two minutes to loosen the skin. Put the tomatoes in a bowl of cold water to stop them from over cooking. Cut the tomato in half cross-ways and scrape the seeds into a sieve set in a bowl. Press the jelly through the sieve and discard the seeds.
5. Add the tahini , parsley, cilantro, lemon juice, zest, pepper, and salt to the bowl and mix well.
Tip: Reserve some of the parsley for garnish.
6. Remove the baking dish from the oven and arrange the cauliflower in a single layer.
Tip: The dish will be very hot, be careful. The hot dish ensures that the vegetables will roast, not steam in their own juices.
7. Brush the cauliflower with the remaining ghee and sprinkle the cumin and black pepper evenly over the vegetables.
8. Put the baking dish into the oven and increase the heat to broil. Switch the oven setting from Bake to Broil. Broil the cauliflower for 15-20 minutes.
Tip: The point here is to get the cauliflower well browned, but not burnt. Keep a close eye on the cauliflower during the last five minutes of broiling.
9. Spoon the tahini sauce evenly over the vegetables and reduce the heat to 400° F. Switch the heating elements back to Bake.
10. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
Tip: After it has finished cooking, you may put this dish on “hold” by turning off the oven and letting it rest until your other dishes are ready.