A picnic in the park with some dear friends warranted a creation of some serious summer comfort food. Cauliflower florets are coated in cornmeal and Mediterranean spices like oregano and sesame, then served with (or directly dipped in) a tangy tahini dressing flecked with fresh parsley. Tahini is simply sesame seed paste, and can be found in most grocery stores near the peanut butter. It has a delicious, buttery flavor and is full of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. This dish makes a lovely appetizer or snack, and is always a hit with everyone. If frying, be sure to use a high heat oil like avocado, grape seed, peanut, or canola. If baking, simply drizzle baking sheet with a bit of oil and toss to coat.
If frying, heat 2' of oil in a deep skillet over medium high heat. If baking, preheat oven to 450 degrees, and prepare baking sheet with either parchment paper or 2 Tbsp of oil.
Break or cut cauliflower into bite sized florets. In a large bowl toss them with flour, cornmeal, salt, oregano, sesame seeds, and chili pepper.
If frying, cook cauliflower florets in oil 4-5 minutes, until golden brown on all sides. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in oven if necessary. If baking, spread evenly on baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes until crispy and starting to brown.
In a mortar and pestle (or small bowl), mix finely chopped garlic with the 1/4 tsp salt. Add tahini and lemon juice and stir. Add water in a thin stream, stirring until thin and creamy consistency is reached. Add parsley and black pepper and season to taste. Serve cauliflower with dressing, either as a dipping sauce or drizzled over top.
Renee Press is the founder of Fire and Earth Kitchen in Seattle WA. which offers cooking classes, food coaching, and chef services. She's on a mission to make vegan, gluten-free cooking easy, accessible, and delicious for everyone. fireandearthkitchen.com