Last weekend I celebrated a friend’s almost 40th birthday at a restaurant here in DC called Proof. Although the food was decent, the best thing we ate that night was a fun cauliflower side dish. It was a crispy cauliflower tossed in a delicious Tahini sauce. I could have just eaten a few bowls of that dish and nothing else. I think we all could have. It was that good.
This restaurant has been around a while and after a quick internet search, I discovered it is known for this popular lebanese-inspired cauliflower side. My girlfriends and I were clueless; we had no idea we had stumbled upon the restaurant’s signature dish. I decided to try and recreate the deliciousness for our next supper club dinner and I got busy testing.
The original recipe is fried but I wasn’t about to fry mine. Not for anything, but I really didn’t want to spatter oil all over my freshly-cleaned stove top. I went for the roast. I tossed the chopped cauliflower pieces in olive oil, spices, and panko bread crumbs, hoping to get that “fried” feeling. Once roasted, I poured on the tahini dressing and gave it a gentle stir. I finished it off with a sprinkle of fresh chopped mint. Do not skip this step, the mint is really what gives this dish a punch of flavor. It was pretty simple to make and so tasty. It was so good that after I took these lovely photographs I ate the whole bowl. Yes, I ate an entire cauliflower myself. For lunch. It happens.
Here’s how you can make it happen, too.