Cook the Book Fridays – Dukkah-Roasted Cauliflower

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I love my stand mixer and my food processor, my slow cooker and my blender, but sometimes I think I get the most satisfaction from the little Braun coffee grinder I picked up at a garage sale back in my university days. Now, it’s only occasionally used to grind coffee – who needs coffee at home when you’re living at the corner of java and joe? But it has produced any number of freshly ground spices over the years, along with emergency icing sugar and top ups for scant cups of oat or chickpea flours. I paid almost nothing for it and it’s brought me a wealth of flavour.

It is rather…enthusiastic, though, so I thought I’d use our mini chopper to make the dukkah for this week’s Cook the Book Fridays dish. This spice mix is meant to have a coarse texture and my spice grinder is more of an instant powder maker. In the end, though, the grinder had to come to the rescue, as the peppercorns and coriander managed to elude the mini chopper’s blade completely. I had to dig them out, grind them, and whisk them back in.

That was the only glitch in a simple and delicious recipe. There are many versions of dukkah, but this one is particularly well-balanced. The recipe made much more than I needed for the roasted cauliflower, so I’m looking forward to trying it in dip form, on other sorts of roasted vegetables, or as a crust for tofu.

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The cauliflower itself couldn’t have been simpler – slices are roasted in olive oil, the dukkah is added, and the cauliflower continues roasting until it’s tender and caramelized. In the headnote to the recipe, David tells us that this dish has been known to elicit exclamations of pleasure and that certainly happened here – the moment I opened the oven to pull it out, just as he’d promised.

That’s the second cauliflower recipe to do so in our house in less than six months. The first was Meera Sodha’s roasted cauliflower. There are other cauliflower dishes I enjoy, but I could be perfectly happy with alternating between these two indefinitely.

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There’s a version of David Lebovitz’ dukkah on his website.

You can read through everyone’s posts here. And consider joining this community of wonderful cooks and lovely people, as we work our way through David LebovitzMy Paris Kitchen.

30 thoughts on “Cook the Book Fridays – Dukkah-Roasted Cauliflower

  1. I have Meera Sodha’s book on order – your comments about her cauliflower have me eager to dig in.
    There are few things better than roasted vegetables & I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who doesn’t grind coffee in their coffee grinder.:-)

  2. That’s a good point. I had actually made this recipe before and had the same trouble with my mini processor not touching the spices. So this time I put the spices in first and and only added the nuts once the spices had gotten a good workover. I probably should have added this to the comments section earlier in the week, but I thought it was down to my mini processor or old spices or something and not a general problem.

    And if you have a favorite book for slow cooker recipes, let me know. We purchased a slow cooker a few months ago and I’m sorry to say that it has not been love at first sight. Hopefully the relationship improves soon or it might be evicted from my limited counterspace.

    1. I’d just resupplied on peppercorns, or I might have put it down to old spices, too. I think I should just invest in a bigger mortar and pestle. Mine is quite small. For slow cooker recipes, I tend to cobble them together from various sources, or use it for braising recipes if I don’t have time to stick around the house to keep an eye on the oven. Judith Finlayson has some decent recipes, but I find I always need to amp up the seasoning. Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker has a good reputation, but I find I haven’t used it much – between Kevin’s celiac disease and veganism, it limits the choices. It’s great for making stock, soup, cooking beans, and making dinner while you’re out of the house. Anything you’d braise or slow cook in the oven (like oven-dried tomatoes), or simmer for a long while on the stove, is a candidate. You can even bake in it, to a certain extent.

  3. I used my coffee grinder for this too! In fact I only use it for grinding spices… a perfect size. Your cauliflower looks perfect and I can’t wait to give Meera’s a try! I love turmeric! Very nice post Teresa!

  4. Your photos look fantastic! I love it when you find a bargain that is useful, I was thinking of buying a spice grinder but couldn’t find one so I ended up buying the mortar and pestle. It was worth it to make this recipe:)

  5. Your roasted cauliflower is roasted to perfection! This was so good and simple that I made it two nights in a row!

  6. I swear you and I have the same Braun grinder…I paid $15 and used it for coffee for the longest time, now it’s primarily a spice grinder. Great idea for the tofu!!! I know you and I both have vegans in the house so this idea is perfect!

    1. I bet it is the same one. I hold onto my Braun appliances – they’re such workhorses. I was sad when they stopped making kitchen appliances for the North American market, but I guess their products were too reliable and long-lived for profit!

  7. First, Teresa, did your head of cauliflower really cost $10.00? That’s the rumor floating around our CTBF’s world and, ever being the economic journalist, I need to trust and verify. And, yes it’s true that some of our old, loyal appliances are the ones we pull out the most often. Your grinder being enthusiastic is a great line. I agree that this Dukkah is heavenly to smell and to eat. The hazelnuts were a unique addition, I think, but, like many of Dorie’s ingredients and techniques that we thought were questionable, it worked. Please try Melissa Clark’s Cauliflower Parmesan, one of the best cauliflower dishes I’ve ever eaten.

    http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1017170-cauliflower-parmesan

    1. Prices for cauliflower, at least, have calmed down. In December, when I wrote the review of Made in India, I had to pay $8.00 for a tiny head of cauliflower. For this post, I paid less than $3.00 for an enormous one. Melissa Clark’s recipe sounds amazing – maybe next time I’m out at my parents’ place, I’ll make it for them!

  8. ooh, love the color on the cauliflower and I guess it darned well better have been good if you paid as much as Mary has heard! I paid that much once after misreading the pricing: I thought it said 2.99 per head of organic cauliflower and it was $2.99/lb for this mongo thing. Sigh. Anyway, I chuckled at the enthusiasm of your coffee grinder. My old one (we use a burr grinder for coffee now since we can’t be bothered to go out for it) is used to grind spices and can be characterized the same way. I did get out some latent aggressions on those peppercorns and coriander seeds with my big mortar and pestle, though.:)

    1. Prices for cauliflower have calmed down now, thank goodness! I have a mortar and pestle, but it’s quite small. I think I’d like to invest in a bigger one, as it would work better than our mini chopper.

    1. I’ve heard that it’s been big in Australia for a while. Between the cultured butter I’ve got in the fridge and the dukkah I’ve got leftover, I think I may have to indulge in a good baguette

  9. Love your photos. It is hard took make roasted veg look tasty in a photo. I have to check my coffee grinder I have only used it for coffee and it has been in the back of the cupboard for many years now. I did not think of it as a spice grinder!

  10. I love finds like your coffee grinder. Especially when I find I actually use it. I loved this one too. I usually roast my cauliflower plain, so this is a nice alternative. And I’m bookmarking the Meera Sodha recipe you shared too. It looks delicious.

  11. This will be making a regular appearance at my house too. I only recently became aware of the book Made In India (from the Piglet competition), but it is now at the top of the list of cookbooks I want. When I get it, I will be sure to give that cauliflower recipe a try.

      1. I did see that! I have always struggled to find simple but appropriate side dishes when serving Indian-inspired mains, and that recipe looks perfect.

  12. I’m hooked on roasted cauliflower dishes. This one looks SO good. I have to check out the dukkah recipe, although from the bat I’ll have to swap the hazelnuts for almonds or another nut. Darned allergies :)

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