Cauliflower is the New Kale

cauliflower tahini

If there’s any vegetable that’s going to knock kale off its top spot as trendy vegetable #1 it will be cauliflower.  Once undeservedly dismissed as a nutritional lightweight due to its pale appearance and often overshadowed by its bold green couisin broccoli, cauliflower is now poised to take 2014 by storm.  The star status of this white cruciferous vegetable started rising in 2013, and now it’s showing up on the lists of several trend trackers.

I’ve always loved cauliflower, especially roasted.  But you can’t beat this fried version that I made yesterday.  This is a Lebanese specialty, typically eaten as an appetizer — dipping the crispy-tender florets in the tangy tahini sauce.  If you’re afraid of frying, here’s a version that’s roasted from Saveur, but I encourage you to try it fried. It’s amazing the texture you achieve using this technique. 

Fried Cauliflower with Tahini Sauce

1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into 1 or 2-inch florets
vegetable oil for deep frying

Sauce:
1/3 cup tahini
1/4 cup water
1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Pour the oil into a large saucepan, about a 2-inch level.  Once the oil is hot, fry the cauliflower in the oil until golden brown with crisp edges; use a slotted spoon to remove the cauliflower and drain on a paper-towel lined plate.  Fry in batches so you don’t overcrowd your pan   For the sauce, thin down the tahini with the water in a small bowl, stirring until smooth.  Add the garlic and lemon juice, salt to taste.  Use as a dipping sauce for the cauliflower.  Put the sauce in a small bowl in the middle of a large platter with the crisp florets arranged all around. 

 

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