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When chef Haidar Karoum was growing up, this was a favorite dish his father would make. Now it’s a best-seller on his menu at Proof restaurant in Washington, D.C. Room 11 restaurant, also in Washington, serves a similar dish, but with roasted instead of deep-fried cauliflower.

Make ahead: The tahini sauce can be made a week in advance.

Crisped Cauliflower with Lemon Tahini Sauce

For the sauce:

1 cup tahini

½ cup fresh lemon juice

½ cup water

3 cloves garlic, crushed

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Dash hot sauce, such as Tabasco

For the cauliflower:

4 cups canola oil, for frying

½ head cauliflower, cut into 1½-inch florets (4 cups)

Kosher salt

Leaves from ½ small bunch mint, minced

For the sauce: Combine the tahini, lemon juice, water, garlic, salt and hot sauce in a food processor or blender; puree until smooth.

For the cauliflower: Line a baking sheet with paper towels, then place a wire cooling rack over it.

Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. Working in batches as needed, carefully add the florets and fry for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the florets to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Season them with salt while still hot.

Transfer to a serving bowl; garnish with the mint. Serve with tahini sauce on the side. Serves 4.

Per serving (using half the sauce): 320 calories, 8g protein, 15g carbohydrates, 28g fat, 3g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 590mg sodium, 6g dietary fiber, 3g sugar.

Cathal Armstrong, chef and co-owner of Restaurant Eve in Old Town Alexandria, Va., features a Cauliflower with Toasted Garlic and Black Pepper recipe in his forthcoming cookbook. He simply sautes cauliflower until golden brown, then adds loads of thinly sliced garlic and freshly ground black pepper.

This recipe takes it a step further, ratcheting up the heat to mimic the Indian dish gobi (cauliflower) matar (peas).

Make ahead: The dish can be prepared an hour in advance and held in a warm oven, but it is best when cooked just before serving.

Peppery Gobi Matar

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 small head (1 pound) cauliflower (outer leaves removed), broken into 1½-inch florets

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon best-quality curry powder

12 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1-inch piece peeled fresh ginger root, minced (4 teaspoons)

1 serrano chili pepper, thinly sliced (unseeded)

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup fresh peas (may substitute 1 cup frozen peas, plunged into hot water, then drained)

Heat the oil in large saute pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the cauliflower florets and salt; cook for about 15 minutes, stirring often, until the florets are nicely browned on all sides.

Make a well in the center of the pan; add the butter there. Once it has melted, stir the curry powder into the butter; cook for several seconds, then add the garlic, ginger, serrano pepper, black pepper and peas. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently to coat and incorporate.

Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Per serving: 150 calories, 3g protein, 10g carbohydrates, 11g fat, 3g saturated fat, 10mg cholesterol, 350mg sodium, 4g dietary fiber, 3g sugar

This dish was inspired by the whole roasted cauliflower with pine nuts, black olives and golden raisins that chef Nick Stefanelli has featured on his vegetarian tasting menu at Bibiana.

Make ahead: The cauliflower can be prepared an hour in advance and held in a warming drawer, but it is best served just after it has been made.

Roasted Cauliflower with Pistachios, Olives and Raisins

1 large head (2 pounds) cauliflower (outer leaves removed), broken into 1½-inch florets

3 tablespoons canola oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup golden raisins

¼ cup dry vermouth

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup shelled, roasted unsalted pistachios

1/3 cup cured pitted black olives, coarsely chopped

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Coat the cauliflower florets with the oil and salt, then spread them on the baking sheet with any flat edges down. Bake on the lower rack for 20 minutes.

Preheat the broiler, then transfer the baking sheet to the top rack and broil for 10 minutes. The florets should be browned and tender.

Meanwhile, place the raisins in a small bowl. Warm the vermouth in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, then pour it over the raisins to plump them.

Melt the butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Once the butter stops foaming and its solids start to brown, turning the butter golden in color, stir in the pistachios, olives, crushed red pepper flakes and lemon zest and juice. Stir the plumped raisins and any remaining vermouth into the mix. Remove from the heat.

Transfer the broiled cauliflower to the saute pan, stirring to coat and incorporate.

Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Per serving: 280 calories, 6g protein, 22g carbohydrates, 19g fat, 5g saturated fat, 15mg cholesterol, 270mg sodium, 6g dietary fiber, 12g sugar