Monday, January 10, 2022

Moroccan Spiced Cauliflower Steaks with Tahini Yogurt Sauce, and Carrot Salad

I'm a huge fan of cauliflower and have enjoyed it since I was a kid. I can eat it boiled into mush with butter and salt, no problem, but my husband would rather something more interesting be done with this particular veg. Luckily, cauliflower takes to seasoning pretty well, so adding a rub or sauce make a big difference in the flavor (though your house will still smell of cauliflower).

I've been craving Mediterranean/North African flavors, so when I received a jar of their Moroccan Grill Spice Rub from Serious Foodie, I knew I was going to be putting it on everything. It has a harissa vibe, but I don't find it nearly as spicy-hot. Moroccan Grill Spice Rub gets its chile vibe from guajillo chiles, which are on the mild side but have a great fruity/smoky quality. In any case, I knew it would be a flavorful addition to a dish of cauliflower with a tahini yogurt sauce. Figuring a sweet-ish element wouldn't be unwelcome on this plate, I also made a shredded carrot salad. Hubby doesn't like couscous, so quinoa acted as a stand-in neutrally-flavored starchy element to the meal.

Cauliflower always looks nice cut into "steaks," but don't freak out if your cauliflower doesn't cooperate! Sometimes it just doesn't work out. To be very honest, the time I made this recipe to photograph, I got only one nice steak, and the rest fell apart into large florets. Everything but the smallest crumbles went onto the baking sheet and got coated in marinade, and it all tasted great. 

Moroccan Spiced Cauliflower Steaks with Tahini Yogurt Sauce, and Carrot Salad

For the carrot salad:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Serious Foodie Moroccan Grill Spice Rub
1/4 teaspoon dill seeds
maple syrup or pomegranate molasses (optional)
2 cups shredded carrot (either prepackaged from the produce department or shredded in your food processor or box grater)
Chopped fresh parsley, mint, and/or cilantro, about 1/2 cup combined

For the marinade:
1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt 
1 tablespoon Serious Foodie Moroccan Grill Spice Rub
large pinch of salt

For the tahini yogurt sauce:
1/2 cup yogurt marinade
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons tahini 
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For the cauliflower:
1 head of cauliflower
Plain steamed couscous or quinoa, made according to package directions and kept warm
Additional chopped fresh parsley, mint, and/or cilantro
Additional Serious Foodie Moroccan Grill Spice Rub

To make the salad:
In a small bowl, whisk together oil, lemon, Serious Foodie Moroccan Grill Spice Rub, and a small pinch of salt. If you think it is too tart, add a bit of maple syrup or pomegranate molasses for a hint of sweetness. Put the carrots in another, larger, bowl and pour over the dressing, tossing to coat. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Stir in the herbs just before serving.

To make the marinade:
Stir together the yogurt and Serious Foodie Moroccan Grill Spice Rub with a large pinch of salt. Place half the sauce in a separate bowl. Refrigerate marinade until ready to use.

To make the sauce:
Combine remaining yogurt marinade in a food processor with the other sauce ingredients and pulse until completely blended. Alternatively, put everything in a medium bowl and stir vigorously--I find that a fork works better than a spoon for something like this. Thin with water, if necessary, to get a nice sauce consistency. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To make the cauliflower:
Preheat oven to 400F. 

Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and trim the end of the stem. Cut the cauliflower from top to stem into "steaks," about 3/4"-1" thick. Reserve any broken cauliflower for another use. Place the cauliflower steaks on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and, using a pastry brush, coat the tops with a thick layer of the yogurt marinade (using about half). Place the pan into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and carefully flip the steaks over. Brush the tops with the remaining yogurt and return the pan to the oven for another 20 minutes, or until cauliflower is tender but not mushy. Turn on the broiler and broil the steaks for an additional 3-4 minutes until there are some charred spots.

Spoon some couscous or quinoa into a shallow bowl. Top with a cauliflower steak. Add a portion of carrot salad on the side. Drizzle cauliflower with tahini sauce. Sprinkle on some chopped herbs and a bit of the Moroccan Grill Spice Rub.

Feeds 3-4, depending on the size of the cauliflower.

* Any products in this post that are mentioned by name may have been provided to Minxeats by the manufacturer. However, all opinions belong to Minxeats. Amazon links earn me $! Please buy!

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