Cauliflower cocktail

Sorry, I could not think of a better title. This is a cauliflower “cream” made with steamed (and still a bit crunchy) cauliflower and goat yogurt labneh. You can use  Greek yogurt with fine results (and goat cheese if you like the taste), just add a slice of bread to give the cream more body. I used some cumin and Aleppo pepper and of course enough mashed garlic for some zing.

The taste is very fresh and light. Cauliflower is really an under-appreciated vegetable, don’t you think?

This cocktail is topped with  fried (or roasted) florets. All of it sitting on a carpet of toasted pita croutons.

INGREDIENTS: 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 Head of cauliflower
  • 1 1/2 cups of labneh, preferably goat yogurt labneh; substitute Greek yogurt.
  • Spices: 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of Aleppo pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic, mashed in a mortar with salt till pasty
  • 1 or 2 slices of bread, as needed to give the cream more body
  • Oil, to fry the florets
  • 1 pita bread, split and toasted in a 250F oven till crisp and golden


For a labneh method (super easy), click here.

  1. Toast the pita and when cool, break into small croutons; set aside. Steam or boil the cauliflower a few minutes till tender, but not mushy. If still crunchy in some parts, it is OK, the cream will taste fresher.
  2. Break the cauliflower into florets, and place half in a food processor with the labneh, garlic and spices; process till creamy, adding a piece or two of bread if necessary. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  3. Heat several tablespoons of oil in a skillet and fry the remaining florets till golden on all sides. Watch them carefully, they will spatter (careful for burns!) and need to be thoroughly golden-brown on all sides to be at their tastiest.
  4. Layer the goblets first with the croutons, then the cream, then the fried (or roasted) florets. Serve at room temperature.


Related Posts with Thumbnails
Print This Post Print This Post


  1. Posted July 18, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    wow this is absolutely new to me, never tried cauliflower this way, but am sure with greek yogurt they will be a hit.
    loved your banana blossom shrimp salad, do chk the roundup.

    btw u have a lovely blog, will visit often

  2. Posted July 18, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    OMG Joumana! That sounds amazing! have to share on Stumble Upon. You get so many hits. Your last recipe got 2000 views. Delicious.

  3. Posted July 18, 2011 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Hi Joumana – I adore cauliflower and I know will love this for a weeknight dinner. Must make this soon :)

    Very creative and much needed break from the regular :)

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  4. Posted July 18, 2011 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    Hee hee, I think the name is very catching. And I love the presentation of it. Actually, you know I love all your presentation. You can make any old goop look like 5-star quality.

  5. Posted July 19, 2011 at 12:34 am | Permalink

    A lovely appetizer! A wonderful idea.



  6. Posted July 19, 2011 at 2:06 am | Permalink

    What an amazing dish, Joumana. I have recently done a brief post on cauliflower – I wish I’d seen this then!

  7. Posted July 19, 2011 at 3:01 am | Permalink

    Yes, I agree that the cauliflower does not get the attention it deserves. It’s such a versatile vegetable. I love what you did with it Joumana. Such a great idea!
    I have to find me some labneh to try…

  8. Posted July 19, 2011 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    I love roasted cauliflower and totally agree: it is an underrated vegetable.

  9. Posted July 19, 2011 at 4:32 am | Permalink

    I love cauliflower this way! And I must agree with you- cauliflower is totally under appreciated! I also love it roasted and topped with a garlic lemon sauce! Yum!

  10. Posted July 19, 2011 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    I love the name AND the presentation! It looks so creamy delicious.

  11. Posted July 19, 2011 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    The name is not the most inviting ever indeed, but I cannot think of a better description as well. It looks really good anyway!

  12. Posted July 19, 2011 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I love the name. This is on my bottom list of favorite veggies but the ‘soup’ does sound very good and the golden pan fried pieces I know I would eat right up.

  13. Posted July 19, 2011 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Heavenly! What a great recipe… I love cauliflower!

  14. Posted July 19, 2011 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    I love cauliflower and love your creative cocktail! This would be a stunning starter for a dinner party…mmmmm

  15. Posted July 19, 2011 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    there is a cauliflower recipe… I think thomas keller’s , that I have made for ages with a combination of creamed and fried cauliflower… it’s out of this world. Love the cooler combo with the labneh… a summertime version of a great dish…. thanks Joumana!

  16. Posted July 19, 2011 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Perfect for hot days. Never had my cauliflower with lebni but I do think it would taste great!

  17. Posted July 19, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Thank you thank you! As walways you inspire and now I have a perfect side for the flounder dish tonight! Genius, sheer delicious genius you are!

  18. Posted July 19, 2011 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    It looks so tasty :)

  19. Posted July 19, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Sounds wonderful. This would make delightful party food.

  20. Posted July 20, 2011 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Very inspiring!! Love taste of Beirut.

  21. Posted July 20, 2011 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    I know I would love a cauliflower cocktail!

  22. Posted July 22, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Un délicieux cocktail plein de saveurs

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>