Cauliflower with tarator sauce

March 8, 2010  •  Category:

Some women like to buy new shoes or earrings; I like to buy cool-looking veggies. I thought these purple and yellow cauliflower would make Dali proud.

In any case, cauliflower in Lebanese cuisine are blanched then fried then served with a tarator sauce. I did not fry them, merely roasted them with a bit of olive oil; the tarator sauce is a dressing made with tahini and fresh lemon juice and spiked with a little mashed garlic.


1 head of purple cauliflower, 1 head of yellow cauliflower

For the tarator sauce:

  • 3 cloves of garlic, mashed with a dash of salt
  • juice of a large lemon
  • 1/2 cup of tahini
  • 1/2 cup of water (or to taste)


First step:

  1. Boil or steam the cauliflower, cut into florets, for about 5 minutes until it is tender when pierced with a fork.
  2. Drain the cauliflower. Place on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Pour about 1/4 cup of olive oil in a small bowl and brush the olive oil on the florets before roasting them. Roast in a 350f oven for 15 minutes or until they start to show brown specks. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Second Step:

  1. Making the tarator sauce: Since this is a dressing, you will rely on your taste for the dosage; I like mine garlicky and lemony, so I will tend to add more lemon and garlic. Your call!
  2. Mash the garlic with a dash  of salt; add the juice of a lemon; add the tahini, mixing all along. Add about 1/2 cup of water, keep stirring; the sauce should be smooth and free of lumps; now taste it. If you like it, great, if not, adjust to your taste, adding more of one or the other.

For a nice presentation, you can place all the cauliflower florets in a bowl, flower side facing the curvature of the bowl and let them sit tight for a while; invert onto a serving dish. Serve the tarator on the side or dripping over the cauliflower. This dish is also served as part of a mezze or appetizer.


A Lebanese designer once again at the Oscar night, with Anna Kendrick wearing an Elie Saab couture dress.


32 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Faith says:

    Your presentation is really lovely here. The tahini sauce sounds like the perfect addition to cauliflower!

  2. Danielle says:

    oh wow, I’ve never seen purple cauliflower. This dish sounds wonderful. I’m always looking out for more cauliflower recipes.

  3. Juliana says:

    Nice cauliflower dish, like the idea of combining two colors of cauliflower…looks delicious with the sauce and like you want my sauce with lots of garlic 😉

  4. Sook @ My Fabulous Recipes says:

    Ooh the tarator sauce sounds great! I would love to try it sometime.

  5. Azita says:

    these cauliflowers look stunning and so delicious! great recipe.

  6. 5 Star Foodie says:

    A very neat dish with yellow and purple cauliflower and the sauce is awesome! I recently got the purple cauliflower too and we really liked it.

  7. Joie de vivre says:

    That is one funky looking cauliflower. I totally would have gone for it too! 🙂

  8. PJ says:

    Loved the color of the dish!!The sauce sounds yumm..

  9. Sushma Mallya says:

    i have never seen such a colourful caufilower,very nice one and so easy too….very beautiful clicks…

  10. Preety says:

    wow such a different recipe the sauce recipe..

  11. Priya says:

    Wat a colourful and tempting dish, love that tarator sauce..will give a try..

  12. Chef E says:

    There was a year when it was popular in Texas, not sure every where else to blanch and fry cauliflower and I absolutely thought it was the best flavor ever! I could not get enough, but now of course being older, hating oil havoc in my kitchen, lol, and a more mindful healthy eating habuts I except steaming or even mashing them and they are tasty.

    I still long for the other, but since our taste buds do change, who knows it may not even taste a good as I remember…maybe poetically that is a good reason to keep it in the past 🙂

    I have yet to see any color other than white, but I rotate my markets, and I just may have missed them.

    Love your site, and sorry for the book. Being a southerner, I talk a lot 🙂

  13. The London Foodie says:

    The tarantor dressing is fantastic, love the ideal of tahini, garlic and lemons together, it must work a treat. Will make sure to use this in some of my veggies… thanks.

  14. Chef E says:

    I did not know you live in Dallas! My home town, well Ft Worth, but I come home so often for my birthday in June. I am open to being feed some good food 🙂 Have a great day!

  15. Doc says:

    I love that recipe. The veg looks incredible and I am going to try that sauce. I love Middle Eastern flavors and am exploring your wealth of knowledge available here.

  16. Joanne says:

    I love coming here and seeing all of these tahini recipes. That cauliflower is so pretty! I wish I could fins something like that here.

  17. TastyTrix says:

    Ok, I’ve seen purple cauliflower, and yellow .. but never one that was both at once! Holy hybrid, Batman. So pretty. I love this sauce with it, nice & simple but flavorful & garlicky.

  18. Rachana Kothari says:

    The tartor Sauce sounds amazing and the cauliflower is so pretty! Great looking recipe!

  19. momgateway says:

    Got to try this… after tasting shawarma, I’m addicted to Lebanese food!

  20. A Canadian Foodie says:

    Thrilled to find your site. LOVE Lebonese food. YUM YUM… I have linked you to my site, and I will be back.

  21. rebecca says:

    wow amazing cauliflower and love sauce, enjoy the soup lol Rebecca

  22. sippitysup says:

    I love to roast cauliflower and this sauce sounds like just the new experience I have been looking for. GREG

  23. Nadjibella says:

    L’avantage de mes visites sur ton blog est que je perfectionne régulièrement mes connaissances en ce qui concerne la cuisine du Moyen -Orient.
    Merci mon amie.

  24. Juanita says:

    Never seen a cauliflower like that before! How psychedelic!

  25. Ivy says:

    You did a great job assembling the cauliflours together. I don’t think I have seen a purple cauliflour before. I don’t cook cauliflour very often because my children hate the smell of it but I am planning to make a very unique Cypriot recipe which uses cauliflour and is based on a technique you may know called “murri”.

  26. Julie says:

    Quelle jolie présentation comme d’habitude. Avec ça, je suis sûre que tu arrives à faire manger des légumes aux enfants?!

  27. Amal says:

    Hi , merci pour ta visite qui ma permis de visiter ton blog il est hypert joli.

    merci bcp viens nous rejoindre

  28. cmiranda says:

    Very nice recipe.I thought in Lebanon tarator sauce was used exclusively with fish.

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