All About the Veg! is a new recipe column where Best of Vegan contributor Seiran Sinjari breaks down one amazing plant at a time. In today’s column, she explores the wonders of cauliflower and shares her recipe for Lemon Steamed & Harissa Roasted Cauliflower served over Vegan Feta-Yogurt Cream with Agave & Mint.
Today’s star is the ever so versatile cauliflower, nature’s own humble little plant wonder. Other than that it’s a great source of fiber and vitamin, we’ve seen it transform into anything from rice and pizza crust to cheeze. It soaks up flavor and seasonings beautifully and with different cooking methods, you can also achieve a variety of textures.
We’re keeping it simple today, meaning we’ll not transform it into something new. The cauliflower will remain as cauliflower but we’ll give it lots of love and flavor, that’s for sure. We’ll roast it and give it a nice kick with a spicy Harissa marinade but first, we’ll give it a quick lemony steam. Then to cool things off a little we’ll serve it over a vegan feta and yogurt cream, slightly sweetened with agave syrup then topped with dried mint and toasted pine nuts for some crunch. Serve as a side, a mezze dish or however you like, but don’t forget the bread! Squishing the tender cauliflower between some bread with that feta cream is just heaven.
Let’s jump right to the recipe, shall we?
- 1 small head of cauliflower, leaves trimmed
- ½ lemon, juiced + its peel (only the yellow part, not the white)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 ½ – 2 tbsp Harissa paste (depending on how spicy you like it)
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tsp ground coriander seeds
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp sweet paprika powder
- 1 lemon juiced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt (more or less to taste)
Feta & Yogurt cream:
- 200 g vegan feta style cheese, roughly crumbled
- 200 g plant-based Turkish or Greek-style yogurt (preferably the one with a thicker texture)
- 1 tbsp agave syrup
- 1 tsp ground dried mint
- ½ – 1 tbsp olive oil to drizzle on top
- 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
- a couple of fresh mint leaves to garnish with
- Preheat oven to 200ºC / 400ºF.
- Mix all ingredients for the Harissa marinade in a bowl and set to the side.
- Add 2-3 cm / 1-inch water, the lemon juice, lemon peel, and salt to a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the whole cauliflower with bottom down, cover and steam over medium heat for 4 minutes. Then let drain well in a colander and cool slightly until safe to handle.
- Cut the cauliflower into chunky florets or slice into ‘steaks’. Then coat all sides with the marinade using a brush, let excess marinade drip off (otherwise it will burn in the oven) before transferring to an oven sheet, lined if you like.
- Place on middle rack of the oven and roast for 20 minutes then flip them and roast for another 15-20 minutes or until nicely roasted.
- While the cauliflower is roasting, prepare the feta & yogurt cream. Place feta, yogurt, and agave in a food processor and process until creamy. Don’t process for too long, it could get a bit runny. Place in the fridge and let firm up while you’re roasting the cauliflower.
- When the cauliflower is done, spread a thick layer of the feta & yogurt cream on a serving plate. Sprinkle the dried mint on top and drizzle with some olive oil (optional), then place the cauliflower on top and finally top with the pine nuts and some fresh mint leaves.
- Serve with bread and enjoy!
Find more of Seiran’s recipes at @legallyplantbased.
Recipe and photography by Seiran Sinjari.
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