Unicorn Cauliflower

Cauliflower goes unicorn-style in this absurdly fun, colorful, unique dish. Have you ever seen anything so awesome? I definitely haven't.

This dish all came about thanks to an invitation to participate in an Instagram collaboration celebrating cauliflower. As you guys have undoubtedly noticed, I absolutely love this versatile, comforting veggie. I knew that I wanted to make something really special and different, that no one else would make. Haha, I think I achieved that, don't you??

This dish is actually very simple; it's just roasted (or air-fried!) cauliflower with a tahini drizzle. It comes together quickly, is good for the body, and could work as an appetizer, a side dish, or a happy hour grazing platter.

The magic, of course, lies in the colors. Because tahini is light in color, it's a great vehicle for added (natural!!) hues. Here, I achieved pink using pink pitaya (dragonfruit) powder, yellow using turmeric, and blue using blue spirulina. Other colorful powders like beet powder, hibiscus powder, and green spirulina would work just as well.

I hope you've seen other posts in my "Cauliflower is Bar Food" series?? We could debate about whether this dish should count as bar food... I guess it's probably too silly... but in any case, I have numerous cauliflower recipes designed for munching alongside cocktails. Sort of like fries at the bar, but better for you. Check out my Margarita Cauliflower, Furikake Cauliflower, Cauliflower Poutine, and Maple Salt and Vinegar Cauliflower too!

While this dish really is silly and whimsical, it's also darn good. It's salty, decadent, and tastes fried (in the best way possible). The rich tahini dressing is the perfect finish. The relatively neutral flavor profile means it would go beautifully alongside pretty much anything, although of course the obvious pairing is this Unicorn Cocktail.

I need to mention that this dish works, in large part, thanks to the incredibly creamy and delicate tahini from Seeds of Collaboration. This wouldn't work nearly as well with gloppy, bitter, grocery store tahini. Make sure you find a tahini that's light in color, nutty in taste, and velvety smooth since it's going to be the star of the show.

Fortunately, I can now hook you up with 20% off Seeds of Collaboration if you use the code ROGUE at check-out! I really recommend this tahini so highly, and there are loads of other tahini recipes on my blog so you'll have no end of uses for it.

The other reason I love this dish? I bet it would be great for kids! Mac and cheese has nothing on this awesome, colorful cauliflower. I think this dish would be a perfect introduction to both cauliflower and tahini, and kids would have a blast mixing the colors. Although of course adults will too...

I mean seriously, how fun is this? I hope you guys don't think I'm too crazy?? Please try this and post a photo, I'd be so happy to see what you make.

Please share your creation so I can see how you've interpreted the concept! Tag "The Rogue Brussel Sprout" on Facebook or hashtag #theroguebrusselsprout on Instagram. 

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Seeds of Collaboration. However, all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Rogue Brussel Sprout running.

Love the idea of good-for-the-body happy hour nibbles? Those sorts of dishes are my absolute favorite to make! Check out my snack board guide for loads of ideas and snacking inspiration.

Thoughts About Ingredients
(These are all just suggestions, since rogue is more fun than recipe)

 For the Cauliflower
  • Two heads of cauliflower. Assume one head per person if it's a meal, or half a head per person for robust snack, less than that for nibbling. Adjust all of these amounts as you need.
  • Oil of choice for cooking
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 0.5 tsp fleur de sel or other flaky sea salt
  • Optional bed of greens for plating. You can see some lacinato kale hiding beneath my cauliflower in the photos above.
  • Palmful of black sesame seeds
For the Dipping Sauce 
  • 0.5 c tahini. Remember to use the code ROGUE to get 20% off my favorite tahini from Seeds of Collaboration! You definitely want their artisanal, light roast tahini for this recipe.
  •  Juice of a lemon
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1-2 tsp pink pitaya powder
  • 0.5-1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 0.25-0.5 tsp blue spirulina
Thoughts About Method
(These are all just suggestions, be creative and make it yours)
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 and lightly oil a large sheet tray.
  2. Cut your cauliflower into florets. For the bigger florets, cut them in halves or thirds for even cooking.
  3. Put the florets into a large mixing bowl and toss them with a generous splash of your favorite cooking oil. Make sure they're all evenly (but lightly) coated.
  4. Lay the cauliflower florets on the sheet tray in a single layer; they won't brown if they're overlapping.
  5. Roast for about 30-45 minutes until tender and browned.
  6. While the cauliflower is roasting, combine the vinegar, maple syrup, and fleur de sel in the same mixing bowl you used previously (no need to wash it).
  7. Also while the cauliflower is roasting, mix together the ingredients for the tahini sauce (tahini, lemon juice, and maple syrup). Add the lemon juice gradually, just until you achieve a rich consistency that you can drizzle.
  8. Split the tahini sauce into three small bowls and add one color (pink pitaya, turmeric, blue spirulina) to each. Mix well. These coloring agents can be pretty bold, so I highly suggest starting small and adding them gradually until you achieve the look you want. Sometimes the powders can cause your tahini to thicken too much; if that's the case, just add a dash of extra lemon juice or water to thin it out.
  9. When the cauliflower is finished cooking, dump the florets right into the vinegar and maple syrup mixture and give everything a good toss. Let it sit for a few minutes, tossing every minute or so, to allow the cauliflower to absorb the flavorful sauce. This is key for preventing the cauliflower from drying out!
  10. Transfer the cauliflower to a serving platter, perhaps on a bed of greens if you like. Drizzle it liberally with all three colors of tahini sauce, then finish it with a generous sprinkle of black sesame seeds. Serve immediately, with extra tahini sauce on the side for dipping.
AIR FRYER METHOD: The air fryer makes cauliflower magic. If you have one, do steps 2 and 3, then dump it all into your air fryer basket. Fry for ~15-20 minutes at 400, tossing it every five minutes or so. Then resume the above recipe at step 6.


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