Unicorn Cauliflower

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(Note: this post was originally published on April 21, 2021. The date above reflects migration to the new platform.)

If Unicorns Ate 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.

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.

Decadence from Tahini... and a Discount!

I of course 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.

Thanks to the creamy tahini sauce, this dish is a major nutritional win (unlike most dishes with a creamy sauce). The tahini is loaded with protein and good fats, and helps make this dish filling and satisfying. Other than that, it's essentially just cauliflower and superfood powders, so snack away!

Let's Talk Ingredients

Here's what you'll need for this recipe, as well as some thoughts, tips, and possible substitutions. If you make any substitutions, I'd love to hear about it in the comments section below.

  • Cauliflower
  • Oil of choice for cooking
  • Red wine vinegar. This is for tossing with the roasted cauli. Any vinegar will work fine, or use lemon juice instead.
  • Maple syrup. For giving a delicate sweetness to the cauliflower itself and the sauce! You could easily use honey instead, or omit it entirely if you're avoiding sugar.
  • Salt
  • Greens. Totally optional, but you can see that I plated my cauiflower on a bed of massaged kale. I just like to give it a bit more color and substance. This will work great with any sturdy green, or you can omit the greens entirely.
  • Black sesame seeds. I chose these for a crunchy garnish because I love their color, especially alongside the while cauliflower. But feel free to use white sesame seeds, cashews, or almonds, or omit the crunchy garnish entirely.
  • Tahini. It's the star of the show here, so I recommend getting something really creamy and delicate. I of course adore Seeds of Collaboration; remember to use the code ROGUE to get yourself 20% off.
  • Lemon juice. For thinning out your sauce and making the flavors pop! Fresh-squeezed always.
  • Pink pitaya powder. This is just freeze-dried, powdered pink dragonfruit and it has a delightful citrusy taste in addition to its great color. You may need to order this online. Beet powder or hibiscus powder would also work, although the color will be more purple rather than pink.
  • Turmeric. If you don't have this spice already in your pantry, you should! It's very versatile, super nourishing, and reasonably priced.
  • Blue spirulina. This is a bright blue edible algae. You'll likely need to order it online but it's 100% worth it. So fun and versatile! Make sure you get one that's flavorless; some spirulina varieties, especially green spirulina, taste pretty funky.

Closing Thoughts

Regardless of how you choose to enjoy this cauliflower, it's just plain fun. Is it an appetizer? A small plate for sharing? A main course that you'll hoard all to yourself? We devoured it as a happy hour snack one Friday evening this spring and it was a delight.

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.

Share It!

It makes me so happy to hear from you and see your creations! Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this recipe. If you post a photo on Instagram, hashtag #TheRogueBrusselSprout and tag me (@TheRogueBrusselSprout) in the post text so that I'm sure to see it.

Suggested Pairings

Unicorn Cocktail

Blackberry Limoncello Gin Smash

Unicorn Hummus

Somewhere Over The Rainbow Pasta Salad

Funfetti Tahini Chick Pea Blondies

Disclosure: Seeds of Collaboration is a long-term partner. I receive free product from Seeds of Collaboration and take a small comission on sales using the discount code. However, all opinions and thoughts are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep The Rogue Brussel Sprout running.

Unicorn Cauliflower

This over-the-top colorful cauliflower is just plain fun. The sauce, which is colored with superfood powders, gets its creamy decadence from tahini! It's the perfect finger food for kids or kids-at-heart.

Author:
Lee

Ingredients

For the Cauliflower

  • Two heads of cauliflower
  • 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
  • Palmful of black sesame seeds

For the Dipping Sauce

  • 0.5 c creamy tahini
  • 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

Instructions

  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.

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Please Share Your Thoughts!

Did you make this recipe? Did you make substitutions? How did you serve it? Any helpful tips? Please share your thoughts, since these insights are really useful to both me and to other readers.

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