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Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini Dressing

From time to time I get opportunities to receive preview copies of cookbooks. At the end of 2012, I received a copy of Washington, DC Chef's Table by Beth Kanter with photographs by Emily Pearl Goodstein.

This cookbook is composed of recipes from Washington DC restaurants (and a few food trucks!) and provides readers with a bit of the restaurants' history.

Let's start with the good: the photographs by Emily Pearl Goodstein are beautiful. I really liked the layout of the book and the background stories on the restaurants and the recipes, as well as the people who make them. For example, did you know the beautiful cake on US Postal wedding stamps was made by the chef of the Blue Duck Tavern?

On a closer look, I began to question whether some of the recipes have been tested for a home cook: some of the directions were not very clear, not to mention that a few recipes had a list of ingredients that took up an entire page! Luckily, other recipes, such as Galletas de Chocolate de Amor {Chocolate Chip Cookies} from The Blind Dog Cafe seemed a lot more approachable.

Personally, I'm planning to use this book more as a guide or an inspiration to visit some of the DC area restaurants. If you know someone moving to DC or visiting DC, this will be a fun gift. If you are an incredibly brave cook, I dare you to try Carpaccio of Herb-Crusted Baby Lamb with Caesar Salad Ice Cream from The Inn at Little Washington.

In the end, I decided to make Charred Cauliflower Salad with Garlic Confit & Tahini Dressing from Room 11, but changed some of the steps and ingredients to suit my style of cooking. You can see my version of the recipe below.

Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini Dressing
Adapted from Washington, DC Chef's Table

for the dressing
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 lemons, juice and zest
1/2 cup tahini
salt & pepper to taste

for the cauliflower
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
salt & pepper
olive oil to drizzle

chopped parsley
smoked paprika
lemon wedges

1. Preheat the oven to 475F.
2. Combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a food processor.  
3. Drizzle the cauliflower with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 45-60 minutes, turning it occasionally.
4. Once out of the oven, season the cauliflower with a bit more salt and top with fresh parsley and smoked paprika.
5. Serve the roasted cauliflower on a platter with a side of the tahini dressing and lemon wedges.

You will have more dressing than you'll need for this recipe. Clearly, you can add it to other salads or even drizzle it on baked chicken or fish.

I used the leftover cauliflower to make a cream of cauliflower soup by adding some water and a bit of cream.

Question for you: how do YOU evaluate a cookbook?


Megan said...

The cover makes it look like a good keepsake/touristy cookbook. I like your spin on the cauliflower.

Lauren said...

So orry the book was disappointing (the thought of Cesar salad ice cream literally made me gag!) but this recipe looks great. I've had a thing for tahini lately.

Zomppa said...

Fantastic sauce! It's a gorgeous dish, too.

Leslie Wasson Green said...

Mmmmm.that dressing sounds amazing.
how do I evaluate a cookbook....I like cookbooks with a photo for each recipe!!! I'm totally visual.

Sasha said...

Mmm this cauliflower looks so nice and charred. And there goes that Le Creuset again...
I evaluate cookbooks by their approachability as well. I highly doubt any reader out there will truly want to try a recipe with 30 ingredients and 10 steps...I guess that's why my Julia Child book has been collecting dust for years :/

Jessica said...

Love this recipe and your photos. Cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables, and who doesn't love tahini? Great idea, thanks for sharing!