Roasted Cauliflower with Mediterranean Rice Pilaf

I have a confession: I hated cauliflower until I made this recipe. I was used to the bland, steamed cauliflower of my youth and, as a result, I always viewed it as a tasteless, textureless broccoli. I was floored when Drew told me that cauliflower was his favorite vegetable and had decided I definitely wasn’t a fan after I made a surprisingly bland cauliflower and bacon pasta a few months ago. But I gave the flavorless cruciferous veggie another go and was so pleasantly surprised. This is an adaptation of a recipe from Cookie and Kate (a wonderful vegetarian & vegan whole foods blog). Her method for roasting cauliflower is simple and makes it taste simply divine. Like, I kept popping bits of cauliflower in my mouth as I shot this recipe. It was about as good as popcorn. And the Tahini Sauce . . . please don’t skip it. You could totally make this dish without it, but the sauce is so unique and adds just the right about of spice and lemony tartness.

Roasted Cauliflower and Mediterranean Rice Pilf Roasted Cauliflower and Mediterranean Rice Pilf Roasted Cauliflower and Mediterranean Rice Pilf


Roasted Cauliflower

  • One cauliflower, sliced into florets
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Rice Pilaf

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 2 cups vegetable broth

Tahini Sauce

  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • ~1/3 cup of water

Garnishes (optional):

  • Goat cheese
  • Raisins
  • Sesame seeds
  1. Roasted Cauliflower: Preheat the oven to 425º. Toss the cauliflower florets with olive oil and salt and pepper. Evenly spread them on a large baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing halfway. Florets should be golden brown on the edges.
  2. Rice Pilaf: Warm 2 tablespoon olive oil in a medium pot. Add the almonds and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to become aromatic, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook for two minutes, stirring often. Then add the garlic, cumin, and coriander and cook for 1 minute more. Add the vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to bring the rice to a simmer and cover to cook until the rice is done, about 20-25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Tahini Sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and red pepper flakes (I gave mine a 10 second zap in the microwave to soften the tahini a bit). Whisk in the water until you have a smooth tahini sauce of desired consistency.
  4. To Serve: Serve the roasted cauliflower over the rice pilaf. Drizzle with the tahini sauce and add any of the desired garnishes.

Slightly adapted from Cookie And Kate


  1. Kirsten says

    Hey there, looks yummy and is on my meal plan for this week! Just wondering, under the rice pilaf, it opens with ‘Add the almonds and cook, stirring occasionally, until teny become aromatic’. I don’t see mention of almonds in the ingredients – how much should I use and should they be crushed, whole, slivers? Cheers, love the website! K x

    • Alexa says

      Thanks so much for catching my mistake, Kirsten! You can add 1/4 cup slivered almonds. I’ve updated it in the recipe as well. Hope you enjoy it – it’s one of my favorites :)

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