Roasted Turkish Cauliflower


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Roasted Turkish Cauliflower

4-6 servings
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Ingredients (10)

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more to spray
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground sumac, or good quality chili powder, or jerk seasoning
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/8 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp to1 tbsp ground cumin, depending on how "middle eastern" you want it
  • 1 tsp or more red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste


This is my version of a dish I had some years ago in a meyhane in the Nevirzade district of Istanbul. I love the combination of the sweetness of the caramelized cauliflower, the sour of the lemon and pomegranate and the earthiness of the cumin. It goes wonderfully with assertive cold meats like ham or especially bastirma, the Turkish pastrami.


  1. 1Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. 2Cut the cauliflower into bite size florets. I leave a couple of leaves attached as they get nicely caramelized. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil, spread the florets around and sprinkle with salt, garlic powder and sumac. Spray the top with more olive oil, cover loosely with foil and roast for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on whether you like your vegetable a bit crunchy or softer. Allow to cool.
  3. 3In a mixing bowl (I use one of those egg whiskers where you put the ingredients in a jar and shake to mix) put all the other ingredients and whisk to incorporate. If you’ve salted the cauliflower well before roasting you don’t need any more salt here
  4. 4When cauliflower has cooled, combine in a bowl with the dressing and let sit for 30 minutes or more in the refrigerator to blend the flavors.
    Serve as a side dish at a picnic, or with other mezes in a mediteranean-style dinner.
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