Roasted Cauliflower with Quinoa and Lentil Pilaf

. June, 2017
Photography by Olivia Galletly.
Roasted Cauliflower with Quinoa and Lentil Pilaf

Middle Eastern spiced cauliflower roasted until golden brown, with a tahini, garlic and yoghurt dressing (substitute in coconut yoghurt to make this recipe vegan) and toasted pine nuts. This is served with an aromatic quinoa, lentil and currant pilaf.

Serves: 4


1 whole cauliflower, most outer leaves discarded
2 cloves garlic, skins removed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
salt and pepper
50 grams pine nuts 

Tahini Yoghurt
1 cup plain greek yoghurt
1 tablespoon tahini
1 clove of garlic, crushed
rind of ½ a lemon
fresh parsley to serve

1 cup of white quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 x 390 grams tin of brown or green lentils, drained
1 tablespoon butter
70 grams slivered almonds
⅓ cup currants
salt and pepper
fresh coriander leaves, to serve


Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil, add the whole cauliflower and bring back to the boil then cook for 5 minutes. Carefully lift out and drain well then place on a lined baking sheet.

In a mortar and pestle, place the garlic cloves, cumin seeds and smoked paprika. Bash until you have a smooth paste. Add the olive oil and mix well. Spoon spiced oil over cauliflower and season generously with salt and pepper. Bake for 1 hour, loosely covering the cauliflower with foil after 30 minutes to prevent it over-browning.  

Meanwhile, place the lentils in a sieve and rinse well. Place the quinoa and stock in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and let sit for 15 minutes or until liquid has completely absorbed. Remove the pot from the heat and let stand with the lid on for 5 minutes, then fluff up using a fork. 

Fry the diced onions in olive oil over a moderate heat until golden brown. Add the garlic and spices and fry for 1 minute. Add the quinoa and lentils and gently mix until well combined. Add the butter and stir until melted through. 

In a seperate frypan, dry fry the slivered almonds until golden brown. Add almonds, currants and season with salt and pepper. Serve pilau with a generous handful or chopped fresh coriander. 

In a fry pan, dry fry the pine nuts until golden brown. Once the cauliflower is golden brown, remove from oven and cut a cross into the top. Mix together all yoghurt ingredients and pour over roasted cauliflower. Sprinkle over toasted pine nuts and chopped fresh parsley.