Here is a fun and easy new way to eat your veggies! This was a request of my OH’s so I pulled down our Lebanese cookbook – Classic Lebanese Cuisine by Chef Kamal AL-Faqih. A fabulous cookbook I must say.
The Lebanese name for this dish is Arnabeet Mickli ma Taratoor. It is my new favorite way to eat cauliflower – which means I will be buying it more often than once a year! ha. I will admit that I got my OH to make the tahini sauce for us as he’s got the touch for it and I….well, something always goes wrong with it. All well. I think next time I will do two heads of cauliflower as one just wasn’t enough!
Ready? Here we go. for the cauliflower you will need :
2 tsp salt
1 head cauliflower, about 2 1/2 lbs
3 cups canola oil (for frying)
to prepare – Place a large pot of water (about 8 cups) and the salt over high heat. Cover and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, remove all leaves from around the stem of the cauliflower. Cut the florets off the central stem into 2 to 3 in pieces. Try to keep consistent in size – not like I did. heh….
Put in boiling water and cook uncovered, stirring a couple of times, for about 5 minutes. Drain. Evenly spread florets out on a flat tray and let cool for 30 minutes uncovered. They must be cool before frying or they will fall apart.
Heat the oil in a medium saucepan ( I actually used a deep pan… you could try it in a shallower one but …that’s a lot of splatter to clean up after…. up to you I suppose) over medium-high heat to 375 degrees. ( I only heated it to about 220 degrees which made the frying go slower but i couldn’t wait any longer…) The oil should be about 1 1/2 inches deep. Fry 4 to 5 florets at a time til golden brown and the edges are crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a paper-towel lined dish.
Make sure the oil stays at 375 degrees ( or if you’re like me, 220) to be able to fry the florets evenly. Fry remaining cauliflower. (If you prefer, you can serve the cauliflower steamed.)
For the Tahini Sauce :
1 lg clove garlic
1 tsp salt
1/2 c tahini (mix well before using)
1/3 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 c water
1/4 c finely chopped flat leaf parsley
place all in high speed blender ( we used our Vitamix) and blend blend blend. If you don’t have one of those – here’s the other way :
in a small bowl, mash the garlic and salt to a pulp using a pestle. Add the rest of the ingredients but the parsley. Whisk until smooth and creamy, the consistency will be like pancake batter. Use a spoon to mix in the parsley. Cover and refrigerate until needed. Tahini sauce may thicken once refrigerated – thin with lemon juice or water.
Place tahini sauce in a small bow in the center of a platter. Arrange the warm or room-temperature cauliflower around the tahini.