This is such a simple dish to prepare, with no cutting up of this large vegetable required, and impressive to serve. Middle Eastern and North African flavours pair so well with cauliflower, and here we’ve added crisp curry leaves to give a savoury pop.
Heat oven to 200℃. Trim any poking out leaves and slice the very bottom bit of cauliflower stalk to make straight, then make a deep cross cut in the base of the, which will help the inside cook. Place cauliflower in a greased ovenproof dish.
Combine harissa and olive oil. Rub this all over the cauliflower, pulling back remaining leaves to get down the sides. Cover dish with foil and cook in centre of oven for 40 minutes. Remove foil, brush over a little extra olive oil and return to oven to cook for a further 30 minutes.
In a small frying pan, heat a generous glug of olive oil and when very hot, sizzle curry leaves, turning, for about one minute until crisp then remove from pan with a slotted spoon. Add a little more oil to the pan then sizzle the chopped almonds and dates until the almonds are golden, then remove with slotted spoon.
Make sauce by whisking yoghurt, tahini, lemon juice
Serve roasted cauliflower with nuts, dates and curry leaves scattered over and sauce on the side, or drizzle over a little of the sauce also and leave the remaining sauce on the side.
Cook’s note: Dry roasting like this yields a texture that is still slightly firm to the bite in the centre, and a soft and crisp exterior. If you want a softer, steamed texture throughout, you can add 1 cup of water to the bottom of the dish before placing in oven.
¼ cup Alexander’s Fine Foods rose harissa
2 Tbsp olive oil plus extra for cooking
2 Tbsp curry leaves
2 Tbsp slivered almonds
1 Tbsp chopped dried dates
For the sauce:
½ cup Greek yoghurt
1 Tbsp tahini
Juice 1 lemon