Cauliflower and Red Pepper Shawarma With Spicy Tahini

FOR THE CAULIFLOWER AND RED PEPPER
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
1¼ teaspoons ground cumin
1¼ teaspoons sweet paprika (or regular paprika. Just don’t use smoked paprika.)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon salt (do not omit. It will not be too salty.)
¼ teaspoon black pepper
pinch of ground cayenne
1 large head cauliflower* (about 2½ pounds), trimmed and cut into bite-size florets
1 large, sweet red pepper, seeded and thickly sliced

Pita bread or rice, for serving
chopped tomato and cucumber, for serving

FOR THE SPICY TAHINI SAUCE
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 to 2 teaspoons sriracha or other hot sauce
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
⅓ cup tahini
⅓ cup ice water, plus more as needed

Step 1
Arrange racks in the upper and lower thirds of your oven. Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Step 2
Put the cauliflower and red pepper in a large bowl. Drizzle the olive oil overtop and stir well to mix.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cumin, paprika, coriander, turmeric, salt, black pepper and cayenne.
Sprinkle the spice mixture over the cauliflower and red pepper and stir until the vegetables are evenly coated. Spread them in a single layer on one or two baking sheets. (Lining the baking sheets with foil first will make clean up easier.)

Step 3
Roast the cauliflower and red pepper until golden brown, slightly crisp and tender, 30 to 40 minutes, stirring once or twice. If the vegetables look dry as they roast, drizzle with a little more olive oil.

Step 4
Prepare the tahini sauce: Whisk together lemon juice, 1 teaspoon hot sauce and garlic in a small bowl, and let sit for a minute or two to mellow the garlic. Whisk in tahini. Whisk in ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the sauce is smooth and thin enough to drizzle. You may not need all of the water or you may need to add a little more: Tahini brands vary a lot. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more hot sauce, lemon juice and salt if you like. The sauce should taste zippy and creamy.

Step 5
Cook the rice and/or warm the pita bread. (You can place the pitas on the bottom oven rack during the last 5 minutes as the cauliflower roasts.)

Step 6
Serve with rice or pitas, tahini sauce, chopped tomato and cucumber. (The tahini sauce takes good on the chopped tomato and cucumber, too.)

*Note: or use 1.5 pounds of frozen cauliflower

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