Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that screams for seasoning. This weekend I was visiting my parents and my mom made a wonderful barbeque. As part of the meal, she made a delicious cauliflower seasoned with ras el hanout, a complex, aromatic Moroccan spice blend. Most recipes include cardamom, nutmeg, anise, mace, cinnamon, ginger, various peppers, and turmeric, but 30 or more ingredients might be used. This is a simple summer recipe packed with flavor. It makes for a great side dish to a barbeque. I’ll feature more of our lovely barbeque throughou tthe week, but I was struck by the wonderful taste of this spice and how it elevated the cauliflower from the simple to the superb. The literal translation of Ras el Hanout from Arabic is “head of the shop,” implying that it’s “the best (or top) of the shop.” After having it on cauliflower and in meatballs this weekend, I’m tempted to agree.
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1/4 olive oil
For the Spice:
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamon
- 2 teaspoons ground mace
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground anise seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Blend all of the spices in a bowl. Transfer to a glass jar, and store in a dry, dark place.
Preheat oven to 350F. Brush the olive oil over the cauliflower and apply the spice generously. Put in oven for 30 minutes until cauliflower softens. Serve hot.
The cauliflower looks wonderful!
Thanks. It really was delicious! Sometimes simplicity does the trick!
I love roasted cauliflower, and your spiced version sounds fantastic! I see that your taste for Middle-Eastern spices runs in the family 🙂
Ha yes, it definitely does. I just ordered a new Persian cookbook. It comes today. I cannot wait to cook my way through it.
Oh, which one is it? I love Persian food, but find it somewhat intimidating!
I know you do! It’s called Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian. I’m hoping it’ll inspire me half as much as Jerusalem did!
I love the idea of Jerusalem, but how easy is it to cook from without access to specialty spices and stuff? I really want to get it, but don’t want to feel like I can’t make anything properly without buying loads of stuff off the internet every time.
I see your point. A lot of the spices can be bought online, but they also tell you how to make a lot of the specialty spices, the same way I list what’s in Ras El Hanout. But, if you don’t want to buy a ton of spices, a lot of the ideas can be adapted using your own spices. It won’t taste the same, but it’s your own invention and a departure from your every day dishes. The book just has great pairings of meats and veggies. It can become a bigger investment because of the foreign spices and ingredients, but the reward has been bigger than I had ever imagined.
Right, I’m sold! Buy it I will! I’m not afraid of buying a few spices. 🙂
Yay! You’ll have to post about how much you love it.
I will! Thanks!
chef mimi said:
I’ve got to make this spice mixture!!!!! thanks!
Based on the wonderful things you make, you would love it.
Roasting cauliflower is probably the best way to enjoy it without all the guilt that comes from deep frying. I had it once in San Francisco roasted with capers, chilli and garlic. It was immense!
That sounds so delicious! I love capers, chili and garlic! I’ll have to do that soon. So much flavor! I agree with you about roasting though. Everything I make has to be heart healthy and this definitely fits the bill.
I’ve often heard of Ras el Hanout but never knew what it meant – how interesting. Next I should try making it I guess 😉
It’s a good flavor for sure. It’s even better on poultry! Thanks for stopping by!
I’ll definitely try that!
susan frieman said:
Your recipes are amazing! So glad that I found you!
Thanks Aunt Susan!! So glad you’re reading it 🙂 If you ever have any recipe suggestions, let me know. You make a killer Italian Thanksgiving!
What a great way to use cauliflower. Not exactly my favourite vegetable…I agree that it does need spicing up. Your recipe combination includes some of my favourite spices. Thank yo for sharing.
My sister got me some Ras El Hanout for my last birthday and it’s amazing! I’ve been trying it with everything and have yet to have a miss.
Sometimes a spice or sauce is so good that it transforms everything you put it on. This is one of those spices. Enjoy!