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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.

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Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

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.

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