Charred Cauliflower with Chimichurri and Greek Yogurt

Middle-Eastern charred cauliflower with chimichurri, greek yogurt, pomegranate seeds and pine nuts


One of my favourite ways to find inspiration for new dishes is to check out restaurants and see what they’re cooking up! Living in downtown Toronto, it’s hard to walk a block without running into a new and enticing restaurant front. The food scene here is awesome with a plethora of restaurants ranging from cheap joints to some white tablecloth establishments. The coolest thing, however, is how many different types of cuisine we have access to, and the stuff is actually authentic and amazing. Toronto goes through it’s phases. A few years ago, casual Thai restaurants were popping up on every corner it seemed, with all the hustle and bustle of a true Thai street, but with loud tunes, mood lighting, and vast cocktail menus making these some of the coolest places to eat downtown. A bit more recently, Toronto was hit with a wave of cool spots turning out mouth-watering Middle-Eastern grub. Dish after dish, places like Byblos and Tabule continue to please. One of the most memorable dishes I’ve tried in a while, however, was turned out of the small but mighty kitchen at Fat Pasha. Located up-town near Dupont and Spadina, Fat Pasha belongs to Anthony Rose, a powerful restauranteur in Toronto, who as of yet, can do no wrong. Cool vibe, great patio, relaxed but reliable service, and above all, delicious eats. If you haven’t been, today’s dish is just a taste of the bright and fresh flavours you might find coming out his kitchen.

So what’s on the menu today? A take on Fat Pasha’s whole roasted cauliflower head. This dish is basically ordered by every table in the restaurant, which posed as a slight issue when the cauliflower supply went by way of the housing market in Toronto. Anthony Rose actually had to remove this dish from his menu due to the exorbitant prices for cauliflower, but luckily it’s back now and tastes like gold. This dish is obviously striking because it’s a whole cauliflower plopped on the table, but also it’s colours are so vibrant. I decided to use the dish for inspiration, and make my own take on cauliflower with colourful things on it. I’m serving up charred cauliflower with mint chimichurri, honey-lime Greek yogurt, toasted pine nuts, and pomegranate seeds. This dish is vibrant, fresh, and different! It’s a real crowd pleaser, so pull this one out at your next dinner party for a great reaction!

Middle-Eastern charred cauliflower with chimichurri, greek yogurt, pomegranate seeds and pine nuts

Charred Cauliflower with Chimichurri, Greek Yogurt Sauce, Pine Nuts and Pomegranates
Total time: 30 minutes
Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Serves 10 as side dish

Ingredients

For cauliflower
1 cauliflower head
1 tbsp. toasted pine nuts
1 tbsp. pomegranate seeds
1 tbsp. curry powder
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. sumac
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. curry powder

For yogurt sauce
3 tbsp. yogurt
Juice of half lime
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. salt

For Chimichurri
2 handfuls coriander
2 handfuls parsley
1 handful mint
1/2 jalapeño
1 tbsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
1. Preheat grill to medium heat, close lid
2. Remove leaves from cauliflower and wash. Place in microwave-safe dish with 1/2 inch water in the bottom. Put in microwave until almost completely cooked. The cauliflower should be almost tender, about 8 minutes
3. In small bowl, mix curry powder, cumin, sumac, cinnamon, salt and pepper
4. Break apart tender cauliflower into large florets and season each generously with spice mix
5. Place cauliflower on grill off direct heat to complete the cooking process, about 5 minutes. Place on direct heat to slightly char the cauliflower florets, about 1 minute
6. Blender coriander, parsley, mint, jalapeño, lime juice, vinegar and olive oil in blender. Taste and season with salt and pepper accordingly
7. Combine yogurt, lime juice and honey in small bowl. Season with salt
8. Assemble the dish. Place cauliflower florets on large serving platter. Drizzle the cauliflower generously with chimichurri and yogurt sauce. Garnish with toasted pine nuts, pomegranate seeds, and coriander leaves. Enjoy!

Middle-Eastern charred cauliflower with chimichurri, greek yogurt, pomegranate seeds and pine nuts

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