Charred Cauliflower with Yogurt-Tahini Spread

Charred Cauliflower with Yogurt-Tahini Spread. Photo: Michael Kahn

By Margi Lenga Kahn

Roasted cauliflower is a part of many Israeli dishes, such as soups, salads, and as a topping for hummus or labne. To make sure that the cauliflower is crisp, roast it or re-crisp it in a preheated 475-degree oven just before assembling the dish. The spread can be made a day in advance and kept in a covered bowl in the refrigerator overnight.


  • 1 large, or 2 small, heads of cauliflower, leaves and stem removed
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. coarse kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ cup full-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 heaping tbsp. tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 2 tbsp. ice water, plus more as needed
  • 1½ tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1½ tsp. za’atar (you can substitute 1/4 tsp. each dried thyme and oregano, 1/2 tsp. sumac (if you have it), and 1 tsp. sesame seeds)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 tbsp. coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnishing


  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Line 1 large, or 2 small, baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  2. Cut cauliflower into slices, and then coarsely chop into 1-inch pieces, both florets and stems. Transfer cauliflower to a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil, salt, and oregano; toss to evenly coat.
  3. Transfer cauliflower to prepared pan(s) and roast in preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes, or until cauliflower is charred in places, and crisp/tender.  
  4. While cauliflower roasts, make yogurt-tahini spread. In a medium bowl, stir together yogurt and tahini. Expect it to get thick and unwieldy. Gradually drizzle in ice water until mixture becomes creamy. Thin with additional water, if necessary, though, keep the consistency more like a spread than a thin sauce.
  5. Add honey, lemon juice, za’atar, and salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Spread yogurt-tahini mixture onto a small serving platter. Turn charred cauliflower over spread and garnish with chopped parsley.
  7. Makes 6-8 servings.