This is such a simple meal that satisfies me on so many levels. First of all, I have not met roasted cauliflower I did not like. Secondly, it is spicy from a generous amount of Aleppo Pepper flakes and a little cayenne. Finally, it’s served on a bed of creamy yogurt with preserved lemon, adding tang and saltiness. The contrast of hot and spicy, and cool and creamy is divine. This dish is not inspired by any one recipe in particular. It honestly came to me when I was imagining attempting Nashville hot cauliflower, but it evolved completely and the result is influenced by by Arabic and Mediterranean cuisines.
Serves two as a main dish, 4 as a side
- 2 cups of Greek yogurt
- peel of one preserved lemon, minced
- juice of one lemon
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 1 can of chickpeas
- 2 T fresh Thyme
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 oz olive oil
- 1 tsp Aleppo pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- kosher salt
- extra virgin olive oil
- flake salt
- Preheat oven to 450. Mince the preserved lemon peel and combine yogurt, preserved lemon, and lemon juice. Season lightly with salt. The preserved lemon is quite salty, so the yogurt will not need too much. Chill.
- Wash cauliflower. Cut in half, and then cut the core out and discard. Chop cauliflower into bite sized florets and pieces. If the leaves look good, you can include those too!
- Drain and rinse chickpeas in a colander. Shake to remove some of the excess moisture.
- Combine the cauliflower, chickpeas, garlic, thyme, Aleppo pepper, cayenne, and 2 oz of olive oil in a bowl. Mix and season with kosher salt and black pepper.
- Divide onto two sheet pans. Spread out so that it crisps up and browns!
- Roast for 25 minutes in preheated oven. Check after the first 15 minutes, and carefully stir and flip some of the cauliflower.
- Remove preserved lemon yogurt from fridge. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
- Divide yogurt onto two plates or bowls. Then divide cauliflower and chickpeas on top of the yogurt. Drizzle each with a little finishing olive oil, and sprinkle with flake salt.
- In my opinion, the spice level here as written is a low medium, but adjust to your taste. Cayenne is hotter than Aleppo Pepper. I love SPICY, so when I make it just for myself I up the cayenne to 1 tsp. If you want it less spicy, try omitting the cayenne completely, and cutting the Aleppo Pepper in half.
- Preserved lemons are easy to make, but they do take about a month to be ready. (Start some now for a future use!) You can also purchase them on Amazon or in specialty food shops. You may substitute lemon zest in a pinch. The flavor is different, but it’ll still be delicious.
- If you’re buying Greek yogurt just for this, indulge in the full fat. However, I normally buy low-fat organic Greek yogurt at Costco because it’s a great price. It’s still delicious!
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