Upgrade your regular “sprinkle of salt and pepper” roasted cauliflower recipe to this flavor packed sweet and salty goodness! Za’atar roasted cauliflower with golden raisins is the perfect combination to turn even the pickiest eater into a veggie lover.
By posting this recipe, I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Raisin Marketing Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with this contest. I was not compensated for my name. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Sometimes I bite off more than I can chew. Literally, and figuratively.
When I was on vacation with my family, the topic of our Christmas Day meal came up, and somehow, I ended up volunteering to cook the entire meal for all ten of us.
Normally my dad is in charge, and although he's a great cook, let's just say his emphasis is a little more on the meat and a little less on the sides. With half the family qualifying as a borderline vegetarian, I figured a few satisfying veggie sides and a main to accompany my dad's decidedly non-veggie main would make people happy. Plus, I'm pretty excited to show the non-veggie lovers how delicious they can be when you treat them right.
In preparation, I was thinking of the best veggie dishes I've ever had I immediately remembered this za’atar roasted cauliflower from Holy Taco in Atlanta. Nutty, roasted cauliflower tossed with sweet golden raisins, salty currants and crunchy walnuts. So much deliciousness in every bite!
Dried fruits with savory dishes:
Let's talk about the raisins, because although every component of this recipe for za’atar roasted cauliflower is important, the raisins really make this dish. The sweetness brings out the caramelized flavors of the cauliflower and makes for a great sweet and salty combination with the capers. Naturally-sweet with no added sugar! I always keep raisins on hand to add a bit of sweetness to savory dishes. Some of my favorite savory dishes with raisins from the blog:
Maybe it's the association with oatmeal cookies and and other sweet treats, but I find many people don't realize how nutritious raisins are. Remember, it's dried grape, so raisins have all the same beneficial compounds. One of those compounds is kaempherol, an antioxidant flavonoid which has been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. It may even help prevent nerve disorders and osteoporosis. Golden raisins, my personal favorite, are a particularly rich source. Another neat bonus to golden raisins - the dehydration process increases the amount of quercetin, another flavonoid with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Raisins are also a good source of fiber, potassium and iron.
What is Za’atar:
Za’atar is a Middle Eastern spice mixture of dried herbs, usually thyme, oregano and sumac. I use it almost like an all-purpose seasoning or garnish for many Middle Eastern dishes, like my baked green falafel, mujadarah, or grilled eggplant and zucchini tahini dip. It adds a bit of a smoky, herbal and nutty flavor to dishes and is great on roasted vegetables such as cauliflower.
Tips for roasting vegetables:
Roasting vegetables is the trick to making veggies taste great! So many people I come across are intimidated to try roasting vegetables. They say they don’t know how, don’t want to burn and waste produce, steaming is easier, etc. But roasting vegetables is so simple! Don’t try to over complicate it. The general rule of thumb when roasting vegetables are to chop them into bite size pieces, toss the pieces in a little bit of olive oil, spread evenly on a baking sheet, season with salt and pepper or season of your choosing, and roast them for 25-30 minutes at 400 degrees, flipping the vegetables half way through. Make sure you cut them the same size so be sure they cook evenly.
Za’atar Roasted Cauliflower Pairings
This recipe for za’atar roasted cauliflower goes with a lot of different dishes to give a Middle Eastern flare. But here’s some of my favorite pairings:
On a grain bowl, like my vegetarian babaganoush bowl.
With my spicy hummus pasta with roasted eggplant - you could even toss it in the recipe in lieu of or alongside the roasted eggplant.
Loaded into hummus and served with baked pita toasts.
Served with falafel and dipping sauces, like my baked green falafel.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!
This za’atar roasted cauliflower recipe has been updated to give you the best possible content.
Za'atar Roasted Cauliflower with Golden Raisins
1 head cauliflower, stemmed and chopped into florets
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons za’atar
1/4 cup walnuts
1/3 cup California golden raisins
2 tablespoons capers
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Toss cauliflower with olive oil. Sprinkle with za’atar and season with salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Spread evenly on a large baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes, stopping halfway through to add the walnuts and flip the cauliflower.
When the cauliflower is caramelized and tender, remove from the oven. Add the golden raisins, toss to combine and transfer to a serving dish. Garnish with capers and serve.