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The Happy Pear’s Roasted Harissa Cauliflower with Warm Hummus and Za’atar

An explosion of flavours combine in this quick and easy za'atar and harissa baked cauliflower served on a bed of hummus.

Introduction

This makes a wonderful sharing platter and is such a beautiful centrepiece, celebrating one of our favourite ways to eat cauliflower. Za’atar is a spice mix that we love, and we have created our own simplified version to combine perfectly with the spice of harissa paste for a real flavour explosion. We’ve used shop-bought harissa here, but you can also make your own.

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Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower
2 tbsp harissa paste
50g pine nuts
2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp cumin seeds
2 x 400g tin of chickpeas
2 cloves of garlic
4 tbsp tahini
juice of 1 lemon

Essential kit

You will need: a food processor.

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C fan/220°C/gas 7.

Cut the cauliflower into florets, discarding the tough centre rib from the leaves. Put the florets and leaves into a mixing bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of olive oil, a good pinch of salt and the harissa paste and mix well, coating all the cauliflower and leaves. Transfer to a baking tray and bake for 25 minutes, removing the leaves after 15 minutes, as otherwise they’ll burn.

Put the pine nuts, sesame seeds and cumin seeds into a dry frying pan over a medium heat and leave for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly until they start to brown and smell toasty. Be careful not to burn the pine nuts. Put them into a pestle and mortar with ½ teaspoon of salt and a good pinch of black pepper, and grind until you reach a breadcrumb texture. (If you don’t have a pestle and mortar, just place everything in a ziplock bag and use a mug to bash them until they reach a breadcrumb consistency.)

For the hummus, drain and rinse the chickpeas and peel the garlic. Put a pan of boiling water on a high heat and add the chickpeas. Cook for 10 minutes, to warm them through. Drain the chickpeas and put them into a food processor with the garlic cloves, tahini, lemon juice, 1½ teaspoons of salt and a good pinch of black pepper. Add 8 tablespoons of water and blend until super-smooth.

Mix 1 teaspoon of harissa with 3 tablespoons of oil to make a harissa oil.

Spread the hummus on a serving plate and top with the roasted harissa cauliflower. Drizzle over the harissa oil and garnish with about 3 tablespoons of za’atar (put any leftover za’atar into an airtight container and keep for 2 weeks). Any leftover hummus will last for 3–5 days in an airtight container in the fridge

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