Belinda Jeffery

Roasted cauliflower with spiced yoghurt and pine nut topping

I love the way that roasting cauliflower brings out its nutty sweetness, and this recipe really enhances that quality as it combines the cauli with a crunchy pine nut and sesame seed topping that is gently flavoured with cumin. With its warm spiciness it’s a really lovely dish to serve with simply grilled or barbecued fish, chicken or lamb.


Serves 4

1 medium-sized cauliflower (about 800 g trimmed weight)

1/3 cup (80 ml) extra virgin olive oil, or more if needed

Tiny parsley leaves or coarsely chopped parsley, to garnish


Spiced yoghurt:

300 g plain Greek-style yoghurt

1 small clove garlic, finely chopped

¼ cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil, or more if needed

1½ teaspoons freshly ground cumin

1 teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste


Pine nut, sesame & cumin topping:

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup (50 g) pine nuts (or slivered almonds)

3 teaspoons sesame seeds

30 g unsalted butter

1 teaspoon freshly ground cumin (or sumac)

Sea salt, to taste

Preheat your oven to 220C and line a shallow baking tray with baking paper.


Break the cauliflower into medium-sized florets. Sit them in a bowl and drizzle them with  olive oil, then use your hands to thoroughly mix them together so the florets are well-coated in oil (add a bit more if necessary). Spread the florets in a single layer on the prepared baking tray, then pop it in the oven and roast the cauliflower for about 25 – 30 minutes, turning the pieces regularly so they become tender and deep brown in patches.


Meanwhile, make the spiced yoghurt by thoroughly mixing all the ingredients together. Taste it, and adjust the flavours to suit you. Scrape the mixture into a serving bowl, cover it tightly and set it aside in a cool spot. (This keeps well in the fridge for at least 5 days).


Just before the cauliflower is ready, make the pine nut topping. Heat the olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and sesame seeds and cook them, stirring constantly, until they’re golden (keep a sharp eye on them as both burn really rapidly). Take the pan off the heat and swirl in the butter, cumin and sea salt.


Remove the cauliflower from the oven and scoop the florets into a warm serving bowl. Spoon the pine nut mixture over the top then sprinkle it with tiny parsley sprigs or chopped parsley. Serve immediately with the spiced yoghurt.