Cauliflower Shawarma with Pomegranate Seeds

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies magazine and taken from Berber & Q by Josh Katz.

If there was a single dish that has come to symbolise Berber & Q, it would be their cauliflower shawarma!

IMG_1007Ingredients (Serves 6-8)

For the Shawarma Butter

• 40g unsalted butter, softened
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1 ½ tbsp finely chopped coriander
• 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
• 1 tbsp ground sumac
• 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
• ½ tsp ground allspice
• Pinch of ground nutmeg
• Pinch of ground cardamom
• 1 whole cauliflower

For the Garnish
• 4 tbsp Tahini Sauce
• 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
• 1 ½ tbsp pine nuts, toasted
• 1 small green chilli, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
• 1 tsp dried rose petals
• 1 tbsp roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
• Extra virgin olive oil (optional)

Step One – To make the butter, combine all the ingredients in a mixer or whisk in a large bowl. Set aside until needed. It can be kept in the fridge for several weeks, but must be brought to room temperature before using.

Step Two – Trim the outer cauliflower leaves, leaving some stragglers behind. Set a large saucepan of salted water on a high heat and cover with a lid. Once boiling, lower the cauliflower into the pan.

Step Three – Bring the water back to the boil, then turn the heat down to medium, so the water has a gentle roll. The intention is to par-cook the cauliflower. It should take 7 minutes from when the water comes back to the boil.

Step Four – Set the cauliflower on a cooling rack over a roasting tray and allow to drip-dry. Brush all over with the spiced butter, and try and get beneath the floret canopy to reach the inner sections. Retain some of the butter for brushing later. Season with salt and pepper.

Step Five – Preheat the oven to 240oC, gas mark 9, and blast the cauliflower for 5-7 minutes, until blackened all over. (You want it to lightly char, not to form an acrid burned crust). Once sufficiently oven-roasted, transfer it to finish on the barbecue for a few minutes, basting it periodically with any leftover butter.

Step Six – Transfer to a serving plate. Spoon over the Tahini sauce and pomegranate molasses, and finish by sprinkling over the pine nuts, green chilli, pomegranate seeds, rose petals and parsley. A drizzle of olive oil adds a nice glossy finish. Serve immediately – the cauliflower tastes so much better when hot.

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