My recent trip to Tunis has left a poetic & dreamy aftertaste lingering in my mind… it’s a wonderful feeling that I’m trying to latch on to for as long as I can!
Of course, I had to check out a few markets in the gorgeous capital of this North African country. I was captivated by the hills and valleys of fresh produce, olives, capers, the glorious harissa and spice mixes such as Ras el Hanout- featured in today’s recipe.
In Arabic, Ras el Hanout translates to “head of the shop” and it’s what you could consider as the Garam Masala or the Baharat of North Africa. Ras el Hanout is a spice blend made of a dozen aromatics (although some sources state that it can contain up to 100 spices mixed together!) that can vary slightly from shop to shop and across the region. The blend that I picked up contained cumin, coriander, turmeric, chili pepper, fenugreek, fennel, caraway- and much more.
It’s earthy, with pops of freshness at the same time- and I felt it would pair well with cauliflower. This is an extra-easy recipe to put together that will have your table travelling to the postcard blue & white streets of Tunis, lined with olive & citrus trees…and of course, that stunning Mediterranean sea that is never too far away to soothe the eyes & the soul.
Ras el Hanout Roasted Cauliflower
- 1 head cauliflower, washed and cut into florets
- 1 teaspoon Ras el Hanout
- Fresh cilantro, washed and finely chopped
- 2 plummy tomatoes, washed and diced
- A few garlic cloves, peeled
- A few capers & olives
- Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400F/200C.
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, gently place the cauliflower florets & the garlic cloves. Add the Ras el Hanout & salt. Drizzle some oil (or add a splash of water if you want this oil-free) and mix everything gently.
- Spread this combination on the pan and bake for 15 minutes + 5 minutes on LOW broil/grill. Be sure to stay near the oven when it’s on broil mode.
- During that time, mix the chopped cilantro, diced tomatoes, capers and olives in a bowl. Set aside.
- Once the cauliflower is ready, place on a serving plate and top off with the cilantro/tomato combination- be generous! It will add colour and freshness to the dish!