Photograph by Will Anderson Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Theo Vamvounakis

Harissa-Roasted Cauliflower

Starters from Issue 4 – Fall / Winter 2014 – Cocoon

A ubiquitous presence in Tunisian households, harissa—a fiery red paste made from pounding chili peppers with caraway, coriander and garlic—is a worthy pantry occupant, no matter what country you call home. And cauliflower makes an ideal canvas for its uniquely complex spice; we generously massaged it across the ruffled florets, and let the oven’s heat help the flavor penetrate.

serves 6

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, (about 21⁄2 lb)
  • ½ cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • a few sprigs thyme
  • 3 Tbsp harissa (we like the Belazu brand)
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • ½ cup green olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice

  • 1

    Preheat oven to 375°F. Place cauliflower in a shallow baking dish or pie plate. Pour stock into dish and scatter with thyme. Rub harissa over cauliflower (add a little olive oil to loosen if the harissa is pasty). Season with a little salt and cover with foil. Roast 1 hour.

  • 2

    Remove foil and drizzle with a little olive oil. Return to oven uncovered and roast until tender, about 20 minutes.

  • 3

    In a small saucepan, gently heat ¼ cup olive oil, olives, lemon zest, and juice until heated through. Serve alongside cauliflower.