I am always super excited when I find a new ingredient here in Shanghai. A while back I stumbled upon sumac at the Avocado Lady - a red spice from the Middle East. While it’s been a staple in our kitchen for years for all of the Persian cooking we do, it’s not a very commonly known spice. Its taste is slightly sour and tangy, a wonderful addition to salads in the summer and soups in the winter. In the Middle East it is used to flavor side dishes such as hummus, meats like kebabs, and sprinkled on rice. Sumac is a powerful antioxidant, making it an important immune booster in the winter time.
In this recipe I paired it with cumin for a flavor explosion of roasted cauliflower. It is a really simple recipe, but it is already my winter favorite. Give it a try!
Total preparation time: 40 minutes
Roasting time: 35 minutes
Makes 4 side servings:
1 head of cauliflower
2 Tbsp cumin seeds (or 1 Tbsp ground cumin)
3 Tbsp sumac
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 handful of pine nuts
2 sprigs flat parsley
Preheat oven to 180ºC and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Cut the head of cauliflower into smaller florets, then slice these into thin pieces.
Toss the cauliflower with cumin seeds, sumac, and olive oil. Then spread on the baking tray evenly, so none of the pieces cover each other. Roast for 30 minutes in the oven.
In the meantime, wash and roughly chop the parsley for later.
After 30 minutes, check the cauliflower. It should be soft when you insert the tip of a knife, and start to brown slightly. Sprinkle the pine nuts on top and return the tray back to the oven for 5 more minutes. (In case the cauliflower is not soft enough yet, return to oven for another 10 minutes, then add the pine nuts.)
Sprinkle the cauliflower with the fresh parsley and serve warm.