(Image credit: Rachel Joy Baransi)

We all love cauliflower at this point, don’t we? It has certainly come a long way. We’ve tried it as rice, couscous, pizza crust, and cake. We regularly blend it into a mashed potato substitute and roast it until it becomes nutty and sweet — no longer over-steamed and scarred with an overwhelming cabbagey taste. We are eating it tossed with grains, featuring it in salads, and treating it like a steak.

But, my friends, have you combined it with tahini, garlic, and lemon to make a silky hummus-like puree? It’s my humble addition to the cauliflower craze, and one of my favorite ways to prepare cauliflower. (It just might replace each and every spread you’ve ever made.)

(Image credit: Faith Durand)

Cara Mangini’s Cauliflower Hummus

Toss 1 large head of cauliflower, cut into florets and slightly damp from rinsing, in plenty of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast the florets on a baking sheet at 450°F, covered tightly with foil, for about 12 minutes, until they begin to soften. Uncover and continue to cook another 10 minutes, until the cauliflower begins to brown. Turn the florets and roast another 10 to 12 minutes, until they turn deep golden-brown in places and become completely tender. (The cauliflower should be caramelized, nutty, and sweet.)

Blend the cauliflower in a food processor with 2 tablespoons tahini, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon honey, and a pinch of sea salt. Grate 1 small garlic clove (or enough to taste) directly into the mixture with a microplane; blend and stream in 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed and blend until smooth. Adjust salt and lemon juice to taste. Blend in more olive oil or a splash of water for a thinner consistency.

Tip: Roughly cut the cauliflower into equal-sized pieces so they roast evenly. There is no need to waste time cutting perfect florets, as you will puree them.

(Image credit: Rachel Joy Baransi)

2 Simple Ways to Use Cauliflower Hummus

  • Cauliflower Hummus Dip: Spoon it into a serving bowl, top with chili oil or toasted pine nuts and sumac, za’atar spices, or smoked paprika. Serve with grilled pita, pita chips, or good bread, and loads of raw veggies.
  • Cauliflower Hummus Tartine: Cauliflower hummus makes a grown-up condiment for a splendid Mediterranean-style, open-faced sandwich. Spread the hummus over toasted bread. Cover each slice with paper-thin rounds of cucumbers and sliced tomatoes. Finish with a drizzle of chili oil (or olive oil), flaked sea salt, dried oregano, or chopped fresh parsley.
(Image credit: Rachel Joy Baransi)