If you get the colors right in any food, you can almost guarantee the flavors are going to be good. When I first discovered all the varieties of colorful cauliflower, I knew the common white type might be forever banned in my kitchen. This flavorful dip is shocking purple and changes colors before your very eyes, thanks to a hit of lemon juice.
I knew I needed to add a little something of substance to my tea party (and a colorful bit of drama, too); hummus was the ideal anchor so the ladies didn't spin off into a sugar coma. The best part is that with additional squeezes of lemon juice, the dip gets more and more fuchsia in color — it's a fun food to watch transform, and guests each got a lemon wedge to make their own magic.
This dip is a wonderful party option because you can make it in advance and it's vegan and gluten-free. Plus, its colorful appearance makes it a conversation starter. I ate the leftovers tucked into a veggie wrap or atop a cheese tartine all week long.
Purple Cauliflower Hummus
Serves 6 to 8
whole head garlic
purple cauliflower (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut into florets
fine sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Lemon wedges, for serving
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Peel off most of the papery outer layer from the head of garlic, but leave the head intact. Cut across the very top of the head to expose the cloves. Place the garlic on a sheet of foil and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Crumple the edges of the foil around the garlic to make a packet for roasting, and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the cauliflower, salt, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and toss until the cauliflower is well-coated. Spread the cauliflower on the lined baking sheet without overcrowding, and nestle the garlic packet next to the cauliflower. Roast the vegetables on the middle rack for about 40 minutes — the garlic may take about 10 minutes longer than the cauliflower to roast, so check its doneness (it should be soft and spreadable) when you take the cauliflower out of the oven.
Transfer the roasted cauliflower to a food processor. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper to taste. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of its skins into the processor and then pulse until completely smooth and spreadable, 3 to 4 minutes. (If it is still chunky after a few minutes of blending, try adding a tablespoon or two of water or a little more oil.)
Serve with plenty of extra lemon wedges (the lemon juice will turn the purple mixture hot pink), salt, and pepper.
Reprinted with permission from Food with Friends: The Art of Simple Gatherings by Leela Cyd, copyright (c) 2016 by Clarkson Potter.