The Washington Post

Crisped Cauliflower With Lemon Tahini Sauce

Crisped Cauliflower With Lemon Tahini Sauce 4.000

Rey Lopez for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Oct 2, 2013

When chef Haidar Karoum was growing up, this was a favorite dish his father would make. Now it's a bestseller on his menu at Proof restaurant in the District. Room 11 restaurant, also in the District, serves a similar dish, but with roasted instead of deep-fried cauliflower.

Storage Notes: Refrigerate tahini sauce for up to 1 week.

Servings: 4
  • For the sauce
  • 1 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, from 2 to 3 lemons
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Dash hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • For the cauliflower
  • 4 cups canola oil, for frying
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into 1 1/2-inch florets (4 cups)
  • Kosher salt
  • Leaves from 1/2 small bunch fresh mint, minced


Make the tahini sauce: In a food processor or blender, combine the tahini, lemon juice, water, garlic, salt and hot sauce and puree until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl or a 2-cup jar with a lid.

Make the cauliflower: Line a large rimmed baking sheet with paper towels, then place a wire rack over it.

In a medium pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil until it registers 350 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Working in batches as needed, carefully add the florets and fry until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the florets to the prepared baking sheet and immediately season with salt while the florets are still hot.

Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with the mint. Serve with the tahini sauce on the side.

Recipe Source

Adapted from district-based chef Haidar Karoum by food writer David Hagedorn.

Tested by David Hagedorn.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (using half the sauce): 320

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 28g 43%

Saturated Fat: 3g 15%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 590mg 25%

Total Carbohydrates: 15g 5%

Dietary Fiber: 6g 24%

Sugar: 3g

Protein: 8g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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