Crisped Cauliflower With Lemon Tahini Sauce 4.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

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.

Make Ahead: The tahini sauce can be made a week in advance.

Servings: 4
  • For the sauce
  • 1 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 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 mint, minced


For the sauce: Combine the tahini, lemon juice, water, garlic, salt and hot sauce in a food processor or blender; puree until smooth.

For the cauliflower: Line a baking sheet with paper towels, then place a wire cooling rack over it.

Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat to 350 degrees. Working in batches as needed, carefully add the florets and fry for 3 to 5 minutes, until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the florets to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Season them with salt while still hot.

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

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Recipe Source

From Washington food writer David Hagedorn, co-author with chef Cathal Armstrong of "My Irish Table: Recipes From the Homeland and Restaurant Eve" (Ten Speed Press, March 2014).

Tested by David Hagedorn.

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