In my recent Zhug Vinaigrette post I casually suggested a multitude of ways to add zhug to a variety of savory dishes. This Yemeni-Jewish pepper sauce is always in my freezer and indispensable when I need a quick marinade, sauce, or to add a pop of flavor to a savory dish.
In truth, whenever I make zhug vinaigrette I typically stand at the counter (alone so I don’t have to explain myself) and dip any kind of bread I can find in it until I feel a bit queasy from eating too much before adding it to whatever vegetable I’m roasting that night. Cauliflower is my favorite roasted vegetable so I am sharing with you my go-to Zhug Roasted Cauliflower recipe.
Other zhug compatible roasted vegetables are: white or sweet potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, red peppers, mushrooms (particularly meaty ones like portabella) and butternut squash. I tend to be a flavor purist and roast one or two vegetable together at a time, yet any combination of vegetables roasted with zhug would also made a fabulous side dish.
Roasted Cauliflower with Zhug
8 cups cauliflower, washed and cut in 1” florets and pieces. (This is about what a large 3 ½ to 4 pound head of cauliflower yields)
1 red onion, cut in half and sliced into ½” slices
3 Tbs olive oil (Note: 2 Tbs is for roasting the cauliflower and 1 Tbs is for roasting the onions)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper flakes
3 Tbs Zhug Vinaigrette (recipe below)Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- On a sheet tray mix cauliflower with 2 Tbs of the olive oil, salt and red pepper flakes with your hands until well combined. Using your hands is really the best way to ensure oil coverage on all the cauliflower. As you do this, make sure the tray is also well coated with the olive oil. My sheet trays have an intentional patina on them from years of use so they are essentially non stick. Parchment paper or Silpat can be used for easier clean up if desired.
- In a bowl mix onions with olive oil and set aside.
- Roast cauliflower 20 minutes. Add onions and remix. Roast 15-20 more minutes more until cauliflower is starting to become golden brown in spots and onions are soft with a few crunchier pieces.
- Remove cauliflower from oven and evenly add zhug vinaigrette. Mix until all ingredients are well combined.
- Serve the Zhug Roasted Cauliflower hot, warm or room temperature. The texture of the cauliflower is best the day this is made, although the flavor is just as satisfying the next day.
½ cup cilantro leaves
½ cup parsley leaves
3 medium jalapeno peppers (about 3 oz.); stems and seeds removed
4 garlic cloves
3/4 tsp salt
½ tsp ground cumin seed
½ tsp crushed caraway seed
¼ tsp ground cardamom seed
¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
¼ tsp sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
- In bowl of food processor, combine all ingredients. Process until a rough paste is formed.
- Store in refrigerator for one week. Zhug can also be frozen for months.
- Use at room temperature