Sometimes it’s the moments of panic that surprise you. The final 40 minutes before you head out the door to a friend’s house when you realize your tiny bowl of hummus and pita chips doesn’t look like much of an offering. And so you panic; repeatedly opening and closing the fridge, hoping something in there will jump out and inspire a simple dish, you check the pantry to see what sort of beans are in there (none? Frig!), you dig through the crisper and spice drawer like a certifiable maniac.
And then you see the head of cauliflower. It’s browned around the edges but nothing a few swipes of the knife can’t fix. You look in the fridge again to see that same container of Greek yogurt you’ve been avoiding all week (in place of bagels and croissants) and some curry powder left out on the counter from last week. This is good, these things can make something edible. I know it!
I roasted, pureed and finished with a drizzle of grassy olive oil and cayenne pepper, stuck it in a paper bag (because we’re also out of any sort of kitchen wrap, tin foil or anything normal people usually keep their kitchen stocked with – it’s been a busy week and we’ve neglected our shopping duties) and hauled ass out the door. Much to my surprise, my girlfriend Ashley (hi Ashley!) enjoyed this panicked, cooked-by-the-seat-of-my-pants dip more than my hummus, which is typically highest on her list of requests whenever that fateful question, “What can I bring?”, comes up. I must admit, I was pretty pleased with how it turned out, too. The combination of warm spices, Greek yogurt and roasted garlic make for a decadent dip or spread that’s hearty without the calories of your typical creamy dip. Whether you’re dragging a pita chip through it, spreading a thick layer on a sandwich with fried eggplant and peppers, or simply scooping it up with your hands (guilty), I think you’ll be pretty tickled that so few ingredients can result in such a tasty eat-the-whole-bowl-by-yourself-without-feeling-bad sort of snack.
She asked that I share the recipe so here we are. If you’ve got an old head of cauliflower and a few other basics on hand, you can whip this up in 30 minutes.
Curry Roasted Cauliflower Dip/Spread
makes approx. 1 1/2 cups.
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets
4 cloves garlic, whole
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
pinch or two cinnamon
1/4-1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1-2 tbsp lemon juice, depending on taste
cayenne pepper, to garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 375.
Place the cauliflower, spices, garlic cloves and two generous pinches of salt into a large bowl. Drizzle with enough olive oil to lightly coat everything. Toss onto a baking sheet and roast for 10-15 minutes, until edges of florets are golden brown. Flip the cauliflower and roast another 8-10 minutes until everything is golden and fork-tender.
Place into a food processor/bullet with the greek yogurt, lemon juice and a good drizzle of the olive oil and blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary. Spoon into a large bowl and drizzle with a touch more olive oil and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. Serve with veggies, pita, bread or spread on sandwich or panini of your choice.