roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce on the tabletop.

Roasted Cauliflower with Homemade Tahini Sauce

Fiddling around with a cauliflower in my kitchen one chilly day in March, I decided to snap the ivory head into florets and roast them until covered ever so slightly with a dusting of crispy bronze edges. I’ve been known to roast cauliflower a few times a week in the fall thru spring or when I’m a bit bored with food, in general.

There’s something so simple about cauliflower’s mild, almost creamy quality that soothes me – whether I pop the warm florets into my mouth right out of the oven or puree them in a high-speed blender for a creamy cauliflower soup, it feels like a reset for my taste buds and my brain – a step away from loads of color. Yet, this pale veggie need not be served bland – here I’m spooning a cumin-spiked homemade tahini sauce on top (or underneath) for a velvety accompaniment that’s sure to take this brassica to a whole new level.

recipe card for roasted cauliflower recipe written out in pen.

When I set out to make a new recipe, I often take whatever looks interesting and alive (not wilting away) in my fridge and place everything together on my counter. Some of the ingredients make it into the final recipe, some don’t. I’ve shared the tiny olive oil-stained notebook I use to jot down my recipes at the top of each recipe post so you can see how some items are crossed out, some have question marks near them and so forth. This is my process. I thought it would be fun to share my routine with you so you can see what goes behind the final dish.

I’ve tried a handful of store-bought jars of tahini and while they’re all delicious, I find them to either be too thick or too thin – some even give me a belly ache. So, after trying out a bunch of different brands and playing Goldy Locks, I decided to start making my own tahini. Just me, my mini food processor and some sesame seeds. While you can make tahini however you’d like, here I’m combining the sesame seeds with fresh parsley, cumin, sea salt, a pinch of cayenne pepper and a bit of water to smooth it all out. This sauce is exceptional and can be used for much more than just roasted cauliflower.

The star of this dish, while I’m sure you may think it would be cauliflower, is actually the charred lemon. It really makes the whole dish come together so beautifully with its warm, sweet flavor while contrasting the brininess of the salty capers.

roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce on the tabletop.

My recipes, while basic with simple everyday ingredients, tend to lean towards showcasing an array of flavors in the accompaniments and fresh herbs (here I’m using fresh mint) that really can’t be skipped for the full experience of the meal. It’s something I work for with each recipe I create for you – how can I bring together a variety of flavors, some spicy, some sweet, some tangy, and so forth to offer you a whole new way to enjoy your favorite vegetables?

That’s what I ask myself before I set out to make a new dish and I hope this one, like the others, gives you that heart-pumping excitement when you dive in. Enjoy.

All supplies used in this recipe can be found In My Kitchen.

Click the Play button below to hear me share a few helpful tips and walk you through the simple steps of making this recipe. Maybe, like me, you’ve had times when you’ve struggle to read through a recipe and follow the steps. All kinds of life circumstances–grief, trauma, stress—can tax our cognitive processing abilities, which is why I’ve created these audio clips to further support you now that I’m in this more healed place.

Roasted Cauliflower with Homemade Tahini Sauce

Serves 4 people
Autumn and Midwinter is a time of roasting just about every vegetable in my home but cauliflower always seems to be the star with its charred edges and clean sweet flavor. Here, I'm roasting a head of cauliflower and serving it with a thick, soothing sauce made from sesame seeds. Finishing with a drizzle of charred lemon is not only a great way to freshen up this dish but also a simple way to add more vibrancy to each bite.
Prep Time – 5 minutes
Cook Time – 35 minutes
Total Time – 40 minutes


Roasted Cauliflower

Tahini Sauce

  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/3 cup water plus more as needed
  • 1 handful fresh flat leaf parsley torn
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper

For Serving


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place the cauliflower florets on the prepared baking sheet and use your hands to toss with olive oil and sea salt, ensuring each piece of cauliflower is glossy and well coated. Roast for 35-40 minutes or until the cauliflower is golden brown and very tender.
  • Meanwhile, in a mini food processor, combine the tahini sauce ingredients and puree until silky smooth. Season to taste with sea salt and spices. Set aside.
  • To make the charred lemons, use your hands to rub a small amount of olive oil on the cut sides of the lemon halves. Place them cut side down on a small skillet over medium heat. Let them sit for 2-3 minutes or until they are a bit charred and caramelized.
  • Remove the cauliflower from the oven. Spoon the tahini sauce on a serving platter, add the cauliflower on top followed by the greens, capers and mint. Drizzle with the charred lemons and serve warm.
  • Store leftovers in separate sealed glass containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Print Recipe participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.