clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Harissa Cauliflower

Crispy Cauliflower with Harissa Tahini, Dates, Toasted Pine Nuts, Mint & Dill

  • Author: Elaine Gordon
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Harissa Cauliflower with tahini, toasted pine nuts, and sweet dates combine into the perfectly crispy, spicy, nutty, and sweet dish.



Main components

  • Crispy Oven Roasted Cauliflower
  • 3 large soft Medjool dates, pitted and finely diced (room temperature is best)
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped (large stems removed)
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill (no large stems)

For the toasted pine nuts

  • 1/2 cup raw pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the harissa tahini sauce

  • 1/4 cup runny tahini*
  • 1/4 cup hot filtered water (do not use cold water)
  • 2.5 teaspoons harissa paste (I love Trader Joe's brand)
  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt


  1. Prepare the crispy oven roasted cauliflower.  While it cooks prep the dates, herbs, pine nuts and harissa tahini sauce.
  2. For the toasted pine nuts, add pine nuts, olive oil and salt to a non-toxic, non-stick skillet and saute over low heat for 5-7 minutes until golden brown.  Set aside.
  3. Prepare the harissa tahini sauce: In a 1 cup glass measuring cup or small mixing bowl whisk together the room temperature tahini, hot water, harissa paste, maple syrup and salt.  Whisk until smooth and pourable.  Make sure the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout.  Taste and add more harissa for a spicier sauce.  Add more maple syrup for a sweeter sauce.  Add more salt to bring out the flavors more.  You may also want to add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice here for brightness.  The sauce will thicken as it sits.  Add more water to thin if needed (1 tablespoon at a time). Set aside.
  4. Assemble the dish: Once the crispy cauliflower is finished cooking, remove from the oven and transfer to a serving bowl.  Pour half the harissa tahini sauce overtop and gently toss with two spoons.  Add diced dates, fresh herbs and toasted pine nuts and gently toss again.  Taste and add the remaining sauce if desired.  Or save the rest for other use (it pairs wonderfully with falafel and most roasted veggies).
  5. Serve immediately.  This dish is best served fresh as roasted cauliflower will start to get soggy after being stored in the refrigerator.  If you do have leftovers I would recommend storing once fully cooled to room temperature and place in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to three days.  For best results, reheat in the oven and then toss with more sauce and herbs just before serving.




* For the tahini: A new jar works best here.  Make sure it is room temperature and runny.  It should also be raw tahini and unsalted.  I love Soom brand from Whole Foods the best for texture and flavor.

This dish is inspired by an appetizer on the True Food Kitchen Menu.  This dish used pistachios instead of pine nuts but I prefer the buttery texture of pine nuts in this dish.  Both are good though!

To make this more of a meal serve over rice or quinoa and add my crispy chickpeas.  This would also pair well with my zucchini hummus or regular hummus recipe.

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Category: Appetizer or Side Dish
  • Method: Oven

Keywords: charred cauliflower with harissa tahini sauce