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MARIO BATALI Spicy Roasted Head of Cauliflower

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ingredients
 SPICY ROASTED HEAD OF CAULIFLOWER
  • 1 head cauliflower (about 2 1/4 pounds, leaves intact)
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground tumeric
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 4 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
  • 1 jalapeño (stemmed, halved, seeded, and thinly sliced crosswise)
  • 1 lemon (halved)
  • cilantro leaves (to garnish)
  • 1 jar harissa (store-bought, to serve)
  • 1 recipe tzatziki (see below)

FRESH PITA

  • 1 cup warm water (110ºF)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (plus more)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast (1 packet)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more)

TZATZIKI

  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup English cucumber (grated)
  • 1/2 lemon (juice, about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic (minced or finely grated)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh dill (finely chopped)
  • salt (to taste)
directions
  • Heat oven to 375°F.
  • On a cutting board, cut the leaves from the bottom of the cauliflower, to create a flat bottom. Transfer cauliflower and leaves to a foil-lined baking sheet. In a medium bowl, add the tahini, olive oil, salt, turmeric, paprika, garlic, and jalapeño, and mix to combine. Rub the exterior of the cauliflower and the leaves with the tahini mixture. Roast until tender at the core and browned on the outside, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Tent cauliflower with foil halfway through cooking.
  • Slice cauliflower into 1 1/2-inch pieces and transfer to a serving dish. Squeeze the lemon halves over the cauliflower, covering them in the juice. Garnish the cauliflower with cilantro and serve while hot. Serve with fresh pita, harissa and tzatziki.
  • For the Fresh Pita: in a large bowl, add the warm water, oil, sugar, yeast, and stir to dissolve. Add the flours and salt, and stir together with hands to make a shaggy ball of dough.
  • Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes (Alternatively, knead dough in standing mixer with dough hook attachment). Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest in a warm area for 1 hour.
  • Preheat cast iron griddle or pan over medium-low heat.
  • On a lightly oiled, surface, turn out dough and punch down. Divide into 8 equal-sized balls. Cover with a damp towel and let rest 10 minutes.
  • Working with one ball at a time, roll into 8-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Carefully transfer to preheated griddle for 1-2 minutes. Using a metal spatula, flip pita and griddle for 1 more minute. (Dough will shrink while baking.) Remove pita and wrap in towel to keep warm. Repeat with remaining dough balls.
  • For the Tzatziki: in a large bowl, add Greek yogurt, cucumber, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, dill and salt. Stir to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  • Tips:
    – Make the tahini mixture ahead of time. Coat cauliflower just before baking.
    – Serve as a hearty vegetarian dinner!
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