Lebanese Cauliflower featuring crispy and perfectly browned oven roasted florets are a deliciously healthy Middle Eastern snack or side dish.
Our homemade Lebanese Roasted Cauliflower recipe features florets tossed in olive oil and za’atar seasoning that are baked until golden brown and crispy.
Serve this addictive Lebanese Cauliflower dish our easy creamy yogurt dip flavoured with lemon, roasted garlic and fresh mint.
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What Is Roasted Lebanese Cauliflower?
Cauliflower is one of several vegetables in the species Brassica Oleracea, which is in the Brassicaceae family. It is an annual plant that reproduces by seed. Typically, only the head is eaten. The edible white flesh is sometimes called curd because it has a similar appearance to cheese curd.
The cauliflower head is composed of a series of florets, which resemble those in broccoli, which differs in having flower buds as the edible portion.
In the Middle Ages, early forms of cauliflower were associated with the island of Cyprus, with the 12th and 13th-century Arab botanists Ibn al-‘Awwam and Ibn al-Baitar claiming its origin to the Mediterranean island.
Cyprus is located slightly west of Lebanon, a country that celebrates the vegetable by serving it roasted, grilled, boiled, fried, steamed, pickled, or eaten raw.
Lebanese Cauliflower is most famous for being browned and crispy, either by deep frying or oven roasting. Our favourite way to cook healthy Lebanese Cauliflower is in the oven as it requires less oil then frying.
Our easy Lebanese Roasted Cauliflower recipe features crispy florets tossed in za’atar spice seasoning and served with a creamy yogurt, garlic and lemon sauce for dipping.
Travel to Lebanon by Making Roasted Cauliflower at Home
I love traveling to the Middle East and North Africa.
As a professional food and travel journalist, I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy amazing meals in the Middle East, from authentic markets to award winning restaurants.
For over ten years, I’ve been on the hunt for the best Lebanese Cauliflower recipe via adventures that had me zig-zagging through Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Israel and Dubai. You guessed it! Some of my fondest food memories while traveling in the Middle East include fragrant feasts featuring crispy Lebanese Roasted Cauliflower.
I ate traditional Lebanese Cauliflower at a traditional Moroccan riad, on food tours of Istanbul and Bodrum, accompanied by Egyptian tea on a Nile Cruise and in bustling market in Cairo, late night snack in Amman, al fresco market lunch in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and accompanied by steaming bowls of soup at a massive Middle Eastern barbecue in the middle of the Dubai desert while belly dancers twirled under the night sky.
Restaurants in Beirut often serve Lebanese Cauliflower deep fried, which arrive at the table in a small paper bag. The dish is often enjoyed as a healthy snack or appetizer with a glass of wine or ice cold beer.
I wanted to recreate the popular recipe by making Lebanese Roasted Cauliflower, a vegetarian dish with significantly less calories than its deep fried cousin.
Where To Eat Lebanese Roasted Cauliflower
Haven’t traveled to the Middle East before? It may be helpful to first sample the dish at a local restaurant to better understand how it is served. You’ll get an idea for the best spices to use, perfect portion size and flavourful dips to serve at the table.
In Toronto, popular Middle Eastern restaurants that may serve a healthy Lebanese Roasted Cauliflower include Parallel, Byblos, Tabule, Fat Pasha, Maha’s, Masrawy Kitchen, Masrawy Kitchen and Paramount Fine Foods.
What Is Za’atar?
Za’atar is a culinary spice mix associated with Lebanese cuisine. It is popular because it offers a variety of different flavours, textures, and fragrances.
Even though it varies greatly depending on where you are in the Middle East, za’atar is generally a combination of dried oregano, thyme, and/or marjoram, with sumac and toasted sesame seeds. Za’atar sometimes contains salt, dried orange zest, dried dill, or the wild herb za’atar, which is also called hyssop, it grows throughout the Levant and is the mixture’s namesake.
Our Lebanese Cauliflower recipe features olive oil tossed florets in flavour-packed za’atar.
My Family Loves Healthy Lebanese Cauliflower
When my family moved to Oakville the first restaurant we visited was a local Egyptian and Lebanese restaurant called Agabi. Ranked as one of the best restaurants in Oakville, Agabi, became our family’s go-to Middle Eastern take out joint.
We’ve been eating at Agabi for years and have tasted almost every dish on the menu. Each member of my family has discovered a favourite dish, that we always seem to consistently order.
My father loves the Creamy Chicken, muddled with mushrooms and onions. My mother is a fan of the Lamb Shashlik, grilled to perfection with green pepper and mushroom. My sister always orders the Chicken Pineapple, marinated boneless chicken served with crispy bacon and juicy pineapple. I’ve always had a heart for the chefs crispy Lebanese Cauliflower served with a creamy roasted garlic sauce.
After discovering mouth-watering Lebanese food at home my family always seeks out the next best thing. We’ve traveled to Israel, Jordan, Egypt and beyond…always keen to experience a new and fresh take on the healthy vegetarian dish.
My family enjoys preparing this easy Lebanese Roasted Cauliflower recipe whenever we’re serving a Middle Eastern feast. It’s a delicious healthy snack or side dish to serve alongside spiced grilled meat, fresh seafood, Middle Eastern dips and falafels.
You can make vegan Lebanese Cauliflower if you omit the yogurt dip. Simply spritz the crispy cauliflower with a wedge of lemon before serving.
Our homemade Lebanese Cauliflower recipe is packed full of healthy ingredients!
Cauliflower provides a high quantity nutrients per calorie – it’s rich in fibre, cancer-fighting phytochemical, and bone strengthening vitamin K.
Packed with calcium and friendly probiotic bacteria, sour cream and yogurt help keep your bones strong and your gut healthy. Yogurt may also help reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes and some types of cancer.
It is only recently that scientists have begun to identify the components responsible for garlic’s myriad health benefits. Rich in phytochemicals and potassium, garlic helps boost your immune system, fight cancer and protect your heart.
Olive Oil is ranked as one of the healthiest fats and is a staple in the Mediterranean diet. It contains vitamins E and K and plenty of beneficial fatty acids and antioxidants.
A rich source of phytochemicals and vitamin C, lemons help boost your immune system and neutralize free radicals that cause disease and skin aging. Lemons also protect against heart disease and help improve blood flow to the brain.
Fresh mint is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and can have a calming effect on the digestive system. It is also a good source of folate, which supports blood health.
Pomegranate has antioxidant, and anti-viral properties and is said to be a good source of vitamins, especially vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin E, as well as folic acid.
Lebanese Cauliflower Recipe Cooking Tips
If it’s your first time cooking homemade Lebanese Cauliflower be sure to review our detailed step-by-step recipe below. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to get you started:
- Be sure to wash and dry the cauliflower before cooking to remove any dirt, debris or bugs. Use your hands to gently remove the florets and store in a large bowl.
- We’ve used olive oil in this recipe but you can substitute for another vegetable oil with a high smoke point like canola or avocado if you prefer.
- Za’atar is a traditional Lebanese spice blend, which you can purchase online, at your local Middle Eastern market or most grocery store spice aisles.
- We’ve used 0% fat Greek yogurt for the dip but if you want a richer and more creamy texture find a Balkan-style yogurt with a higher fat content. Or mix with tangy sour cream.
- Only use fresh lemon juice not store bought concentrate. Add additional citrus flavour by adding fresh lemon zest.
- We’ve used roasted garlic in this recipe but you could also use raw garlic chopped finely into a mince.
- Feel free to serve the roasted cauliflower florets with a wedge of lime for spritzing.
- Keep leftovers stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Reheat in the oven or air fryer to make the florets crispy again. Do not use a microwave as the cauliflower will get soggy.
What To Serve with Roasted Cauliflower
If you’re preparing a Middle Eastern feast roasting delicious Lebanese Cauliflower is a must to impress guests.
You can enjoy the healthy vegetarian dish all on it’s own as a light lunch with some flatbread or serve it as a snack, appetizer or side dish at a Lebanese-themed dinner party. We often like to serve leftovers the following day for brunch, reheated until crispy with scrambled eggs and hummus.
You may enjoy serving Lebanese Roasted Cauliflower with these other easy Lebanese recipes:
- Vegan Lemon Herb Tahini Dressing Sauce
- Balila Healthy Vegan Lebanese Chickpea Salad
- Riz a Djej Lebanese Rice with Chicken
- Easy One Pot Lebanese Beef Hashweh Rice
- Mdardara Lebanese Caramelized Onion Lentil Rice
- Ejjeh Vegetarian Lebanese Herb Omelette
- Lebanese Spiced Minced Beef Stuffed Pita Arayes
- Vegan Lebanese Cabbage Malfouf Salad
- Moghrabieh Lebanese Chickpea Chicken Couscous
- Mutabbal Vegan Middle Eastern Eggplant Dip
- Healthy Chicken Shawarma Plate
- Lebanese Toum Kebab Shop Garlic Sauce
- Healthy Vegan Keto Za’atar Butter Bean Dip
- Lebanese Kibbeh Fried Beef Croquette
- Healthy Vegetarian Lebanese Eggplant Fatteh
- Lebanese Lamb Dumplings Shish Barak
- Lebanese Lentil Soup Adas Bil Hamod
You May Also Enjoy These Vegetarian Recipes…
- Spinach and Feta Cheese Muffins
- Pizzoccheri alla Valtellinese Buckwheat Pasta
- Perkedel Jagung Crispy Indonesian Corn Fritters
- Creamy Cheesy Greek Spanakopita Dip
- French Mashed Potato Fritters
- Pogacsa Hungarian Caraway Cheese Biscuits
- Pancar Salatasi Turkish Beet Yogurt Salad
- Korozott Hungarian Cottage Cheese Spread
- Kitchri Indian Moong Dal Basmati Rice
- Sigara Börek Crispy Turkish Feta Cheese Filo Cigar Rolls
- Tepsi Boregi Vegetarian Turkish Filo Cheese Pie
- Vegetarian Aloo Bharta Indian Style Mashed Potatoes
- Crispy Oven Roasted Cypriot Cyprus Potatoes
- Nakladany Hermelin Czech Marinated Camembert Cheese
- Prasorizo Vegetarian Greek Leek Rice
How To Make Healthy Lebanese Cauliflower
Roasted Lebanese Cauliflower
- baking sheet
- French knife
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- 2 Medium Cauliflower sliced into florets
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil seperated
- 2 tbsp Za'atar
- 1 cup Greek Yogurt
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Lemon Zest
- 2 tbsp Roasted Garlic
- 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/4 cup Mint Leaves finely chopped
- Kosher Salt and Black Pepper
- 1/2 cup Pomegranate Seeds
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Separate cauliflower into florets and place scatter on 2 baking sheets. Drizzle with 3 tbsp olive oil then toss with your hands until combined.
- Roast cauliflower florets until they are browned, rotating the pan halfway through baking time until evenly browned, 35-40 minutes total.
- Remove from the oven then sprinkle cauliflower with za'atar and toss until combined.
- Meanwhile, place the yogurt in a mixing bowl. Add the remaining oil, lemon juice, zest and roasted garlic and stir well. Using a spatula, fold in the mint. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve cauliflower florets with yogurt sauce sprinkled with pomegranate seeds.
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