Doesn’t matter if you’re black or white
Second recipe with tahini in a row. Everyone OK with this?
A while ago I had a lovely meal at Sticks and Sushi in Canary Wharf. Along with the inevitable sushi platters we ordered a really interesting side dish involving fried cauliflower and black tahini truffle sauce. I’d never really given black tahini a second’s thought before now, but since I often use white tahini, white sesame seeds and black sesame seeds in my recipes, I really should have pondered whether black tahini existed to complete the set. The Sticks and Sushi dish was absolutely delicious, but it was the uniqueness of it that really got me excited – now all I had to do was hunt down some black tahini.
The black tahini I ended up with (the only one I could find by foot) is a little bit grainy and not as smooth as regular tahini. This is because the seeds haven’t been hulled. I added some sesame oil to make my dressing a little smoother, and unlike white tahini it can’t be watered down too much or mixed with yoghurt because it turns grey (believe me I tried!). I’m not quite sure what it would do to hummus, I’ll keep you posted on that one.
I decided to drizzle the dressing over cauliflower steaks and add some also black rice to my side dish (the Nerone left over from my Poke dish, you could also use wild) for something a little bit different. Cauliflower steaks make an excellent vegan dish (over Romseco sauce a recent retreat favourite) and are also far more photogenic than chopped up little bits. They can be a bit of pain to cut, and the number of steaks from one cauliflower isn’t always guaranteed. Look for a cauliflower with a wide-girthed stalk because the wider the stalk the more steaks you will get. I got 3 steaks out of my small cauliflower, and all the bits that get cut off I just roasted at the same time and kept for a salad the following day. You can also spin them into rice in a food processor, freeze and save for another day.
I made a quick video to show what I mean; cutting the cauliflower upside down, and scoring across the stalk before you cut all make it much easier to produce your steaks.
I just made a portion for 2, served alongside a pan-fried sea bass fillet but I think in larger proportions this would look sensational piled up on a serving platter.
Lambs lettuce has just come into season in the UK, and adds a welcome touch of green. You could easily substitute it for peppery rocket, watercress or whatever greens you can get your hands on. Greens with every meal I say!
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- 1-2 cauliflowers, enough to get at least 4 steaks
- 80g black rice
- large handful lambs lettuce
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- scattering of black sesame seeds
- olive oil, salt
- 2 Tbs black tahini paste
- 1 Tbs water
- 2 tsp brown rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbs water
- pinch salt
- First pre-heat the oven to 180C.
- Rinse your rice, and cook as per packet instructions. I would usually suggest in 1 quantity rice to 1.5 quantity boiling water with a pinch of salt. It should take around 35 minutes. Drain and rinse in cool water, leave to cool.
- Meanwhile prepare your cauliflower steaks as per video. Place on a lined backing sheet and drizzle with olive oil and add a pinch of salt. Roast for 20 minutes, or until crispy and the a knife glides easily through the stem
- You can now prepare your drizzle also. Combine the tahini paste with water, sesame oil and vinegar with a small whisk or spoon, making sure there are no lumps of paste. Add salt and taste. If not tangy enough add more vinegar.
- When you're ready to plate up spread the rice over the bottom of the dish, and top with the steaks, spring onions and black sesame seeds. Drizzle over the dressing (I used a cheffy squeezy bottle for accuracy but you can just pour it over), then add the lambs lettuce and take to the table.
Wild rice would be excellent in this dish.
Inspired by the darker side of sesame? Try these recipes using black tahini or black sesame seeds!
- Tahini chocolate balls by me
- Black Tahini Swirl Blondies from Urban Kitchen Apothecary
- Toasted Black Sesame Frozen Yoghurt by Recipes from a Pantry
- Halva Biscuits from Tin and Thyme
- Asian Kale, Noodle & Coconut Broth by Foodie Quine
- Open Cauliflower Sushi Salad with Smoked Salmon by me
And what’s the verdict on black sesame hummus???1