Test Kitchen: Ultimate Roasted Cauliflower

Easy, healthy recipes tested for you weekly at the Sargent Choice Test Kitchen

Caroline Kohler, Dietetics Student, SAR ’19

About the Sargent Choice Test Kitchen: We’re all about making healthy taste delicious here at Sargent Choice.  That’s why we’ve teamed up with faculty-in-residence Dr. Karen Jacobs to offer students a one-of-a-kind opportunity to trial and taste-test new Sargent Choice healthy recipes each week at the Sargent Choice Test Kitchen.  Dr. Karen Jacobs invites students of all majors (not just nutrition) into her home on Boston University’s campus to cook up a recipe developed by Sargent Choice Registered Dietitian, Jennifer Culbert.  Feedback from the weekly Test Kitchen gets incorporated into future Sargent Choice recipes and helps shape the face of healthy dining at BU.

As Thanksgiving approached last week, we made a healthy, delicious, and even vegan side dish at the Sargent Choice Test Kitchen that we’re excited to take home to our families this holiday season! The Ultimate Cauliflower is easy to make, leaving lots of time to talk to friends and family while it’s cooking.

What is Tahini?

  • Tahini is made from sesame seeds by separating the bran from the kernel and then grinding the kernels into a paste. The paste is savory and creamy and is a staple of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking.
  • Tahini is actually considered a seed butter, similar to sunflower seed butter and peanut butter. Therefore, it is high in healthy fats, along with many vitamins and minerals.
  • It is usually thinner and more runny than typical nut and seed butters, but it can be used similarly in cooking. Add it to sauces like in this recipe, stews, or even cookies, like our Sargent Choice Tahini Cookies!

What We Liked

  • This recipe was incredibly easy to make. Once the cauliflower was in the oven and the sauce was made, we had plenty of time to sit, chat, and drink tea!
  • The sauce has many flavors in it, and it was unlike any sauce we had tried before. It would be a great addition to lots of other recipes as well.
  • The seasoning was simple, so if you don’t have very many spices this is a great recipe to get you started with cooking!
  • We enjoyed this simple, yummy way of eating vegetables. The cauliflower was great by itself and with the sauce.

Tips and Tricks

  • Most of the cauliflower head is edible, not just the florets. We cut up the stems, too, so we had less waste and more to eat.
  • Be sure to spread out the cauliflower into a single layer and not overcrowd the pan. This helps it get brown and crispy.
  • Halfway through the cooking time, move the cauliflower around in the pan so all sides get brown. Check it consistently towards the end by carefully poking a piece with a fork to determine if it is done.
  • When making the sauce, taste as you go. We tasted it once and wanted to add more lemon, and then we tasted it again before adding too much.

Sargent Choice Ultimate Roasted Cauliflower

Recipe modified from: http://www.sarahaasrdn.com
Yield: 6 servings


1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
⅛ teaspoon crushed black pepper

Tahini Drizzle:
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon water
1 garlic clove, grated
¼ cup parsley, finely chopped (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 425⁰F and line a large baking sheet with foil. Place the baking sheet in the oven while the oven preheats.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven. Spread the cauliflower out evenly onto the baking sheet and roast for 30-35 minutes in the oven, stirring once halfway through cooking time.
  3. While the cauliflower is roasting, make the tahini drizzle. To a small bowl, add the tahini, soy sauce, lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, water and garlic. Whisk to combine.
  4. Remove cauliflower from the oven, drizzle with tahini and garnish with parsley.