Discovering cauliflower and its whimsical Lebanese interpretations


I’m a huge fan of cauliflower. It is one of my favorite vegetables. It is high in fiber, full of vitamins and minerals, and tastes so so good. I believe every Lebanese home is very well acquainted with cauliflower because from the minute we can eat all types of foods, moms introduce us to cauliflower one way or another.

Growing up, everyone around me just loved cauliflower. I never actually met someone who dislikes it, probably because there are many Lebanese recipes where cauliflower tastes so different and so yummy!

The first recipe is raw cauliflower with cocktail sauce: I honestly don’t know if this is a Lebanese creation, because cocktail sauce is not Lebanese to start with. But I’ve been to many countries around the world and I’ve never seen this mix anywhere else. And it’s an incredible one. Cocktail sauce balances perfectly well the sharpness of cauliflower with its warmth and notes of sweetness. Of all the vegetables that could be eaten raw with cocktail sauce, I believe cauliflower is the best.

Next we have pickled cauliflower. I mean how delicious is that?? We Lebanese love our pickles with almost everything we eat, but I don’t think any kind of pickles tastes as good as cauliflower, right?

We then have the cauliflower stew. The transformation of the cauliflower and how it becomes tender, softer and milder is just out of this world. Cauliflower stew is a perfect dish for cold winter days and goes perfectly well with lemon juice, radish and black olives.

Last but definitely not least, we have the fried cauliflower. I don’t think there is a single being in Lebanon who doesn’t LOVE this version with tarator dip (tahini, salt, lemon juice and optionally garlic). It is hands down one of the most delicious Lebanese dishes to ever exist! Some people now bake the cauliflower instead of frying it because it is healthier, but I will leave that dish for my cheat meal and have it deep fried like it originally is :). Bon appétit!