Oven-Baked Cauliflower with Yogurt- Garlic Sauce

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    4

Appears in

The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen

By Paula Wolfert

Published 2003

  • About

Here is my own personal version of the Turkish classic yogurtlu kanibahar, traditionally made by frying thickly battered cauliflowerets in lots of olive oil, then serving them with a yogurt-garlic sauce as a dip. In my version, the cauliflower is first blanched, then chilled, and finally baked in just enough batter to adhere until sufficiently crisp to hold in one's fingers. Dipping hot cauliflorets in a cool sauce is a real treat.

Try this dish as a side with the pomegranate-glazed leg of lamb on .

Ingredients

  • 1 cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon crushed garlic
  • Salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 ounces aged sheep's milk cheese such as kasseri or manchego, coarsely grated (about cups)
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Soak the cauliflower in vinegared water for 5 minutes; rinse and drain. Steam whole until barely tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Drain well on kitchen towels. Chill in the refrigerator, then cut into florets with ½ inch of the stem attached. Arrange in a single layer in an oiled shallow baking dish.
  2. At least 1 hour before serving, combine the yogurt, garlic, and salt to taste in a small bowl: mix well. Let the yogurt sauce stand at room temperature.
  3. About 35 minutes before serving, transfer an oven rack to the upper shelf and preheat the oven to 425°F.
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs until well combined. Whisk in the cheese, lemon juice, pepper, and parsley. Spread the cheese mixture over each caulifloweret; sprinkle with the bread crumbs and drizzle of the olive oil on top. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve hot with the yogurt-garlic sauce.