Cauliflower has come a long way in being one of the most beloved vegetables especially during winter. Pair them wth grated carrot and then toss in a fresh chermoula sauce with California Dried Figs for a new favorite side dish.
What is Chermoula Sauce
Chermoula sauce is a traditional Moroccan marinade made with hefty amounts of cilantro, lemon, and garlic that packs a big flavor punch. While this dressing is traditionally used as a marinade for meat and fish, we decided to make it the flavor base for a zippy cauliflower side dish in an effort to dress up a vegetable that easily takes on the other flavors paired with it.
Cauliflower that Sizzles
We focused first on the cooking method of the starring vegetable. Roasting was the best choice to add deep flavor to the cauliflower and balance the bright chermoula sauce. To keep the caulilfower from over-browning before the interior was cooked, we started it covered and let it steam until barely tender. Then, we removed the foil, added sliced onion, and returned the pan to the oven to let both the onion and the cauliflower caramelize. Adding the onion to the pan once the cauliflower was uncovered ensured that they would finish cooking at the same time.
Grated Carrot Tips
Finally, to highlight the natural sweetness of the cooked vegetables, we added grated carrot. Use a cheese grater on the large holes of a box grater to shred the carrot for this dish. If you were planning to double or triple this recipe for a picnic or cookout, use a food processor with a shredding disk to save time.
Dried Figs with Chermoula Sauce
Adding in Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs when tossed with the chermoula sauce draws out their natural sweetness. When added with grated carrots, toasted almonds, and roasted cauliflower, the figs also add in fiber, calcium, and potassium for a versatile side dish.
Cauliflower, Figs & Grated Carrot in Chermoula Sauce
- 1 head cauliflower (2 pounds), cored and cut into 2-inch florets
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 red onion , sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 1 cup (6oz) Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs , stemmed and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons toasted almonds
- 3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 garlic cloves , minced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
For the Salad
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 475F. Toss cauliflower with oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread on parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and roast until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Remove foil and scatter onion on sheet. Roast until vegetables are tender, cauliflower is deep golden, and onion slices are charred at edges, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring halfway through roasting. Let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
For the Chermoula
- Process all ingredients in food processor until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping down sides of bowl as needed; transfer to a large bowl.
- Add cauliflower-onion mixture, carrot, and figs and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with cilantro and almonds. Serve warm or at room temperature.