Serves 2 generously
1 medium cauliflower, broken into smallish florets
1 medium red onion, peeled, halved and sliced lengthways ½ cm thick
1 medium aubergine, cut into ½ cm rounds.
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
Extra virgin olive oil
¼ tsp turmeric
½ tsp paprika
2 handfuls flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1 handful mint leaves, torn
Nigella (black onion) seeds, for sprinkling
For the tahini dressing:
4 tbsp lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
¾ tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, crushed to a paste
A good ¼ tsp ground cumin
1 pinch cayenne
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
Put the cauliflower and onion in one bowl and the aubergine in another. Add ¼ tsp salt, ½ tsp cumin and 3 tbsp olive oil to each bowl, and grind in a bit of black pepper. Add the turmeric to the cauliflower. Add the paprika to the aubergine.
Toss the vegetables in their bowls until coated in the oil and spices. Spread the contents of each bowl out in a single layer in a separate baking tin and put in the oven.
Roast, turning over the vegetables halfway through, for about 30 minutes, or until the cauliflower is starting to colour at the edges and the aubergine is totally soft. Remove from the oven and leave to cool until just still warm.
While the vegetables are cooking, make the dressing. Put the tahini, lemon juice, salt, garlic, cumin and cayenne in a bowl. Whisk in 75ml water to make a smooth sauce, about as thick as double cream. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt and/or cumin as you see fit.
Toss the cauliflower and aubergine together in a bowl with the parsley. Decant onto a serving platter or individual plates. Splash some of the dressing over and around the vegetables. Taste a spoonful and adjust the seasoning if needed.
Sprinkle with the remaining mint and scatter with a few pinches of nigella (black onion) seed. Add a trickle more olive oil and serve.
Lucas Hollweg is an award-winning food writer, cookbook author and cook. A former Sunday Times journalist and cookery columnist, he writes for a wide range of food publications. His most recent book is Good Things to Eat.
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