This is the Mediterranean-inspired bowl I wish that restaurants would make, instead of serving a super lame hummus sandwich. Crunchy hemp seed and za'atar crusted roasted cauliflower, smoky baba ghanoush (grilled eggplant dip), red pepper-kalamata relish, and savory saffron rice complete this delectable vegan and gluten-free bowl.
(Alternately, instead of this step, if you have a rice cooker, add all of the rice ingredients to it, adjusting the quantity of broth if needed according to your rice cooker's specifications, and follow your rice cooker's instructions for cooking).
In a saucepan over medium heat, add the vegetable broth and saffron, and bring to a simmer. Add the basmati rice, olive oil if using, and salt, reduce the heat to medium-low, and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 40 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Remove from the heat, fluff the rice with a fork, cover it again, and let the rice stand until you are ready to serve the rest of the meal.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, stir together the hemp or sunflower seeds, za'atar, nutritional yeast, and salt. In a second small bowl, add the chickpea flour and about a quarter of the non-dairy milk. Whisk together until evenly combined. Add half of the remaining milk and stir again until smooth. Stir in the rest of the milk. (This is so that the chickpea flour does not seize into lumps, which happens if you add all of the milk at once).
One at a time, take a cauliflower floret, dip it into the milk mixture, and shake off the excess. Then, drop it into the second bowl with the za'atar mixture. Using your other hand, sprinkle more of the mixture onto the floret to coat it; and then transfer it to the baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the cauliflower florets, spacing them an inch apart on the baking sheets.
Once all of the cauliflower has been battered and coated, bake it for 15 minutes, and then rotate the trays. Continue baking for another 5-10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and the batter and seed coating has firmed up.
Mix together all of the ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper if desired.
This recipe makes about 4 servings. For each bowl, serve a scant cup of rice, about one-quarter of the cauliflower, 1/4 cup of baba ghanoush, and about 2-3 tablespoons of relish, together in the bowl.
Leftovers keep well for a few days and both the rice and cauliflower reheat well in the microwave.
SAFFRON: Saffron can be pricey; I get it. Substitute 1/3 tsp ground turmeric (for color only), or just leave it out for a delicious non-yellow rice.
OLIVES: It has come to my attention that some people do not like olives. If you can get your hands on fresh pomegranate arils, mixing those with cilantro, salt and pepper, and the roasted red peppers would make a great alternative chutney. You can also simply omit the olives and increase the peppers or use another vegetable of your choosing, such as fresh tomato. Just be sure to add some salt that will be lost from removing the olives.
GRAIN-FREE: Serve with quinoa instead of rice if you eat pseudograins; or a veggie-based rice (normally I'd recommend cauliflower rice but that seems a little redundant here) or bed of sauteed greens.
Za'atar Crusted Cauliflower Bowls with Saffron Rice and Roasted Red Pepper Relish originally printed from https://yupitsvegan.com/zaatar-crusted-cauliflower-bowls/ March 21, 2018