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    Josh Katz’s cauliflower shawarma kebab with rose harissa tahini, pickled red onion & pine nuts

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    Josh Katz’s cauliflower shawarma kebab with rose harissa tahini, pickled red onion & pine nuts

    • Preparation time: 30 minutes + 2-3 hours pickling time
    • Cooking time: 10 minutes

    Makes: 8 small kebabs or 4 large


    For the pickled red onion
    200ml red wine vinegar
    3 tbsp golden caster sugar
    1 tbsp flaked sea salt
    2 bay leaves
    1 cinnamon stick
    2 tbsp coriander seeds
    1 red onion, very thinly sliced

    For the cauliflower shawarma kebab
    1 cauliflower, about 1kg, trimmed of leaves
    1 large red pepper, cut into bitesized squares
    1 red onion, cut into bitesized squares
    2 tsp ground cumin
    1½ tsp ground turmeric
    1 tbsp lemon juice
    1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    100g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
    20g pack dill, leaves picked
    25g chives, cut into 1cm batons
    25g flat leaf parsley, leaves picked
    3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

    For the rose harissa tahini
    100g Cooks’ Ingredients Tahini Paste
    1 tbsp lemon juice
    100ml iced water
    1 clove garlic, finely grated
    40g Cooks’ Ingredients Ruby Rose Harissa Paste
    2 x 200g packs The Levantine Table Handstretched Flatbreads, to serve
    2 tbsp pomegranate seeds, to serve
    30g Cooks’ Ingredients Toasted Pine Nuts, to serve
    1 tbsp Cooks’ Ingredients Pomegranate Molasses, to serve


    1 For the pickled red onion, warm the vinegar, sugar and salt in a small saucepan over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the bay leaves, cinnamon stick and coriander seeds, and set to one side to cool to room temperature.

    2 Put the sliced onion into a sterilised 500ml Kilner jar or similar vessel with a lid. Pour the vinegar over the top, including the bay and spices and seal the jar, keeping it somewhere cool and dry. The onion should be fully submerged. This pickle can be used within 2-3 hours, but, as with all pickles, will benefit from having more time to souse – 2-3 days is ideal.

    3 To make cauliflower shawarma kebab, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil over high heat. Carefully lower the cauliflower into the pan.

    4 Bring the water back to the boil, then turn the heat down to medium so the water has a gentle roll. Par-boil the cauliflower until just tender when pierced with a knife but not overcooked, about 7-8 minutes, then remove the cauliflower and set on a cooling rack over a roasting tray to drip dry.

    5 For the rose harissa tahini, add the tahini to a bowl with the lemon juice. Gradually whisk in the iced water. The tahini will thicken at first to a very coarse paste, but as you add more iced water it will loosen to form a thick sauce with the consistency of thick double cream. Season with salt to taste and whisk in the garlic and rose harissa. Set aside until needed.

    6 Once cool enough to handle, cut the cauliflower into florets and thread, along with the red pepper and red onion pieces, onto 4 large or 8 smaller metal skewers.

    7 Beat the cumin, turmeric, lemon juice, garlic and softened butter together in a small bowl until thoroughly incorporated. Set aside at room temperature until required.

    8 Set a barbecue up for single-zone direct grilling, ensuring you are cooking over hot embers. In the absence of barbecue or outdoor space, you can use a ridged cast-iron griddle pan, heated until smoking hot.

    9 Brush the cauliflower kebab with the turmeric-spiced butter and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side on the barbecue, or 4-6 minutes each side on a griddle, basting with the butter intermittently, until well charred on both sides and the onion and red pepper are just cooked through. Season with flaked salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

    10 Toss the herbs in a small bowl with the olive oil and season to taste.

    11 Warm the flatbreads on the barbecue or griddle pan. Put the flatbreads onto serving plates (cut in half if you are doing 8 smaller servings), then top with the cauliflower kebab. Drizzle with harissa tahini, pickled red onions, pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and pomegranate molasses. Serve immediately while piping hot, with the herb salad alongside. 

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