Cauliflower hummus with spicy roast vegetables

Cauliflower is quite a chameleon of vegetables, changing to suit the dish it is in and imitating other foods with skill: from cauliflower rice and cous cous to cauliflower pizza bases and creamy sauces. Here the cauliflower plays the part of the chickpeas in a light hummus inspired dip. No, it won’t be identical to hummus, and chickpea hummus is also very healthy so is definitely not something to avoid, but it is a tasty, creamy dip that is also very light and contributes to your vegetable intake. Here I have paired it with simple roast vegetables, which combine to make a lovely filling for pitta breads or wraps. Roast vegetables are one of my favourite ways to use up whatever vegetables I happen to have in the fridge: simply combine with a spice mix of your choice and a drizzle of olive oil and you have the centre piece of a lovely dinner.

Cauliflower hummus with spicy roast vegetables

Cooking time: 15 minutes preparation, 30 minutes cooking (not including making optional items to serve such as salad and pittas)

Dietary info: vegan, gluten-free (without pittas, wraps etc.)

Serves: 2-4 (depending on what extras e.g. wraps, pittas, you serve with it)

Cauliflower hummus

  • ½ a cauliflower, cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • ½ – 1 vegetable stock cube (if you want to make this vegan then make sure that the stock cube is vegan)

Spicy roast vegetables

  • 1 aubergine, cut into bitesized chunks
  • 1 cauliflower, cut into bitesized chunks
  • 1 pepper (any colour) , cut into slices
  • 1 courgette, cut into bitesized chunks
  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp spice mix (or 1 tsp each of cumin, coriander, mint leaf; and half a tsp each of chilli powder, black pepper, paprika, allspice, cinnamon, ginger)
  • 1 tsp salt

Optional to serve: pitta breads or wraps, salad, lemon juice and chilli flakes

  1. Steam or microwave the vegetables for the roast vegetables until just starting to soften (8-12 minutes), or put in the oven in an ovenproof dish at 160C fan for 15 minutes, covered.
  2. Mix the spice mix, salt and olive oil into the vegetables and cook, uncovered in an ovenproof dish, at 160C fan for 20-30 minutes, stirring half way through, until the vegetables are soft, a bit crispy and starting to caramalise on the top.Steam the cauliflower for the hummus for 8-10 minutes, until soft.
  3. Blend the cauliflower with the other hummus ingredients until smooth.
  4. Serve the roast vegetables with the hummus. This is good served with pitta breads (see my recipe for homemade ones here), wraps or chunks of crusty bread, a salad and lemon juice and chilli flakes to sprinkle over.

A few tips to prep ahead:

  • Make the hummus and keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.
  • Chop the vegetables and keep in a bag or container in the fridge for a few days. If you have space you can even pre-cook them (step 1) and put them in the ovenproof dish mixed with the spices, salt and oil ready to go.
  • Then all you need to do on the night is roast the vegetables and heat through the hummus in a saucepan or the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

Some tasty little twists…

  • This hummus would make a great dip for sliced vegetables e.g. carrot and celery batons, slices of pepper.
  • Mix the roast vegetables with cooked pulses or grains (e.g. butter beans, green lentils, quinoa, barley, farro) and serve with lemon juice and dollops of the hummus as a filling but healthy salad.
  • Stir the vegetables and spoonfuls of the hummus through whole-wheat pasta.
  • Thread the pre-cooked vegetables (coated in spice, salt and oil) on soaked skewers and cook on a BBQ for a nice vegetarian option, served with the hummus dip.
  • Try different combinations of vegetables and spice mixes for variety e.g. use curry powder as the spice mix for the vegetables, add 2 tsp curry powder to the hummus and serve with rice or naan bread. Other vegetables that work well roast include mushrooms, carrots, beetroot, tomatoes, squash, potato, sweet potato, swede, broccoli, leek, celeriac, and fennel.

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