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Roasted Cauliflower with Schug & Yogurt Sauce

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5 from 7 reviews

  • Author: Alexandra Stafford
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 4 as a side dish
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Inspired by a roasted butternut squash with yogurt and schug in Joshua McFadden’s Six Seasons.

If you don’t feel like toasting and grinding whole spices, you can use ground. 

Regarding parsley and cilantro: I have simply been using 1 standard (vague, I know) grocery store bunch of each. In other words, each is not massive, each is not tiny. I measured the first time I made it; I haven’t measured since. For cilantro, you can use stems and all. For parsley, I cut off the thick stems at the end of the bunch, but otherwise, I don’t worry about plucking off each leaf.

If you don’t have green chilies, I’ve had success making this without them and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, adding more to taste.

I served this with toasted day-old overnight focaccia, but naan or pita would be particularly good —  all of this bundled in a wrap would be delicious. Chickpeas would be nice alongside here, too.


  • 1.5 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 cup deribbed, seeded, and roughly chopped fresh hot green chilies, such as serrano (2 to 4)
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 2 cups lightly packed cilantro leaves, see notes
  • 2 cups lightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves, see notes
  • zest from one lemon
  • juice from one lemon, about 3 tablespoons, divided
  • salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • naan, pita, or other bread for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. In a small skillet, toast the cumin and coriander seeds until they smell fragrant and have turned a shade darker in color. Transfer to a spice grinder or crush with a mortar and pestle. Transfer 1.5 teaspoons of the mixture to a small bowl. This is for the schug. Transfer the remaining spice mix (you should have a heaping tablespoon) to another small bowl and stir together with the smoked paprika and cayenne—this is for the cauliflower.
  2. Get the cauliflower in the oven: Rub a small amount of olive (or neutral) oil over a rimmed sheet pan. Transfer the cauliflower, onions, and smoked paprika spice mix to the sheet pan. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a teaspoon of salt. Toss to coat, spread in an even layer, transfer pan to the oven, and roast for about 30 minutes, tossing once after about 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, finish making the schug: Put the chilies and garlic in a food processor and pulse a few times until they are fairly fine. Add the cilantro, parsley, lemon zest, reserved toasted spiced, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and a few twists of black pepper. Pulse until all is finely chopped into a rough purée. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Stop the processor before the sauce is completely blended and smooth—you want some texture. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with another 1/2 teaspoon salt (I always do), and pepper and lemon to taste.
  4. Make the yogurt sauce: Stir together the yogurt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Taste. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  5. To finish: smear the yogurt sauce over a large platter. Top with the roasted cauliflower. Drizzle some of the shkug over top. Serve immediately, passing more schug on the side.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Oven, Roasting
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern