Roast cauliflower with yoghurt and spicy red pepper sauce

Red pepper paste is essential to Turkish cuisine, and regularly puts in an appearance in dolmas, bulgur dishes and all sorts of dips. You can buy it in most Middle Eastern shops or online, but don’t worry if you can’t find any: use tomato paste mixed with a little extra aleppo chilli instead.

45 minutes


30 minutes



Serving size


1 large cauliflower (1kg), leaves and base trimmed, then cut into 8 x 4cm-thick wedges (800g net)
75ml olive oil
Salt and black pepper
1 onion, peeled, halved and cut into ½cm-thick slices
1 tbsp coriander seeds, lightly toasted and roughly crushed in a mortar
1 tsp caraway seeds, lightly toasted and roughly crushed in a mortar
1½ tsp sumac
25g mint leaves, roughly chopped, plus 1 handful extra, to serve
30g pine nuts, toasted

For the yoghurt sauce
300g Greek-style yoghurt
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp lemon juice (from 1-2 lemons)

For the red pepper sauce
70ml olive oil
2 tbsp mild Turkish pepper paste (or tomato paste)
1 tbsp aleppo chilli, plus extra to serve (or 1½ tbsp if using tomato paste)


1. Heat the oven to 240C (220C fan)/475F/gas 9. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with three tablespoons of oil and a half-teaspoon of salt, then spread out on a large oven tray lined with greaseproof paper. Roast for 22-25 minutes, until lightly charred but still with a bite. Transfer to a large bowl and leave to cool.

2. Meanwhile, put the remaining two tablespoons of oil in a medium saute pan on a medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and an eighth of a teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15-18 minutes, until soft and browned. Tip the onions into the cauliflower bowl and wipe clean the pan.

3. Put the oil for the pepper sauce in a saute pan on a medium-high heat and, once hot, add the pepper paste and aleppo chilli and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Take off the heat, stir in a pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper, and transfer to a medium heatproof bowl.

4. For the yoghurt sauce, mix the yoghurt, garlic, a tablespoon of lemon juice, a quarter-teaspoon of salt and a good grind of black pepper in a medium bowl and set aside.

5. Stir the coriander, caraway, sumac, mint, half the pine nuts, the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice and a good grind of pepper into the cauliflower bowl.

6. To serve, spread the yoghurt sauce over a shallow platter and arrange the cauliflower mixture on top. Spoon over half the red pepper sauce, then top with the extra mint leaves and the remaining pine nuts. Serve with the rest of the pepper sauce in a bowl alongside.

Aleppo Chilli Flakes