Mains Recipes Vegetarian

Molly’s cauliflower shawarma tacos




I ate these roasted cauliflower tacos twice in one week, which is very, very unusual for me. That’s a pretty good indication of how good these are. The recipe for these tacos comes from the ‘Molly on the range’ cookbook by Molly Yeh, the very well-known blogger behind My name is Yeh.

I ordered this book from the US and couldn’t be happier with it. Molly has a very unique writing style that shows from every page of this book. She’s witty, openhearted, honest and funny about her life in Grand Forks (where the pizzas are cut into squares and the term “salad” is used for very un-salad-like dishes), but also about her childhood and time in New York. All the stories are laced with food memories: from pulling up an all-nighter to eat donuts (best reason possible in my books) to making enough dumplings to put the entire family into a food coma.

The recipes are just as unique and especially very varied. That’s probably because of Molly’s Chinese-Jewish heritage and the many European trips she made, but also definitely because of the contrast between her former city life in New York and her current farm-life situation.

This means you’ll find the recipe for challah as well as for challah-waffles and a Chinese scallion pancake inspired version. Or a quinoa twist on the classic spaghetti carbonara and hotdish (yes, really). But also a complete macaroni & cheese flowchart and a sweet potato version of the Norwegian lefke pancakes.

I decided to start with the cauliflower shawarma tacos and didn’t regret this for one second. I often roast my cauliflower, but this – indeed very shawarma like – spice mixture makes the crispy roasted cauliflower even more addictive. It works surprisingly well in combination with the soft flour tortillas, nutty tahini sauce (Molly is probably just as much of a tahini addict as I am) and spicy zhoug (hot sauce made with fresh herbs, sort of like a Middle-Eastern pesto in the best possible way).

The original recipe is for four servings, but we demolished everything with just the two of us. If that doesn’t say enough, I don’t know what will.

I edited the original recipe just a tiny bit. I usually heat tortillas directly above a gas flame, which makes them slightly charred and smoky. The second time I made these tacos, I also added some hummus and that turned out to be very delicious addition. And last but not least, I replaced all the cilantro (cilantro = soap) with parsley and I suggest every member of team #nocilantro does the same.




voor 4 personen

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
½ tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp curry powder
1½ tsp vegetable broth base
1½ pounds (750 g) cauliflower florets
1 medium onion
2 tbsp flavorless oil
8 flour tortillas (6-inch)
¼ cup (60 ml) fresh cilantro (or parsley) leaves, finely chopped
optional: hummus

For the tahini sauce:
¼ cup (60 ml) tahini
3 tablespoons cold water
1 tbsp lemon juice
kosher salt and black pepper

For the zhoug:
5 jalapenos
4 cloves garlic
1 cup (240 ml) flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
1 cup (240 ml) cilantro coarsely chopped (or: extra parsley)
1 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp kosher salt
black pepper
¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil



For the tahini sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the tahini, water and lemon juice until the mixture thickens. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Add extra water if necessary)

For the zhoug: In a food processor, combine the jalapeños, garlic, parsley, cilantro, cumin, coriander, cayenne, salt, a few turns of pepper, and the olive oil and blend until it’s the consistency of pesto, adding more olive oil if desired.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, salt, garam masala, curry powder, and broth base. Add the cauliflower and toss to coat. Spread the cauliflower onto the baking sheet and bake, stirring occasionally, until browned and crispy, 30 to 40 minutes.

Thinly slice three-quarters of the onion. Dice the remaining one-quarter and set aside for topping. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, warm the tortillas above a gas flame or in a dry frying pan, until they are soft and golden brown spots appear. Assemble the tacos with cauliflower, fried onions, tahini sauce, raw chopped onion, cilantro and zhoug.

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  • thalia

    i have molly’s book but i’m yet to make something savoury! I’ve been making ALL the sweet things. these cauliflower shawarma tacos are definitely the first on my list. they look incredible!

    • Denise | The All-day kitchen

      All the sweet things are on my must-make list! And thanks!

  • monika

    what’s vegetable broth base? is it the same thing as bouillon cubes?

    • Denise | The All-day kitchen

      That’s what I assumed, yes 🙂

  • Keith @ How's it Lookin?

    I gotta try these. Definitely a new kind of taco for me, thanks for sharing

  • Sofie

    Ik hou echt van je stijl, lekkere recepten en food fotografie! Mag ik vragen welke camera jij gebruikt? Je foto’s zijn echt waanzinnig scherp!
    Liefs, Sofie

    • Denise | The All-day kitchen

      Dank Sofie! Ik schiet meestal met een Canon 6D, soms met een 5D mark II.