Smokey Roasted Cauliflower with Labneh, Za’atar, and Parsley

A few weeks ago I held a gathering to host a brunch and formative discussion on the future of The Féministe. I created this website to be a vessel for difficult conversations around feminism, faith, race and any other influence not often spoken to in the larger feminist movement, and I’ve been taking my time in the back end to figure out the best way to communicate each story and conversation in the most honoring, articulate way possible. All I will say is, it was a very telling conversation. There was a lot of confusion, frustration, biases and to be honest misunderstandings or lack of understanding on all sides. At the end of it, with frustration and fire and compassion overflowing from all sides, I felt a feeling I hadn’t ever felt before—this is what I was made for.

To be honest, it’s kind of a bizarre feeling. A foreign sense of clarity, like a grounding to earth and time in a way I’ve never experienced. It brings peace. Like Jamal in Slumdog Millionaire when details in his life add up to a moment he didn’t know would come but defined his future. Grounding is by far the best way I can describe it—clarity in purpose but openness to execution. It’s a freeing experience. It takes all the pressure off of success in goals and dreams, and puts it on relationships, healing and freedom for myself, my community, and anyone I get the pleasure of chatting with in the next few months. In theory, this can go a lot of ways. It could be writing, songwriting, films, blogging, or plain old fashioned conversation in real time with real people. For now, it’s the latter. What better way to hear conversations than around a kitchen table over a great meal with people you love. I’ve already booked the next 2 dinners (and their respective topics), and can’t wait to hear what people are wrestling with in it. I’ve said it most of my life and it will always ring true: there is something sacred about the space around a dinning table.


This cauliflower is perfect for a small gathering and has become a staple in my cooking rhythm ebbs and flows throughout the month. And, to be entirely honest, it is a total crowd pleaser. I recommend making some kind of sauce, ideally creamy and yogurt based, to pair with and balance out the intensity of the flavors here. This recipe roasts 1 whole cauliflower and can be used as a side dish for about a group of 4 or so. It usually lasts me a few days when it’s just me snacking away on it.


Smokey Roasted Cauliflower with Labneh, Za’atar and Parsley

For the smokey Cauliflower

1 large cauliflower, cut into medium-sized florets
about 3-5 T olive oil (add by the T)
3-4 tsp smoked paprika
3 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili posder
less than 1/4 ginger powder
smidge turmeric
5 gloves garlic, sliced
squeeze of about 1/2 lemon
generous S&P to taste

Honey Labneh Yogurt

3/4 c labneh
1/4 c greek yogurt
1 tsp honey

1-2 tsp za’atar
freshly chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Cut cauliflower into medium sized florets. (They shrink down when they cook) Mix together spices and salt and pepper in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over cauliflower. Drizzle with 3 T olive oil and stir. If it needs more (it should be glossy) add more 1 T at a time. Add in garlic and finish with squeeze of lemon.

Bake on foil for about 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through baking. Allow to cool. Serve with labneh underneath cauliflower by smoothing out a few scoops of the mixture on a plate or in a bowl. Add cauliflower on top and add za’atar and parsley for seasoning.