Char-grilled cauliflower with fried beans and pumpkin hummus

Today the sun is shining in New York City, but that was not the case a few days ago. The weekend just past was one we will not ever forget. On Saturday morning, we awoke to a city blanketed in fresh powdery snow. By midday, the snow and wind were swirling thick and fast. The streets took on an eerie quiet and, while it was beautiful to watch from the inside, it was just as fun to venture out into the storm. The kids reveled in their first snowball fights of the season, went sledding in the backyard and built and igloo. In the days after, the clean up has been huge, as colossal mounds of snow dissipate to slush and neighbours dig to find their cars. But for us, as newbie New Yorkers, we are truly fascinated by all of it. We are still constantly amazed by the extreme beauty that this city produces, from season to season. It is truly mind boggling.

Luquer Street, Brooklyn. About 2:00pm 01.23.16

Luquer Street, Brooklyn. About 2:00pm 01.23.16

As January comes to a close, I have lots happening at Arthur Street Kitchen in Brooklyn. Soon, I will start salad deliveries in my local area of Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill. Hopefully this delivery area will expand into other areas of Brooklyn soon. To be honest, I can’t wait to start feeding people regularly again. It is such a very special thing to do, to nurture people, friends and strangers alike, through food and I feel lucky to be able to do this again over here.The other big project of the year is my new book. I will share the title with you soon, but all I can say is, it is looking fantastic! My amazing team at Plum Books in Melbourne and Sydney are hard at work to bring you a very special publication. The book is due for release the first day of September later this year. I’m also hoping for both Community and the new book to find a home with an American publisher this year. Fingers and everything else crossed.

In the meantime, as I cultivate a growing breed of US-based salad eaters, it is often frustrating for them not to have access to Community and the recipes in the book. So this week, I've decided to share one of my favourite recipes from Community here on my blog. Along the way, I've made an amendment here and an adjustment there. This not only mixes things up, but allows me to give classic salads an ever-so-slight American flavour.

This recipe is a Community classic. However, here, I have spiced the pumpkin hummus with a pumpkin pie spice mix - cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and allspice. The result is a sweeter, spicier, more intense pumpkin hummus. Make more for finger dipping! It’s very addictive.


Char-grilled cauliflower with fried cannellini beans and spiced pumpkin hummus

This recipe is slightly amended from the original recipe that appears in my cookbook Community, Salad Recipes from Arthur Street Kitchen (Plum Books / Pan Macmillan Australia). 

gluten free + vegan

Serves 4-6

  • 2 medium (2kg / 4.5 lbs) cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 cans cannellini beans (or any white bean), drained
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • ½ cup cilantro / coriander leaves
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Pumpkin hummus

  • 750g / 1.6 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Sea salt and black pepper

For the pumpkin hummus, place the butternut in a saucepan with a splash of water and salt and cover with a lid. Cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, shaking pan every now and then. If the pumpkin dries out, add another splash of water. The pumpkin is ready when it is very soft and falling apart when stirred. Allow to cool.

Combine pumpkin, tahini, garlic, salt, olive oil, all the spices and lemon juice and whisk to break up the pumpkin and to combine. Adjust seasoning, adding more salt, oil or lemon juice as needed.

Heat a griddle pan or large frypan on high. Coat cauliflower in a few glugs of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill / fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until charred all over.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a fry pan on medium heat, add garlic, cumin and coriander and a pinch of salt and cook for 10 seconds to release flavours. Increase the heat to high and add the beans to the pan, stirring to coat the beans in the spices. Cook for 5-6 minutes, shaking the pan often, until the beans go crispy on both sides.

Combine the roasted cauliflower and beans with the herbs. On a large serving dish, place a big dollop of pumpkin hummus and spoon the cauliflower and bean mixture on top or on the side. Serve topped with pumpkin seeds.

SALADHetty McKinnon