Most of you have come across the whole roasted cauliflower in some form or another. It’s actually the creation of famous Israeli chef, Eyal Shani. It’s served in his restaurants in Israel and around the world.
Here is the definitive recipe as well as a recipe for traditional pita breads to have alongside. After making these, you’ll never buy pita from the supermarket again.
2 small cauliflower with leaves attached
extra virgin olive oil
coarse sea salt
Preheat an oven to 250 C.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Use 2 teaspoons salt per liter of water. Place the cauliflower with their leaves still attached upside down in the pan and cook the cauliflower for about 10 minutes.
Drain the cauliflower and allow to stand for a minute or so until all the water has drained out. Rub your hands with a generous amount of olive oil and massage it into the cauliflowers, then sprinkle them with coarse salt.
Scrunch up 2 pieces of grease proof paper and shape into ‘bowls’ to go around the cauliflowers. Roast them in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes so that the top gets dark and charred.
Remove from the oven and drizzle with a little extra olive oil. You can also sprinkle over a little extra salt if you wish. Serve the cauliflower in the baking paper with a bowl of tahini and pita bread on the side.
Makes 14 small or 10 large pita breads
500 g wheat flour, plus extra for dusting
25 g fresh yeast or 7 g instant dried yeast
15 g castor sugar
10 g salt
300 ml cold water
45 ml olive oil
Place all the dry ingredients in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix all the ingredients and add the water and olive oil.
Knead for about 10 minutes on a low speed until the dough is elastic.
Place the dough on a wooden board, cover with a damp tea towel and allow to rise for about an hour or until doubled in size.
Dust the work surface with flour and cut the dough into 14 pieces of about 60 grams (for small pitas) or 10 pieces of about 80 grams (for large pitas).
Roll each portion of dough into a ball. Spread the dough balls over the work surface leaving enough space between them as they will expand. Cover once again with a damp tea towel and leave for about 20-20 minutes until they have doubled in size. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 240 C.
Roll the dough balls out with a rolling pin into circles with a 12 cm diameter for small pita breads and to 16 cm diameter for large ones. All the breads should be the same thickness so that they rise evenly in the oven.
Line 2 large baking trays with grease proof paper. Place on the dough circles and allow to rise for a further 10-15 minutes.
Bake the pita in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes until well risen and ballooned. This usually means they are cooked through. To give them a good brown colour, you cam leave them in the oven for a further 1-2 minutes.
Remove the pita breads from the oven and place in a deep dish covered with a clean tea towel. This will ensure that the pita’s get softer before serving.