A Night Kitchen- inspired Dish of Cauliflower, tahini, boiled egg, and homemade zhoggiu

The Saucy Dressings’ Chief Correspondent had dinner at Night Kitchen, a fashionable restaurant in Tel Aviv, and reported back, raving about a dish of cauliflower.

It was a pretty straightforward dish which, she said, was composed of roast cauliflower and chickpeas with soft-boiled eggs, a sauce of tahini, garlic and yoghurt, and a sort of topping-with-a-flourish of something deliciously called zhug.

Zhug, I discovered, is a sort of hot and spicy salsa verde – you can read all about it, and discover how to make it,  in this post. It can be made weeks ahead. In fact, (maybe my Italian ancestry) I prefer zhoggiu, a sort of Sicilian version, to Zhug and I use that instead.

This is my attempt to replicate the Night Kitchen dish. Serve it with homemade flat bread, or with pitta.

Recipe for A Night Kitchen- inspired Dish of Cauliflower, tahini, boiled egg, and homemade zhoggiu

Serves 8


  • 2 cauliflowers – fresh, don’t even think about using frozen florets
  • 1 700g gross/540g net /1 lb 4oz net jar or tin (drained) chickpeas – I really like El Navarrico
  • 5 tbsp olive oil – plus a couple of tbsps. of finishing oil – ideally walnut oil
  • 3 tsp cumin seeds
  • 10 tbsps/approx ⅔ cup/15 ml tahini paste
  • Juice and zest of a lemon
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed with 1 tsp smoked sea salt – plus a little more salt
  • 240g/1 cup thick Greek yoghurt (I like The Collective, Straight Up)
  • 5 eggs
  • 120 ml/½ cup water, maybe more
  • Generous grinds Indonesian long pepper
  • Homemade zhoggiu – make the quantity specified in the recipe in this post, it can have been made weeks ahead
  • 4 large tomatoes – the type that has grown up with the sun
  • 120g/4 oz cooked ham or lardons (optional)


  1. Take the eggs out of the fridge, if they aren’t already.
  2. Preheat the oven to 210°C.
  3. Put water on to boil. If the eggs are at room temperature boil them for six minutes. Pour out the water, cover with cold water, and when cool enough, peel carefully.
  4. Divide the cauliflower into smallish florets and put into a medium sized mixing bowl.
  5. Add the drained chickpeas.
  6. Add the olive oil and the cumin seeds.
  7. Grind over lots of black pepper. Mix well together.
  8. Spread out on a silicon-lined baking tray, sprinkle over some textured salt. Roast for 15 minutes.
  9. Core the tomatoes and cut into chunks. Add to the cauliflower.
  10. Use a mini-blender to mix the tahini paste, the lemon juice, the crushed garlic, and the water. Blend in the yoghurt slowly. It needs to be pourable. If it isn’t add water slowly until it is.
  11. If you want to be smart you can assemble the lot on a serving platter. Put the vegetables and tomatoes on, and spread them out. Alternatively simply leave the vegetables in the baking tray. Pour over the tahini sauce. Carefully cut the soft-boiled eggs lengthwise into quarters and arrange them around. Either serve the zhoggiu separately, or dot it over. Drizzle over a bit of finishing oil.
  12. Et voilá!
Night Kitchen restaurant in Tel Aviv
Night Kitchen restaurant in Tel Aviv
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