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

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.

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 zhug

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 cauliflower
  • 1 240g/8 oz tin (drained) chickpeas
  • 5 tbsp olive oil – including a couple of tbsps. of finishing oil
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 100g/7 tbsps tahini paste
  • Juice and zest of half a lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed with 1 tsp smoked sea salt – plus a little more salt
  • 160g/⅔ cup thick Greek yoghurt (I like The Collective, Straight Up)
  • 4 eggs
  • 80 ml/⅓ cup water
  • Generous grinds Indonesian long pepper
  • Homemade zhug – make the quantity specified in the recipe in this post, it can have been made weeks ahead
  • 2 large tomatoes – the type that has grown up with the sun

Method

  1. Take the eggs out of the fridge, if they aren’t already.
  2. Preheat the oven to 210°C.
  3. Dry fry the cumin seeds and crush in a pestle and mortar..
  4. 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.
  5. Divide the cauliflower into smallish florets and put into a medium sized mixing bowl.
  6. Add the drained chickpeas.
  7. Add three tbsps. olive oil and the toasted cumin seeds.
  8. Grind over lots of black pepper. mix well together.
  9. Spread out on a silicon-lined baking tray, sprinkle over some textured salt. Roast for 15 minutes.
  10. Core the tomatoes and cut into chunks.
  11. In a small saucepan mix the tahini paste, the lemon juice, the crushed garlic, and the water. Stir well together (if it’s too stiff add a little more water) and then begin to heat gently. Stir in the yoghurt slowly.
  12. When it starts to steam, take it off the heat.
  13. Assemble the lot on a serving platter. Put the vegetables and tomatoes on, and spread them out. pour over the tahini sauce. Carefully cut the soft-boiled eggs lengthwise into quarters and arrange them around. Dot over the zhug. Drizzle over a bit of finishing olive oil.
  14. Et voilá!
Night Kitchen restaurant in Tel Aviv
Night Kitchen restaurant in Tel Aviv
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