The other week I had the lovely pleasure of checking out Nella Cucina cooking school for the first time. The evening theme was Journey to the Eastern Mediterranean. It was a complete hands-on experience that I would recommend for any one looking to develop their kitchen skills, learn proper methods, or just to meet other food enthusiasts!
As soon as I got there they had a beautiful spread of hors d’oeuvres, including fig and pine nut toasts with roasted pepper hummus. We then moved into the kitchen where we were welcomed by the chefs. They had us divide into two groups where every 20 minutes we’d rotate through each cooking station for the rest of the evening. The first dish we started off with was the honey’d phyllo triangles with dates and walnuts. I have always wanted to work with phyllo before but have never had the opportunity until now. The chef at the station taught in a fun & interactive way by showing the group various techniques of how to work with the pastry. The next destination we moved to was lamb kofta with pistachio herbed couscous, they had already pre-made the herbed couscous, so the group just mixed and shaped the lamb kofta before sauteing and placing in the oven. After having a little bite to eat we then moved on to make falafels with a tomato & parsley salad, the salad tasted very fresh and light, I will definitely be making it again sometime soon. Last but not least, my favourite dish of the evening, the roasted cauliflower with tahini side. It was absolutely fantastic and very flavourful. Once we we’re finished each of the stations, the full group got together and had dessert & coffee. Overall, I had a wonderful evening, I met great people and learnt some awesome techniques along the way. Be sure to check Nella Cucina on Twitter: @nellacucina or Instagram: @nellacucina. Below is the recipe for the roasted cauliflower with tahini, enjoy!
- 1 large head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets (about 1 ½ lb.)
- 4 tsp. olive oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp.)
- 2 Tbs. tahini
- 1 Tbs. lemon juice
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 Tbs. chopped parsley
- 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
- Place oven rack in top position. Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Toss cauliflower with 2 tsp. olive oil, and season with salt. Spread on large cookie sheet, and bake 10-12 minutes, or until cauliflower is fork-tender and slightly browned.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tsp. olive oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Sauté garlic in oil 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Stir in tahini, lemon juice, 5 Tbs. cold water, and salt. Simmer over low heat 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Divide cauliflower among plates. Whisk sauce, then spoon over cauliflower. Sprinkle with parsley and sesame seeds, and serve.