Anthony Bourdain’s Roasted Cauliflower with Sesame

your new favorite side dish

I am, like I’m sure many of you are, deeply disturbed by the outcome of this election. My heart breaks for this country, but more, it breaks for my non-white friends, for my LGBTQA+ friends, for my non-Christian friends, for my undocumented friends, and so many others. I know that I let this happen. I didn’t do enough. I posted a bunch of pithy stuff on Facebook, sat back, and waited. I was not active and I was not political. I didn’t listen, I just shouted my own dumb opinions for the echo-chamber of my Facebook page to hear. I was so sure that Hillary had this in the bag, for all her faults. She was the most qualified candidate. She wasn’t talking about creating a database of Muslims, and her vice president wasn’t talking about repealing Roe v. Wade. Neither of them were talking about making the deportation of two or three million people one of their top priorities. I’m using this platform to discuss how I feel because this is my blog and that is my right. Any negative comments will be deleted. This is a safe space for those that are hurting. I’m going to be volunteering with The Young Center, I’ve made donations to the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, and Amnesty International. I’m going to a group meeting this week to talk about more ways we can work together to do good and enact change. I am going to remain vigilant and be active and not let this happen again. I encourage you to go to protests in your area to show that we will not be silenced. Facebook is a great way to find marches and rallies in your area. Please feel free to contact me via the link to the left if you want help finding ways to be active in your area, or even if you feel alone and want to talk. I’ll be here.

anthony bourdain roasted cauliflower with sesame
Cookies that I brought to a march on Sunday to hand out to people. You can still use small gestures as a way to show people you care.

anthony bourdain roasted cauliflower with sesame

As always, cooking and baking can help to heal, so that’s what I’ve been doing a lot of lately. Anthony Bourdain’s new cookbook, Appetites, has been helping inspire me to get in the kitchen and use my hands and do what I love to do, even if I might not necessarily feel like it right now. He is the reason I started cooking in the first place, to be honest. The itself book is truly a breath of fresh air. Its recipes are uncomplicated and approachable. They are dishes that he likes to make for his family, be it a big Sunday night dinner or a simple weeknight meal that can be thrown together quickly. The photos are both personal and silly, and the writing is, of course, extremely Bourdain. If you are a fan, then you know what that means. The dessert section consists of one page, for example, where he talks about how he is terrible at pastry, but if you want to put out a great dessert, just throw down some Stilton and your guests will love you forever. There’s another chapter titled “Big Fucking Steak.” So yeah, it’s ya’ boy, back at it again. I already know that this is going to be one of my favorite cookbooks for the rest of my life, and I’ve found myself flipping through it over and over again. This roasted cauliflower is one of the gems in the book that truly inspires me to get in the kitchen. It’s nothing fancy, but you do have to get yourself a tub of tahini (sesame paste) and miso (fermented soybeans). I usually have both of these in my fridge at all times, and I recommend that you start doing the same. They are both incredibly versatile ingredients that lend themselves to just about anything, like this cauliflower. Roasted until nice and crispy, and broken apart by hand instead of chopped to hell with a knife (try it, your cauliflower world will be forever changed), and tossed in a creamy, salty mixture of tahini, miso, and vinegar, there’s nothing not to love here. Kramer and I ate it over the course of a week as a side to some pork that I also made from the book (I’ll be posting that soon, as well) and I only lamented that I couldn’t eat all of the cauliflower by myself. You probably will, too.

anthony bourdain roasted cauliflower with sesame
I doubled this recipe because it was so damn good, and so that we’d have enough to eat with lunch for the week.

anthony bourdain roasted cauliflower with sesame
All you have to do is toss the cauliflower with spices, roast, and then toss it again with your tahini and miso mixture. That’s it!

anthony bourdain roasted cauliflower with sesame
I highly recommend devouring this with some chili oil.

anthony bourdain roasted cauliflower with sesame

Anthony Bourdain's Roasted Cauliflower with Sesame
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6 as a side
The lesson here is to always have tahini and miso on hand because this cauliflower is downright addictive.
  • 1 head of cauliflower, broken by hand into bite-sized florets
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste (I like to add a healthy amount of coarsely ground black pepper, personally)
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon white miso
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons toasted white sesame seeds
  • chili oil/paste, for serving (optional but recommended)
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F and set aside. Break the cauliflower apart using your hands, which is a super easy thing to do that I had never thought of until I bought this book. Place the cauliflower in a large bowl and combine with the oil, salt, coriander, oregano, and pepper. Toss to combine.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the cauliflower out over it. Roast for 20 minutes or so, turning the tray halfway through.
  3. While the cauliflower roasts, whisk together the tahini, miso, vinegar, and 1½ tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. When the cauliflower is roasted, move it to a large mixing bowl while it's still warm and toss with the sauce and sesame seeds. Serve immediately. This will also keep well, covered and refrigerated, for up to three days. We ate it as a side with lunches during the week!
Adapted From


36 Responses

  1. Julia says:

    I think a lot of liberal white women our age are feeling the same way. I never doubted for a second that Hillary would be elected. I’ve spent the last week coming to grips with my own overconfidence and ignorance, as well as the fact that so many white women voted for Trump. Just as republicans are always yelling that it’s up to the “black community” or the “Muslim community” to denounce extremists in their midst, it’s now up to us to make up for the damage that our fellow white women (and men) have done to this country – for all our friends who are now threatened by our government. (and, as a Jew, Steve Bannon has me pretty personally nervous!) Thanks so much for speaking your mind. I can’t bear, this week, to read blogs that pretend nothing has changed.

  2. lene says:

    I’m in Europe and lots of people here are shocked by the result of your election. Things are moving in a dangerous direction in this world if it’s possible to be elected president by spewing hate and blaming. It’s happening over here aswell and it is so so scary!
    Thank you for sharing your thought and feelings on this.
    hugs, Lene

  3. Deplorable says:

    Unsubscribe me!

    I am sick and tired of Spoiled Brat Mentality of the Liberal Left Cry Babies who thinks they are All Entitled and Above the Law!

    Hey, my vote counted!

    Grow Up!

    A Deplorable for Trump!

  4. Deplorable says:

    btw I’m a woman!

  5. Sweetmixy says:

    Thank you. Also if anyone else is like me and never actually subscribes to our newspapers but rather get my news in flipbook, please think about subscribing to a national and local paper. They need our suport.

  6. Fatima Monkush says:

    Thank you, Sydney, for speaking up and creating a safe place. It’s so easy to get lost in our NYC bubble and be so sure of what the rest of the country is thinking. As vocal as I was during the election I feel like I should have spoken up more about my fears and concerns instead of erring on the side of non-confrontation with my co-workers. It wasn’t until I broke down in the office last Wed consumed with fear for my visibly Muslim parents in TX or my brown niece & nephew in MD that my non-POC coworkers really processed the impact this election will have.

    I have no plans to move to Canada and will stay politically active. And I really want to believe in the checks and balances in place within our government. But we all need to continue to communicate and engage in civil discourse if we’re ever going to bridge this massive divide that has been growing for the last 16 years.

    In the meantime, I will bake to help myself and others heal. Because cookies.

  7. Ben says:

    I feel you, Sydney, and I hope you are doing ok because my TL is absolutely filled with grieving and pissed off people. I do feel like the D’s walked right into the trap the R’s set by nominating someone they have been relentlessly vilifying for the better part of 2 decades, but if nothing, it suggests to me how very afraid they are of the biggest glass ceiling being destroyed. When it happens, our world will truly change. Perhaps the best thing that could come out of this is if the Electoral College winner-take-all system is finally kicked to the curb, because then my vote in NY will finally mean something.

    Anyway… back to the kitchen… I like the idea of breaking apart the cauliflower by hand but the irregularity of the shapes means i get fewer of the caramelized spots that I so love. But I do dislike that cutting my cauliflower into large flat planks creates a hell of a lot of little cauli-crumbs all over the place. How would you compare this to just plain ol’ roasted cauliflower (which is damned hard to beat)?

  8. annie says:

    I’m heartbroken as well. I don’t know how we could let this happen. But together, we will fight (peacefully, of course). Well, right now I’m sick on my couch. But once I’m better, I’m gonna get to work.

    On a happier note, I’m so in love with this cauliflower dish. It just may be the perfect contribution to our family’s potluck-style Thanksgiving.

  9. Deplorable says:


    I didn’t think you were strong enough to post my reply. Try to have an open mind and maybe when you mature/grow up you’ll see things differently.

    • euuuge says:

      Perhaps she is too busy to engage with your comment immediately after you posted it? How would you have liked her to respond by the way?

      For someone who wanted to unsubscribe you have come back to this site at least twice to incite a flame war. The exit button is located at the top of your browser.

      • Deplorable says:

        Sydney did not post my earlier reply, so I felt the need to respond.
        Yes, I’ve unsubscribed, but wanted a followup to the situation.

        • Annalise says:

          “If you don’t respond you’re not smart/strong/right.” is textbook bullying. Bullying in people because you’re emboldened by standing behind a bigger bully is not surprising. Sadly, this is not your space, and you can be kept from doing that here.

        • Melanie Egan says:

          You are not entitled to anything on a person’s private blog, freely speaking about their own opinions. Never. You don’t have to like it but Sydney (and others like her) are free to exercise their freedom of speech without running it by you first for your ok. If you feel that strongly about things, I encourage you to start your own blog to speak to it. Blogger is free to everyone and has some great tools to help you build a blog with the colors/styles that you like. Good luck with it.

  10. Ragnarok says:

    With an opening like that, I love you and your blog even more. And the recipe looks WONDERFUL, I have told my vegan friend about it too!

  11. sillygirl says:

    How did you make it last for a week??? The two of us would devour it in one night.

  12. Tracy says:

    My husband just finished making this and it’s tasty, but much too salty. I’d start with a half teaspoon of salt and add more to taste. Other than that, great flavors and a nice way to serve cauliflour.

  13. perezvila says:

    Here’s a vote for what’s right from south america… We are all sad here… our former president was Mujica… if you just google him, and read about it for two seconds, you would see there’s nothing more contradictory for us, than TRUMP being president of any country at all
    … he’s a sign of all that’s wrong…
    But at some point i think that many of us (it’s happening in the US now, but could happen anywhere…) have become numb to the situation, and it’s literally everyone’s fault… (those who voted.. and those who didn’t stand against the situation in time) … and also it’s about the international community… at some point the faith of so many countries is defined by the US (i believe that most ppl in America don’t even realise about it…)

    and besides all the human reasons… “it’s just weather”???? really!? come on men…

    but … it’s also Durtete in Philippines, Putin, the dictatory regimen in China, and so on…

    It’s a sad time…

    Also, i thank you Sydney, i follow a lot of food blogs, it’s ok, it’s a light topic…. not every one needs to be politically involved… but… so many people just shutted up…. i was mesmerized.
    The conversation needs to be every where…

    Thank you for turning one more light on.

  14. Tara says:

    Hi, Sydney,

    I, too, am so sad for this country. I was worried all along & voiced it repeatedly that Hillary might not win bc I also knew that Trump’s platform of hate appeals to a wide demographic in the US (now, OBVIOUSLY). I’ve never been more ashamed of this country. I don’t recognize this nation at all. And, I’m SICK when I see the numbers of women, especially, who voted for Trump. (It actually makes me wonder what their day-to-day lives are like & how they interact in the world & how do they value themselves & all women & minorities so low…I could go on & on). I can’t stand to hear “let’s make this work,” nor can I take one sip of that conciliatory Kool-Aid. This whole debacle has deepened a huge rift in the USA–divided us–and “divided we fall.”

  15. Janine says:

    Donald Trump is not what the left wants him to be. Hilary is a foul-mouthed elitist.

    Do you really want someone who says “fuck you, be quiet” to the people who are in charge of her security to be our president???

    Read about her melt down on election night when she learned that she lost.

    BTW, Bill Clinton would do you in heartbeat. And Hillary is still married to him. What a great person she is who stands up for the rights of women.

    • Annalise says:

      Janine, get with the program. This is no longer about Hillary. It’s about a man who is filling his cabinet with white supremacists, building staggering conflicts of interest, attacking the first amendment, ignoring the basics of precedent for security and openness with the public, and basically showing every day that he is unfit to lead. Why on earth you think this is still about Hillary is beyond me.

    • Sydney says:

      I’m going to leave this here so that people can see the kind of person you are and see what kind of people support Donald Trump.

  16. Ruth says:

    Thank you for using this platform to speak out against the racism, sexism, homophobia, and Islamophobia that Trump represents. Like you, I’m am very sad – and very scared – for our country. I feel like white supremacy has become mainstream, and I am terrified for my black and brown neighbors. As a woman, I’m also heartbroken that so many Americans could vote for a man who abuses, assaults, and openly ridicules women. Where has our compassion gone?

    Oh, and the cauliflower recipe looks delicious.

  17. Kyla says:

    I’ve followed your blog for years. I’ve never commented, though I should’ve because your food is awesome (that crispy tofu thing over a quinoa salad? AWESOME!)
    I want to thank you for speaking your heart in your blog. I follow a ton of blogs, and many make vague references to political positions (ONLY in the aftermath of this election – mostly “thank god this election is over”) – and I totally get it because people who make money from their amazing recipes, blogs, professional-style photos have a dedication to all their readers and depend on their readership. So, thank you for standing up for what is actually right. you’re completely correct – this is your blog, and you get to do WHATEVER you’d like with it. This includes deleting comments from racist assholes, posting whatever you’d like, and living with the consequences.

  18. Sarah says:

    Any chance I could get a recipe for those cookies? 😀

  19. Melanie Egan says:

    Thank you for this. It was brave and we will need to join hands together to fight this going forward. I’m here if you need anything at all, even just a kind word.

  20. B.claw says:

    Thank you for the post and all the wonderful food you have given us. My and my hubby are upset as well because he is japanese and we have a son that is autistic. On the night Trump won we had windows broken and a note on the door telling us to get out ou die. We told the HOA here and they told us we should listen. The head of the HOA was arrested. We are still here and you are here to. We all will live and go on and prove love and kindness will win.

  21. Sandy says:

    Quick question! How do you get your cookie dough to spread so evenly and thin? I love your chocolate chunk cookie recipe and I’ve made them so many times. Mine come out a little dough-y and not as thin as yours. They are still delicious just different.

    • Sydney says:

      Hey Sandy – I will say that I always use a cookie scoop. I think that helps a LOT. I would also make sure you are beating your butter and sugars together for at least three solid minutes, so that air can whip into them, and then just fold the flour/chocolate in with as light a touch as possible. I hope that helps and I’m glad you still enjoy the cookies! :)

  22. Camille says:

    I’m one of the many regular lurkers on your blog, and I just wanted to say you and your food rule. and I appreciate your honestly and empathy for marginalized folks.

  23. Emma says:

    I’ve only just come upon your blog, and I have never commented on a blog before, but thank you. Thank you for not being apolitical so as to not lose a reader who might disagree with you.

    (Also making this cauliflower tonight)

  24. Jessica says:


    You write a great blog. You obviously have intelligence in some areas. Don’t be retarded.

    The ban does not apply to people who have a green card and are in our country legally.

    The ban does not say that we are not accepting refugees from these countries.

    It only allows the government more time to evaluate these people and insure that the people we welcome into our country are not here to harm us.

    It seems that you and your ilk (people like you) won’t be happy until we have a Cologne-like attack on women where refugee men molest and sexually assault American women.

    When that happens I’m curious…where will your loyalties be then…to the refugees who committed the assaults or the women who endured them???

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