Cauliflower ‘Hummus’


I am so excited by this recipe. It came about when a Fitter Food friend mentioned that he had made cauliflower hummus for his wife’s birthday dinner and I thought ‘Why haven’t I thought of that?!’ I’m the QUEEN of turning cauliflower into all things white and grain-like!

I actually really hated hummus growing up. In Malaysia you couldn’t buy hummus ready-made but my mum made it fairly regularly to have with pitta bread and salad. I don’t really know what she would have put in it that I didn’t like, but I used to refuse to eat it; perhaps the tahini was too bitter for my young palate (although my sister never had a problem, with it!). I used to get whole chickpeas to have inside my pita pockets instead instead. It was only when I moved to the UK and ate shop-bought hummus that I started liking it, which is weird as I usually consider homemade stuff the better version. I guess by then my palate had grown up and I started appreciating slightly bitter flavours!

Anyway, a good quality tahini is really important for hummus because you need to use a lot of it. Chickpeas are very bland in flavour so it’s the tahini that gives it the nutty oomph. I do love a good homemade hummus, which I know isn’t very Paleo, but I’ve recently come around to eating legumes now and then, so long as they are properly prepared. For chickpeas, that means soaking and sprouting before cooking them. Besides, I find that it’s quite difficult to get a super smooth texture unless you laboriously remove the papery skins around each chickpea or use a lot of water, by which point you’ve lost a lot of flavour.

So with this recipe you avoid a lot of that hassle, and obviously for those who avoid legumes, it’s a great alternative. Roasting the cauliflower before pureeing adds a depth of flavour which complements the nutty tahini.

I served this with lamb and pistachio koftas and broccoli tabouleh, but it makes a huge quantity so it’s also great as a dip for crudités or spicy liver strips.

Ingredients. Makes around 400ml.

Cauliflower hummus:

  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 150g (½ small jar) tahini
  • 150ml cold water
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 1½ lemons, juiced
  • Large pinch salt

Method. Preparation: 10 minutes. Cooking: 40 minutes.

  1. Preheat oven to gas mark 6/200C/180C fan.
  2. Chop cauliflower into small florets. Coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place cauliflower on a baking tray or roasting dish and roast for 40 minutes until starting to go golden around the edges and are soft when poked with a skewer. Take the cauliflower out and allow to cool for a bit.
  3. Place in a food processor and add the tahini and salt. Turn on and mix to a stiff paste, then slowly pour in 100ml of water and the oil. If it is still quite stiff, add more water.
  4. To serve: Spread the cauliflower hummus on a plate, create a well and drizzle on some extra virgin olive oil. Serve with crudités, lamb koftas or spicy liver strips.


  1. Yum! I made cauliflower hummus a long while back and had just steamed the cauliflower. The flavour was very disappointing (and not like real hummus at all), so I dismissed it till I happened by chance to try it with leftover roasted cauliflower last year – made all the difference! This looks perfect

    1. Ooo, exciting to know you made the same discovery! Roasted cauli is my newfound most favourite veg at the moment.

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