Harissa Cauliflower Hummus with dill, mint, and harissa

Harissa Cauliflower Hummus

March 13
3 min read

Twice Roasted Cauliflower

A large head of cool-season cauliflower gets roasted two ways to make a meal-style hummus. Seasoned with fresh dill, chives, mint, lemon, and harissa paste, this hummus is full of bold + spicy flavors that are great for lunch or a light dinner. Enjoy with warm flatbreads, radishes, and a drizzle of harissa paste.

The Modern Potager Kitchen Garden

The joy of the modern potager is getting to expand your culinary skills and make restaurant-quality meals at home. Picking fresh ingredients from the garden and turning them into something that awakens your tastebuds and thrills is really what life is all about.

It should come as no surprise that I have a high appreciation of historical foods as an heirloom gardener. One of the oldest and most historically relevant dishes in human history is hummus.

And I could eat hummus morning, noon, and night. On its own with fresh flatbreads, alongside eggs, or loaded with roasted veggies. It’s this love of hummus that led Matthew to adamantly state, “You cannot survive on hummus and cucumbers alone.” As we shared a plate of one of my favorite variations, roasted red pepper hummus, with fresh radishes, cucumbers, and herbs from the showcase garden, the challenge of his statement kept dancing in my mind.

While it made me laugh in the moment, the notion that I could not survive off such a healthy dietary staple sent me down a path of cultural exploration and adventures in the kitchen for weeks on end. I wanted to understand the lore surrounding hummus and its impact upon the world. And truth be told, I wanted to discover if one could survive on hummus without getting bored.

In short, I’ve accepted the challenge to explore all that hummus has to offer in both traditional and new ways with the help of some fantastic local chefs, food bloggers, and a little creativity. Together, we’ll make a year’s worth of delicious hummus variations—52 recipes that feature the best of seasonal produce and pantry essentials.

We’ll test various cooking techniques, discussing the pros and cons of each method to achieve multiple results. While some chefs swear by using dried chickpeas and removing the skins, today’s high-powered blenders make quick work of tinned beans with their skins intact.

Ingredients for harissa cauliflower hummus


The earliest known origins of hummus date back to the 13th century, with several cultures claiming the creation of the savory dip. Yotam Ottolenghi, chef and cookbook author, writes about the hummus wars in his book “Jerusalem: A Cookbook.” But Israel isn’t the only country where people argue over the best hummus recipe. Palestinians, Egyptian Arabs, Greeks, and other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries also declare hummus as their dish, each region adding its own nuances.

The essence of the classic hummus recipe are chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, and salt. As cooking methods have changed over the centuries, the textural preferences and techniques used to create the creamiest dip have altered the base recipes.


The timing of the first cauliflower varieties isn’t clear, but most historians indicate that selective breeding occurred somewhere between the 500s and 1500s AD. Cauliflower originated in Asia around the Mediterranean Sea from wild mustard varieties. Cauliflower has been grown and eaten across Europe since the 1500s but did not start growing in the United States until the 1900s. “By the 16th Century, cauliflower, which takes its name from the combined Latin terms for “cabbage” and “flower,” was lauded as a rare delicacy grown in greenhouses to be served on the royal table of King Louis XIV, before making its way to commoners and then on to the gardens of India, England and, eventually, North America.”

Cauliflower florets and the leaves are edible and is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and cancer-fighting nutrients.

Harissa Cauliflower Hummus with dill, mint, and harissa

Loaded Harissa Cauliflower Hummus with Dill + Mint

Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups of fresh hummus | 4 servings

Created from years of making hummus


1 1/2 cups hydrated garbanzo beans/chickpeas (this is approximately 1 can), drained (reserve water brine)
2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste)
1 large head of cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces, reserve 1/3
1 Lemon, zested + cut for juice
1 small garlic clove
1 teaspoon fresh dill
Sea salt + fresh cracked pepper
Glug of really good extra virgin olive oil

1/3 reserved cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon tahini (sesame paste)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cornstartch
1 teaspoon harissa paste
1 teaspoon water
Sea salt + fresh cracked pepper

Really good extra virgin olive oil
Flaky sea salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh dill, minced
1 teaspoon fresh mint, minced
1 teaspoon fresh chives, minced
1 teaspoon fresh cilantro, minced
1 tablespoon sliced almonds

1) Wash and cut the cauliflower. Preheat the oven to 500F. While the oven is heating, mix the tahini, tomato paste, harissa paste, olive oil, cornstarch, and water in a bowl. Add 1/3 of the cut cauliflower to the mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden, stirring halfway through cooking time.

2) On a second roasting pan, toss 2/3 of the cauliflower with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden, stirring halfway through cooking time.

3) As the cauliflower is roasting, drain the hydrated garbanzo beans reserving the liquid to help thin the hummus, as needed. Place in a high-powered blender with tahini, juice from half the lemon, harissa paste, small garlic clove, and freshly cracked pepper + a pinch of sea salt. Blend at high speed until smooth, scraping down the sides if needed. If the mixture is not blending well, add 1-2 teaspoons of reserved bean liquid to help thin. Add one circle of olive oil (about 2 teaspoons) and blend again. Add the roasted cauliflower; save the spicy cauliflower for the topping.

4) Place hummus in a shallow bowl and dress with harissa roasted cauliflower, harissa paste (if desired), fresh dill, cilantro, chives + mint, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.

Serve the hummus with radishes and warm flat breads.


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