Slow-Grilled Cauliflower with Tahina and Zhough 


Maydān, Rose Previte's Washington, D.C., restaurant and wood-fired homage to Lebanon, is justly famous for its massive hearth, where this whole marinated cauliflower is cooked. While the Maydan chefs truss and hang the cauliflower heads over the fire to slowly cook them, we've adapted the recipe to slowly grill-roast them over indirect heat with an oak or hickory log at the center of the grill, alongside lit coals (which imbues the dish with smoky flavor and a rich color) before lightly charring the cauliflower over the coals to finish. Simply put, this is one of the most delicious dishes we've ever grilled at home. Serve it as a hearty main course or as a side with herbal zhough and bright tahina sauces, garnished with sumac onions and herbs.

Slow Grilled Cauliflower with Tahina and Zhough
Photo: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Chelsea Zimmer and John Somerall / Prop Styling by Audrey Davis
Active Time:
55 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 55 mins
6 to 8


  • 1 cup grapeseed oil, plus more for grilling

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric

  • 2 teaspoons nigella seeds

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 2 medium to large heads cauliflower, leaves and stems trimmed

  • 1 (16- x 6- x 3-inch) log of oak or mesquite wood, for grilling

  • Tahina

  • Zhough

  • Sumac onions

  • Sea salt

  • ½ cup loosely packed mixed tender fresh herb leaves (such as cilantro, parsley, and mint)


  1. Whisk together oil, salt, turmeric, nigella seeds, and coriander in a large bowl. Add cauliflower; gently toss, turning and brushing as needed, until thoroughly coated. Let marinated cauliflower rest at room temperature 1 hour.

  2. Meanwhile, open bottom vent of a grill completely. Fill a charcoal chimney starter with briquettes, and place on one side of bottom grate of grill. Place log directly next to chimney starter; light charcoal chimney starter filled with briquettes. When briquettes are covered with gray ash and part of the log closest to chimney starter is smoldering, pour briquettes onto the side of the bottom grate where the chimney starter was sitting. Lightly grease top grate with grapeseed oil; place on grill.

  3. Place cauliflower on oiled grate over side without coals, reserving any marinade. Grill, covered, until cauliflower is tender and a wooden skewer slides into center of cauliflower with just a little resistance, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, brushing with any reserved marinade and rotating 180 degrees halfway through cook time. Transfer cauliflower to grate directly over coals; grill, uncovered, turning occasionally, until golden brown and lightly charred, 5 to 10 minutes.

  4. Place cauliflower on a serving platter. Drizzle each cauliflower head with 1/2 cup tahina and 1/2 cup zhough, and top each head with 1/2 cup sumac onions. Sprinkle cauliflower with sea salt and tender fresh herbs. Serve remaining tahina, zough, and sumac onions with cauliflower.

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