Food & dining

Seasonal Recipes

Recipe: For an easy vegetarian supper, roast spicy cauliflower and serve it on butter-bean hummus

Spicy roasted cauliflower with butter-bean hummus.
Karoline Boehm Goodnick for The Boston Globe
Spicy roasted cauliflower with butter-bean hummus.

Serves 4

Butter beans are green or white limas, which are canned and make a good, quick hummus. (American cooks in the South and British cooks both refer to limas as butter beans.) Here, hummus forms the base for cauliflower and whole shallots that are roasted with red pepper, allspice, ginger, cumin, and paprika. While they cook, make the hummus, then assemble the plates with the vegetables and a drizzle of the spicy oil from the bottom of the baking dish. It’s an inexpensive, flavorful, and easy vegetarian supper.


1head cauliflower, trimmed and quartered
4small shallots, peeled and trimmed
¼teaspoon crushed red pepper
½teaspoon ground allspice
1teaspoon ground ginger
1teaspoon ground cumin
1tablespoon smoked (or regular) paprika
1teaspoon salt
cup olive oil

1. Set the oven at 450 degrees. Have on hand a 10-inch baking dish.


2. Place the cauliflower quarters and shallots in the dish.

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3. In a large bowl, combine the red pepper, allspice, ginger, cumin, paprika, salt, and olive oil. Stir to make a loose paste. Roll the cauliflower and shallots in the spice mixture until they are coated all over. Transfer the vegetables to the baking dish and scrape any spice mixture from the bowl over the vegetables.

4. Roast for 35 minutes, turning several times, or until cauliflower and shallots are tender when pierced with a skewer. The cauliflower will crisp on the outside.


2cans (about 15 ounces each) butter beans (or lima beans), drained
2cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Juice of 1 lemon, or more to taste
cup tahini, or more to taste
½cup olive oil
2tablespoons cold water
Salt, to taste
¼cup chopped fresh parsley
Extra olive oil (for sprinkling)

1. In a food processor, combine the beans, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, water, and salt. Work until smooth. Add 3 tablespoons of the parsley and pulse to blend it in. Taste for seasoning and add more lemon juice, tahini, or salt, if you like.


2. Spoon the hummus onto 4 dinner plates, smoothing it with the back of a spoon. Set a piece of cauliflower and one of the shallots on top. Drizzle with the spiced oil from the baking dish and more fresh olive oil. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon parsley. Luke Pyenson

Luke Pyenson can be reached at