February 26, 2016

Pan-Roasted Romanesco with Golden Raisins, Tahini & Sumac

Recipe: Travis Lett

There is something so mesmerizing about the spiraling sacred geometry found in the florets of romanesco. A cousin to cauliflower, romanesco’s sweet nuttiness is also brought out by charring over high heat. Be sure to break the heads into same-size florets so that they can stand up to the high heat. Golden raisins and tahini give this dish a juxtaposition of sweet and savory; lemon and sumac contribute bright flavors. Don’t be shy with the sumac; a liberal use defines the dish.


  • ¼ cup tahini
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tbsp cold water
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for cooking
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium heads romanesco, trimmed and chopped into 1-in florets
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable Stock (recipe here) or water
  • 1 Tbsp ground sumac
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Best-quality olive oil for drizzling


Yield: Serves 4 to 6

  1. In a small bowl, combine the tahini with the lemon juice, garlic, and cold water. Whisk in the extra-virgin olive oil. The sauce should be thin enough to drizzle with a spoon. (If it is too thick, add in more cold water, 1 Tbsp at a time.) Season with kosher salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over high heat. Add enough extra-virgin olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, and warm until hot but not smoking. Add the romanesco, cut-side down, and cook until deep golden brown in color, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir with tongs or a wooden spoon and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer. Turn the heat to medium and add the raisins. Season with kosher salt and cook, stirring, until the raisins soften, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the stock and allow the ingredients to steam briefly. Taste a piece of romanesco for seasoning and doneness; it should be tender. 
  3. Transfer to a serving platter, drizzle the tahini sauce on top, sprinkle with sumac, and garnish with sea salt and a drizzle of best-quality olive oil. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Michael Graydon & Nikole Herriott


Courtesy of Gjelina