I love Nuba but…

Roasted and spiced crispy cauliflower…Najib’s special ain’t got nothin’ on my version of their ever-so-popular roasted and spiced crispy cauliflower.

If you’re from Vancouver and love Lebanese food, then you’ve most likely heard of and/or have been to Nuba. Nuba is a cute little restaurant with five now four locations in downtown, Yaletown, Kitsilano and Mount Pleasant areas. They specialize in healthy, fresh, Lebanese food. Not only does it taste great, it’s also a good bang for your buck as well.

Now, hop onto Foursquare or Yelp and everyone will recommend a dish on the menu by the name of “Najib’s Special”. Najib’s Special is a delicious bowl of deep-fried cauliflower that has been seasoned with traditional Middle Eastern spices. Top this off with a squeeze of fresh lemon and you’ve got heaven in your mouth. It’s so good.

I actually went to Nuba a few week’s back after a friend’s gig in the Hastings/Cambie area. Hellz no, I was not going to step into Pub 340 or the god-awful Cambie and everything else seemed to be closed. Where to go? Nuba, of course!!! It had honestly been ages since I had last visited Nuba so I decided I should give it another go. We ordered Najib’s Special and the Le Petit Feast which consisted of hummus, baba ghanoush, tabbouleh (um, aka all of my recipes this week) and homemade pickle. Although the meal was perfect, I couldn’t help but think that, “God, I can make this at home for under $10”. And I did. Thanks for the inspiration, Nuba!

Now, onto my version of Najib’s Special. Same flavour, a touch more lemon, a hell of a lot more healthy than the deep-fried version. Can’t believe how much I missed cauliflower. Also forgot that I can eat the whole head of cauliflower too… Must double batch this next time. You might want to too.
Roasted and spiced crispy cauliflower Roasted and spiced crispy cauliflower Roasted and spiced crispy cauliflower Roasted and spiced crispy cauliflower Roasted and spiced crispy cauliflowerRoasted and spiced crispy cauliflower

What you’ll need:
– 1 head of cauliflower, leaves/stem discarded, and florets cut off
– 3 tbsp olive oil
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 3 tsps sumac
– 2 tsps ground cumin
– 1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
– Salt and pepper to taste

What you’ll need:
1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower florets and the rest of the ingredients and toss to incorporate. Pour the contents onto a lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are slightly browned and crispy. Halfway through the baking time, give the pan a toss/stir to evenly distribute the browning of the cauliflower.
3. Let cool and serve with tahini. Makes 4 servings.


2 thoughts on “I love Nuba but…

  1. Pingback: When life gives you lemons… | Umami & Me

  2. Pingback: Discovering new ingredients. | Umami & Me

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