Smoky Sautéed Cauliflower with Green Beans, Tahini & Almonds

This simple smoky sautéed cauliflower and green beans makes a flavourful veggie side dish. A garlicky tahini drizzle, toasted almonds, and finely chopped kalamata olives add texture and mega flavour. This one comes together with ten main ingredients and in roughly 30 minutes. Serve it with your favourite protein, some cooked grains or a handful of greens for a complete meal.

An up close, overhead shot of a sautéed cauliflower and green bean dish that is topped with a creamy sauce, chopped olives, and sliced almonds.
An overhead shot of a sautéed cauliflower and green bean dish that is topped with a creamy sauce, chopped olives, and sliced almonds. The dish is plated in a large braiser-style pot and is perched on top of a wood cutting board.
A 3/4 angle shot of ingredients for a cauliflower and green bean side dish.

I am always playing around with new veggie side dishes, sometimes building a whole meal around one. This smoky sautéed cauliflower with green beans has a lot of flavour bombs in the mix. Smoked paprika, fresh thyme, and sherry vinegar for some brightness. I finish the simple sauté with a garlicky tahini drizzle, toasty almonds, and finely chopped olives. Not to be corny, but this is a real symphony of flavour that we’ve got going on here.

More vegetable side dishes to round out the table:

The method is simple! I just sauté everything in a large pan until the cauliflower is evenly browned and the green beans are tender. In the midst of the cooking, I clear a space in the pan and pour in an extra bit of oil to make a “spice jacuzzi” for the smoked paprika and thyme. I stir that in, and then finish the vegetables with sherry vinegar and a bit of lemon zest to keep it bright. Also, I learned the term “spice jacuzzi” from Diaspora Co. It’s a key cooking technique!

I drizzle a basic tahini sauce over top and garnish with toasted almonds and salty bits of chopped olives. Flavour town is for real! 

If I were making this for a gathering and wanted to pregame a bit, I would recommend blanching the cauliflower and green beans. After you’ve thoroughly cooled those, you can store them in a container in the fridge for up to one day. Then the next day you can proceed with sautéing. The tahini sauce can be made 3-5 days in advance too.

An up close shot of tahini sauce ingredients in a white bowl, before being whisked together.
An up close shot of smoked paprika and thyme sizzling in hot oil, surrounded by cauliflower.
A 3/4 angle shot of sautéed green beans and cauliflower.
An up close, overhead shot of a sautéed cauliflower and green bean dish that is topped with a creamy sauce, chopped olives, and sliced almonds.
An up close, overhead shot of a sautéed cauliflower and green bean dish that is topped with a creamy sauce, chopped olives, and sliced almonds.
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5 from 4 votes

Smoky Sautéed Cauliflower with Green Beans, Tahini & Almonds

This simple smoky sautéed cauliflower and green beans makes a flavourful vegetable side dish. A garlicky tahini drizzle, toasted almonds, and finely chopped olives add texture and mega flavour. This one comes together with ten main ingredients and in roughly 30 minutes.
PREP TIME15 mins
COOK TIME20 mins
TOTAL TIME35 mins
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 4 -6
Author: Laura Wright

Ingredients

Tahini Drizzle

  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely minced or grated with a Microplane
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar
  • ¼ cup water

Sauteed Cauliflower & Green Beans

  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra
  • ½ head cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 4 cups florets)
  • sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ lb green beans, trimmed and cut in half
  • 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons pitted Kalamata olives, finely chopped (about 8 olives)

Instructions

  • Make the garlicky tahini drizzle. In a medium bowl, combine the tahini, grated garlic, salt, pepper, sherry vinegar, and water. Whisk this mixture together until combined. Set aside.
  • Place a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the sliced almonds to the pan. Toast the almonds, stirring around often, until deep brown on all sides, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer the almonds to a small plate and set aside. Return the pan to the heat.
  • Pour the olive oil into the pan and swirl it around. Add the cauliflower to the pan and spread it out into a single layer. Season with salt and pepper. Let it sit until it browns a bit on one side, about 4 minutes. Then, give the cauliflower a stir, flipping the pieces over. Let the other side of the cauliflower brown for another 3 minutes.
  • Make a little space in the middle of the pan. If the pan seems dry, pour some more olive oil into that space. Add the thyme and smoked paprika to the oil (they will sizzle!) and stir to incorporate.
  • Add the green beans to the pan and stir. Season again with salt and pepper. Keep sautéing the vegetables, stirring occasionally, until the edges of the cauliflower are softened and the green beans are bright green and crisp-tender, about 6 more minutes. If you have some excessive browning happening on the bottom of the pan, just add some tiny splashes of water as you go and stir.
  • Once the vegetables are cooked, stir in the sherry vinegar. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon zest. Transfer the sautéed cauliflower and green beans to your serving plate. Drizzle the top with the garlicky tahini. Finish with the toasted sliced almonds and chopped olives.

Notes

  • If your pan is drying up towards the end, simply keep adding tiny splashes of water to keep your veg from browning too much.
  • To keep this totally nut-free, toast some pumpkin or sunflower seeds instead of sliced almonds.
An up close, overhead shot of a sautéed cauliflower and green bean dish that is topped with a creamy sauce, chopped olives, and sliced almonds.
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