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The Return Of Cooking With Bwog

This dish smells and tastes as good as it looks.

Ever thought about cooking, but were scared that you might be the next unfortunate soul that sets their dorm on fire? Ever grown tired of boxed pancake mixes, but remembered that one time when you confused baking soda for baking powder and ended up with a bitter, circular piece of cardboard? Well, fasten your bikini-bod apron strings and blast your hype music, Bwog is starting a weekly post for budget-friendly, non-threatening meals that anyone can make.

Bwog adapted a few recipes from Alison Roman’s new cookbook Dining In. We like to make this Harissa Roasted Eggplant and Cumin Roasted Cauliflower dish into a full meal by serving it with garlic naan and garlic hummus from Trader Joe’s. If you’re feeling less ambitious, you can also toast regular bread with butter and minced garlic in a skillet and snag some hummus from your favorite dining hall.

Harissa Roasted Eggplant Adapted from Alison Roman

  • 4-8 cloves of garlic, finely sliced (personally, the more garlic the better)
  • 2-3 baby eggplants, thinly sliced into rounds
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp harissa
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 3 Tbsp white vinegar
  • ¼ c fresh dill leaves, coarsely chopped or torn


  1. Preheat oven to 500°F.
  2. Toss half of the garlic and all of the eggplant with salt, pepper, and a generous amount of olive oil onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast for approximately 30 minutes, or until super tender. We promise that this will cook down.
  3. Meanwhile, combine the remaining garlic, 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil, harissa, tomato paste, cumin and vinegar in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add roasted eggplant to harissa mixture and toss until thoroughly coated. Serve with fresh dill.

Serves 4 as a side dish.
Can be made a week ahead.

Cumin Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini Sauce Adapted from Alison Roman

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 5-6 dates or figs (dried are fine)* pitted and halved
  • 3 Tbsp tahini
  • ½ cup pine nuts (or walnuts or almonds or whatever nut is on head)
  • 2 scallions
  • 1 c mint leaves, coarsely chopped or torn
  • 1 c cilantro, coarsely chopped or torn
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar or sherry vinegar

*Can also use raisins instead of dates/figs. In this case, do not roast. Sprinkle them at the end along with the nuts.


  1. Preheat oven to 500°F.
  2. Break apart cauliflower into inconsistently sized florets with your hands and toss with copious amounts of olive oil, cumin, and a generous amount of salt and pepper. (Fun fact: not only does olive oil make your hair shiny, but it also keeps your veggies from sticking!) Roast on a foil lined baking sheet for about 20 minutes, or until nicely golden, then add in preferred fruit. Leave in the oven for about 10 more minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, mix together tahini and add a tablespoon or two of water until it’s at an appropriate consistency (or not). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Toast pine nuts in a small skillet until golden.
  5. In another bowl, toss all of the herbs, vinegar, and a bit of olive oil. Season with—you guessed it—salt and pepper.
  6. To serve, elegantly spread a dollop of tahini mixture at the bottom of your dish. Place cauliflower and fruit on top. Heap with vinegary herbs and sprinkle on those nuts.

Serves 4 as a side dish.
Cauliflower can be roasted days ahead and reheated.

Tip: Shamelessly swipe all of the pre-cut cauliflower florets, hummus and baguettes from a dining hall while everyone gives you the side-eye.

Some ideas when using up leftover ingredients:

  • Make extra harissa sauce and put on everything or top with poached eggs and herbs.
  • Brew tea with the extra mint leaves and a squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Swirl leftover tahini into brownie batter before baking or use it instead of peanut butter.
  • Leftover pine nuts are delicious when toasted and sprinkled on any pasta dish.
  • Slice the fruit so it looks like a taco. Stuff with tahini and sprinkle with cinnamon.

We’ll be featuring lots of recipes that will make you want to eat your vegetables and indulge in drool-worthy desserts with step-by-step videos and restaurant recommendations. Want a place to bring your parents, or a meal you always wanted to cook with your roommates? Let us know in the comments below.

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