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Cove Hollow Tavern’s roasted brussels sprouts and cauliflower with garlic-lime tahini (Photo credit: Doug Young)

East Hampton’s beloved Cove Hollow Tavern wants you to eat more vegetables, or at least entice you to make a healthy-sized side dish of them.

It’s hard to argue the request when those veggies are roasted and drizzled with lime-garlic tahini to accompany your harissa-flecked lamb burger, or all on their own. The restaurant, which opened in May 2017, is known for its cozy, upstate-farmhouse atmosphere and heartier fare, accentuated with accents that highlight owner and chef Terry Harwood’s affinity for Indian and Middle Eastern spices (which also shows up in his other popular restaurant, Vine Street Cafe in Shelter Island).

Chef Terry Harwood, co-owner of Cove Hollow Tavern in East Hampton (Photo credit: Doug Young)

“I’ve always searched for ways to add flavor to simple cuisine,” says the Tennessee native, whose Southern roots are prevalent on the tavern’s menu in dishes like pork cracklins and smoked baby back ribs. “Having a mentor like chef Floyd Cardoz, an extraordinary Indian chef, taught me a heck of a lot about spices.”

Harwood met Cardoz, the Mumbai-born chef behind the acclaimed Manhattan restaurant Tabla, in 1997 while working as a tournant (that is, a relief cook for all stations) at Union Square Café. At the time, he had an apartment on 29th Street and Lexington Avenue, serendipitously located just above Kalustyan’s Spice Shop, the global spice emporium renowned by chefs and serious home cooks for decades. 

“He’d have me pick up spices on my way to work,” recalls Harwood. “Floyd was royalty around the shop, so as his ambassador I got a little special attention and was introduced to many spices and blends that I’d never even heard of, such as garam masala, fenugreek, black onion seeds, cardamom pods and so on.”

Although Cove Hollow Tavern rotates and seasonally changes its menu, you will most likely find the thread of rich and piquant spices on his dishes all year. Winter dishes may include traditional hummus blended with Balsam Farms nutty butternut squash and a dash of bright turmeric, or roasted brussels sprouts and cauliflower drizzled with lime-garlic tahini, a paste made from ground sesame seeds often used in Middle Eastern cooking. 

Harwood’s lime-garlic tahini’s versatility makes it equally great drizzled over veggies or meat, or as a dip as well (Photo credit: Doug Young)

“Having worked in Manhattan restaurants for so many years, I’ve been around a few passionate Israeli chefs,” says Harwood, “and roasted vegetables with lime-garlic tahini is the type of dish that comes from shared experiences.”

Although there are several store-bought prepared tahinis available, Harwood recommends making this versatile paste from scratch. “This tahini recipe has a pleasant, subtle bitterness mellowed out by the olive oil and water. With a touch of heat from the cayenne and background garlicky-ness, it pairs well with roasted or grilled vegetables,” he says. “Traditionally, this would be made with lemon juice, which is a little sweeter than lime juice, so feel free to substitute if you wish.”

Chef Terry Harwood’s roasted vegetables with lime-garlic tahini

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Serves 4 servings


Tahini base

  • 1 cup sesame seeds
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Roasted vegetables

  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts
  • 1 lb cauliflower (about 1 head)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper

Tahini sauce

  • 1 cup tahini base
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp garlic chopped
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 lime cut into eighths
  • 1/4 cup parsley coarsely chopped


Tahini base

  • Lightly toast 2 cup of sesame seed in a medium-large sautée pan over medium heat. Allow to cool slightly.
  • Add to blender or food processor with 3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil and a pinch of kosher salt. Puree until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside.

Roasted Vegetables

  • Preheat oven to 450°F.
  • Wash Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Cut stems from Brussel's sprouts and cut into halves or quarters. Cut the stem and leaves from cauliflower, then cut the florets from he head into 1-inch pieces for roasting.
  • Toss Brussels sprouts and cauliflower with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. Roast on a sheet pan until tender yet a little firm, about 10 to 15 minutes. (Placing a few tablespoons of water in the pan will help steam and tenderize the vegetables.)
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

Tahini sauce

  • In a blender or food processor, combine the tahini paste, warm water, olive oil, lime juice, chipped garlic, salt and cayenne pepper. Puree or pulse for about 15 seconds, or until smooth.

Assemble the dish

  • Spoon the sauce onto a serving platter or plate. Arrant the roasted vegetables over the top and garnish with lime wedges and chopped parsley. Place the remaining sauce in a bowl for dipping. Enjoy!