A new and delicious way to enjoy Cauliflower
Look at the colours in this salad! Can I just share that the flavours are even better than the presentation! I know Spiced Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Lentils is a bit of a mouthful, but this salad is such a delicious mouthful. Thanks to Robyn who posted a similar recipe on Facebook that sparked my interest. I LOVE cauliflower. I recently discovered roasted cauliflower, and it was no surprise that I loved it. Nonna used to par-cook cauliflower, crumb it and fry it- amazingly good, and a very fond childhood memory. The recipe Rob had posted had a tahini sauce, and as I have disclosed before, tahini is not my favourite. So some research. Another recipe from Ottolenghi which he admits was inspired by a recipe by Karen Martini. With so much choice, you think I could have just followed one of the recipes and left it at that. Do you know me at ALL??
Of course I had to tinker. I looked at the basics from all the recipes and just took my favourites. Hopefully they will be your favourites too. Peppery rocket, middle eastern spices, some crunch from the toasted almonds, the vibrant colour and sweetness of the pomegranate, and “the hero of the dish” that beautiful roasted cauliflower – just a little crisp on the edges and still soft on the inside. This salad is a wonderful accompaniment to barbecued meat, star of a middle eastern dinner party, or delicious and interesting enough to eat on its own.
While you are preheating the oven to 180°C, toast some slivered almonds in a small dry pan over a medium heat.
Remove from the heat and pop them to one side. Not too far that you will forget about them. Just saying.
Now grab your cauli. Break it up into florets and toss it in those lovely spices and some oil. Spread in a tray lined with baking paper :
And pop into the oven for 25-30 minutes until cauliflower is cooked and edges have turned golden brown:
Hope you show better restraint than I did – quite a few florets were “taste tested” here! Set aside to cool and make the salad dressing. Oh this dressing! Sweet and tart and spiced – it is divine! In a small bowl (or jar would make for easier mixing) combine the olive oil, pomegranate molasses, red wine vinegar, maple syrup, cinnamon and all spice. Add a little salt and pepper and mix together. Taste to ensure the balance is correct.
Now to construct the salad. In a large shallow bowl, scatter the rocket, mint and parsley leaves. Pretty, hey?
Top with drained and rinsed lentils and cauliflower.
Scatter the pomegranate arils over. Now, pomegranates have recently disappeared from the supermarket, but can still be found at green grocers. If you can’t find, use roughly chopped craisins for colour and that sweet tang. At this stage the salad can be refrigerated if you are serving later.
To serve, scatter over almonds, drizzle with dressing and toss to combine. Perfect with Chicken Shawarma and last week I served it with Lamb Meatballs. Honestly, this is the perfect salad to accompany any barbecued meat. Enjoy!
- 1 cauliflower, broken into florets
- ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted
- ½ pomegranate, seeds only
- 100g rocket
- 1 400g tin lentils, drained and rinsed
- ⅓ cup mint leaves,
- ⅓ cup flat leaf parsley leaves
- ½ tsp paprika
- ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 2 tbs olive oil, extra
- 1 tbs red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp pomegranate molasses
- 1½ tsp maple syrup
- ⅛ tsp all spicce
- ⅛ tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a baking dish with baking paper.
- Combine oil with turmeric, paprika, cumin and salt - add cauliflower and coat well. Spread cauliflower over prepared tray and bake for 25-30 minutes until cauliflower is cooked and golden on edges.
- Spread rocket, mint and parsley leaves in a large shallow bowl. Top with lentils, cooled cauliflower, pomegranate arils and almonds. Mix dressing ingredients and drizzle over the top.