Monday, 9 May 2016

Roasted Cauliflower and Almond Salad

Roasted Cauliflower and Almond Salad

It's an ongoing challenge between me and cauliflower!
I've said before that cauliflower is not my favorite vegetable (details here and here).
You will say: why do you keep buying it when there are many other vegetables available?
I don't know exactly.
But the good thing is that, when I buy it, I am somehow forced to be more creative than I would be with other vegetables that are more appetizing - at least for me - by nature, like carrots, tomatoes, zucchini, and others that can even be eaten as they are or just cooked in a simple way.

The result is that I've been trying many different recipes with cauliflower, some of which really nice (have a look at this link for cauliflower recipes)..
And I'm glad to share them in case you readers have with this vegetable the same controversial relation as me.

I think that roasting is the best cooking method to give cauliflower a good taste, in particular if it's flavored with spices or at least just lots of black pepper. 
And roasted cauliflower is the base of this salad where it is combined with celery, almonds, black olives and the skin of some preserved lemon (if you do not have it on hand, fresh lemon zests work well too). The dressing is spiced and lightly bittersweet, thanks to the combination of pomegranate molasses and vinegar. 
And, if you like, you can garnish the salad with a handful of pomegranate seeds, just before serving. It will also add a nice touch of color! 

Enjoy it as an appetizer, a side dish or a vegetarian main course in a light lunch. 

Roasted Cauliflower and Almond Salad

Roasted Cauliflower and Almond Salad
serves 2 to 4
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
extra virgin olive oil
flaky sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1stick of celery, thinly sliced
generous handful roasted  almonds, roughly chopped
generous handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/4 of a preserved lemon, flesh discarded and skin finely chopped
handful kalamata olives, pitted
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses
extra parsley leaves to garnish

Preheat oven to 220° C (425°F).
Toss cauliflower florets with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, and season liberally with flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Transfer into an oven dish, ideally in a single layer, and put into the preheated oven.  Cook until the cauliflower is tender and golden (about 25 minutes).  Remove from the oven, transfer to a large bowl, and set aside to cool.
Add another 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the cauliflower, along with the celery, almonds, parsley, preserved lemon, olives, cinnamon and allspice, vinegar, and pomegranate molasses.  Toss to combine everything well.  Taste and adjust seasoning to your taste.

If you like you can garnish the salad with a handful of pomegranate seeds, just before serving. 

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