Roast Cauliflower Salad
by Iona Berry
Most of us grew up with meat as the hero of our meals and with vegetables taking up the mere corners of our plates. It can be hard to know where to start if you're trying to flip the script and cook plant based meals that don’t feel like just eating a plate full of sides. Building an exciting, yet satisfying meal around vegetables - whether that’s a bunch of carrots or a humble head of cauliflower - can sometimes feel like a little daunting and underwhelming task.
Our new series, Veg and Two Veg is here to tackle just that and to explore all of the ways in which every day vegetables can be the star of the table without sacrificing flavour or heartiness. Whether you’re cooking for one or cooking for a bunch, these recipes will fill your table with vibrant, deeply flavoured and satisfying dishes that you’ll be making on repeat.
This cauliflower salad is hearty, colourful and completely delicious. This middle eastern inspired dish is also nutritious, quick to make and very easy to eat a whole bowl-full by yourself.
Harrisa is a versatile ingredient but can also be overpowering. I would definitely recommend tasting yours before adding the full amount in this recipe. I used a rose harissa paste which is reasonably mild and therefore I could be quite liberal with the amount. I love the way when the harissa coats the cauliflower florets and is roasted in the oven, the cauliflower is stained with the vibrant red paste which contrasts beautifully with the rest of the salad.
I used chickpeas here but feel free to use a different bean or pulse you might have in the cupboard - black lentils would work very well. I added apricots for sweetness which balance out the acidity from the pomegranate molasses. I love to use a lot of herbs in this salad, almost as you would a salad leaf, be very generous! Enjoy it with some crusty sourdough on the side and drizzle with some extra virgin olive oil and crunchy sea salt.
500g cauliflower florets, cut into bite sized pieces
1 tbsp harissa paste (I used rose harissa)
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of Salt
Grind of freshly cracked black pepper
1 tbsp harissa
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Flaky sea salt to taste
1 tbsp olive oil
200g giant couscous
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp cumin seeds
400ml cold water (check couscous pack instructions)
Pinch of salt
50g dried apricots
Bunch of flat leaf parsley
Small bunch of fresh mint
Preheat the oven to 210˚C. Mix together the harissa, pomegranate molasses, salt, pepper and oil. Rub the dressing over the cauliflower and then roast for 25 minutes until the cauliflower has turned crisp around the edges and has softened but still has a slight bite.
Gently heat the oil and add the cumin seeds and turmeric powder. Stir and heat for 1 minute before adding the cous cous. Fry for 2 - 3 minutes until the couscous is starting to turn golden.
Then add the water and season with some flakey salt. Cook for 12-14 minutes (or double check the back of your particular packet of giant couscous, as they can massively vary). It should have absorbed all of the water but if the couscous is soft and there is still a small amount of liquid, then drain in a colander and place in the fridge to cool whilst you finish the rest of the salad.
Mix the extra virgin olive oil, pomegranate molasses and harissa together with a good pinch of flaky sea salt and stir until they are thoroughly combined. Coat the chickpeas with the dressing and set aside.
Dry toast the almonds in a frying pan for a couple of minutes. Let them cool and then roughly chop them. Roughly chop the dried apricots and parsley, then tear up the mint leaves.
Assemble the salad by tossing the couscous, chickpeas, apricots, herbs and the roasted cauliflower (I prefer to have the salad cold but you could also eat this warm/hot if you prefer). I like to keep aside a few of the chopped almonds and herbs to use as a garnish over the salad. If you have some vegan feta to hand then this would be delicious to crumble over the top, or if not it’s perfectly delicious as is.
By Iona Berry
Iona is our Development Chef, aka our go-to girl for developing, testing and tasting delicious dishes for you to all enjoy at home. When she’s not in the kitchen, you’ll find her either running or cycling, or trying out food markets and new restaurants around London. Continuous market research it would seem.