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Roasted cauliflower, hazelnut & pomegranate salad

Do your tastebuds a favour and make this delicious and healthy salad soon.  It’s a fabulous recipe by the gorgeous chef Yotam Ottolenghi and I was introduced to it recently by a friend who made it while I was in Melbourne.

The originalRoasted-Cauli-pomegranate-salad-close is to be found in Ottolenghi’s book Jerusalem, however versions can be found online with slight variations.

I made it for the second time last weekend for my grandson’s third birthday party / barbecue and received loads of compliments.

Getting the balance of the dressing is the key to setting off the earthiness of roasted cauliflower, the zing of the popping ruby pomegranate seeds and the hazelnuts.  It’s a heavenly dish on its own or with chicken or other vegetables.

I’ve made a few minor personal tweaks from the original recipe, but the dressing has a fine balance, so be wary of altering that too much. And you can vary some of the ingredient amounts slightly without affecting the salad’s balance too much.  I like to add more pomegranate seeds and hazelnuts than specified.

Let’s get to it.

You will need

Pomegranate1 head cauliflower, broken into small florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large celery stalk, cut on an angle into 1/4 inch slices
1/4 cup hazelnuts, with skins
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley leaves
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1.5 teaspoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Time to cook:

Preheat your oven to 180 Celcius

Break the cauliflower into small florets and place on a shallow baking tray lined with baking paper (parchment). Lightly season with some salt and pepper if you like. Roast in the oven for 25-35 minutes until parts of it are turning golden brown.  Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool down.

Roasted HazelnutsDecrease the oven temperature to 150 Celcius. Spread the hazelnuts on the baking tray that’s been lined with fresh baking paper and roast for between 10-12 minutes, checking regularly because they will burn very quickly. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cool plate. 

When cooled enough to handle, wrap in a clean tea towel and rub until the darkened skins come clean from most of the nuts, then place onto a chopping board and chop coarsely.

Transfer to a clean bowl and let them wait patiently for it all to come together.

Pomegranate-cut-pure-whitebgCut your pomegranate in half and carefully remove the seeds.  It’s a fun job, especially when you have a good pomegranate with loads of juice. You’ll need the seeds from about half the pomegranate.

(The rest can be stored in an airtight glass container for about a week and used in / on your cereal or muesli or mixed with yoghurt for breakfast.  Mmmmm.)

In a small bowl, whisk together the 2 tablespoons olive oil, sherry vinegar, maple syrup, cinnamon and allspice. Set aside.

Roasted-Cauli-pomegranate-saladAdd the chopped nuts to the cauliflower, along with the pomegranate seeds, celery and finely chopped parsley.  Stir to combine, then pour the dressing over and mix well.

Taste, then season with salt and pepper accordingly.

This is a salad that’s best served at room temperature.

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