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roasted cauliflower & hazelnut salad

Another vegetable dish, fit for a feast, made before the rush ~ and one that likes the temperature of the room, right where you set it.


In the fall, my mum buys big burlap bags of nuts and over the course of the winter she shells them, roasts them then puts them away, mostly for baking. Her house still smelled of an alder wood fire and roasting hazelnuts when I showed up. It was a very lucky day for me to have a sweet long visit with my mom and to walk away with my pockets bulging nuts. My luck didn’t end there because I’d just bought a beautiful organic cauliflower and (several) pomegranates without a plan. And in my newest cookbook, a dish that paired them all together. Kismet! Somedays, things just can’t get much better.

One more recipe from the sumptuous new cookbook of Yotam Ottolenghi (Jerusalem) and then we’ll give the poor man a rest.


Roasted Cauliflower & Hazelnut Salad

(serves 4 as a small side)

1 head Cauliflower, broken into small florets (1½ lb, 660 g)

5 Tablespoons Olive Oil – divided

1 large Celery Stalk, cut on an angle in ¼-inch slices

5 Tablespoons Hazelnuts, their skins on (30 g)

1/3 cup Parsley Leaves, picked

1/3 cup Pomegranate seeds (from about ½ medium pomegranate)

generous ¼ teaspoon ground Cinnamon

generous ¼ teaspoon ground Allspice

1 Tablespoon Sherry Vinegar

1½ teaspoons Maple Syrup

Salt & Pepper to taste


Preheat the oven to 425°F 220ºC

Into a medium bowl drop the cauliflower florets and toss with just 3 Tablespoons of the olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt and some black pepper. (Set the bowl aside.) Spread cauliflower onto a baking sheet or roasting pan (lined with parchment to save yourself the cleanup.) Place on a rack in the oven set near the top. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the cauliflower is golden brown, still crisp yet pierce-able with a paring knife. Transfer to the same bowl and allow to cool somewhat.

Unless your mum just filled your pockets with roasted nuts, you’ll need to do your own. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F 170ºC. Spread the nuts onto a baking sheet lined with parchment (no oil) and roast for about 17 minutes.

Allow nuts to cool slightly, then coarsely chop them. Add them to the cauliflower along with the celery and parsley leaves. Mix the spices with the remaining 2 Tablespoons olive oil and the sherry vinegar and pour over the salad. Toss to coat. I prefer to add the pomegranate seeds shortly before serving so as not to stain the other ingredients. Toss once again.

(For the neatest way to remove seeds from a pomegranate, see a previous post here.)

Serve at room temperature.

nice, huh?


(To print the recipe, click.)

30 Comments Post a comment
  1. These room temp dishes are such a brilliant idea for Thanksgiving! And the colors and creativity of this one…really, I’m just continually amazed by all the combinations of flavors and vibrancy you bring to your readers. (I have to say I cracked up when I read that we’d give this poor man, Yotam, a rest after the current post. He sure seems to have some good stuff up his sleeves.)

    November 16, 2012
    • I know Ashley, right? When I said “rest” I was thinking more along the lines of a power nap. 🙂

      November 16, 2012
  2. eastofedencook #

    Every recipe I have tried from Plenty has been a star. I have yet to purchase Jerusalem and can see I must do so soon! I usually roast cauliflower without any more adornment than salt, pepper and olive oil. But the hazelnut salad is such an enchanting recipe and with holiday color!
    Just scrumptious!

    November 16, 2012
    • Yes, yes and yes! Thanks for the comment…I’m going to see what you’ve got cooking at your place!

      November 16, 2012
  3. Fabulous recipe that I have just printed. I’m mad for Ottolenghi and I still haven’t got Jerusalem.
    Very impressed with being able to print from your blog. Why haven’t I spotted that addition?

    November 16, 2012
    • About the print feature – I didn’t have it in the beginning and tried going back and updating them all, but didn’t complete the job. But for the last 6 to 8 months or so I’ve had it at the bottom of recipe posts. (And I’m mad for him too! But it would seem that everyone isn’t.)

      November 16, 2012
  4. Lovely salad.

    November 16, 2012
    • Thanks Richard. We sure like it.

      November 16, 2012
  5. Gorgeous salad – really amazing, the more vegetables the merrier I say.

    November 16, 2012
    • Thanks so much for that Nick. There’ll be a steady serving of them ’round here. (I’ll probably chase half my followers away with them all. :-/)

      November 18, 2012
  6. I recently made a cauliflower salad but yours sounds terrific with the hazelnuts for crunch…yum.

    November 16, 2012
    • Karen the hazelnuts with the cauliflower were certainly good, those flavors really complimented one another – but the bright bursts of pomegranates were wonderful!

      November 18, 2012
  7. Another wonderful salad, Spree, and this one, with its roasted cauliflower is every bit as appealing as yesterday’s salad with figs. The cinnamon in this salad, though, really caught my attention. It’s so unexpected and makes me very curious. I can imagine the surprise among my dinner guests. 🙂

    November 16, 2012
    • The roasted cauliflower soaked up the spices and the maple syrup sherry vinaigrette and believe it or not (and it is surprising) the combination tasted so right. Then the crunch of nuts & celery, and bright bursts of pomegranate really did make this an unusual (and unusually good) salad. (The sweet potato fig dish I’d give the ribbon to though.) (No doubt I’ll be sharing more of Ottolenghi’s recipes…he’s genius.) (Sidenote – kind of funny- one or two days after posting I saw an article in NY Times featuring 3 recipes from this newest book – 2 of them were this one and the sweet potato dish of my last post. :))

      November 18, 2012
  8. I love cauliflower in almost any recipe–just yesterday I made split pea soup with it–so this looks like another excellent way to try it. I especially like the way you infused the salad with the bright red of the pomegranate and for me nuts are always a plus as well. Photography, as always, is classic.

    November 16, 2012
    • I’m trying to imagine this cauliflower split pea soup of yours Joseph! Hmmm intriguing! This would be a salad you would like I’m quite sure. It’s got going on just the things you like. 🙂 (And thank you!)

      November 18, 2012
  9. peasepudding #

    I love all the spices in this salad, we have plenty cauli around at the moment so I’ll make this one this week. We don’t get pomegranate but I have the molasses

    November 18, 2012
  10. Val #

    This looks like a fitting use for my last head of cauliflower. I’m not a huge fan of pomegranate but I do like the way it is speckles this recipe.

    November 19, 2012
  11. I love, love, love roasted cauliflower! And I have a standard salad that I always make. Like: ALWAYS. But I’ve been thinking it’s time to mix things up a bit… maybe it’s time to throw some pomegranate and spice into the mix!

    November 19, 2012
  12. can’t wait to try this!!!

    November 19, 2012
  13. spree.. your mom sounds so lovely. I can imagine the fragrance in her kitchen, your quiet catching up chatting.. This recipe was just begging for you to make it and please don’t put him away for a while.. I’m quite enjoying these different dishes. They’re more exotic and inspiring than what I usually make. I might have to put him on my Christmas list 🙂 xx

    November 20, 2012
  14. Keep the Yotam Ottolenghi recipes coming, I love them ! I was eyeing up the jerusalem book the other day, it looks beautiful as does thi sdish of roasted cauli !

    November 21, 2012
  15. This looks and sounds like a wonderful salad… all the more so because I love all of the ingredients… delicious.

    November 25, 2012
  16. This salad has my heart times 1000 Spree – what a gorgeous collection of wonderful! Your photos have my stomach groaning – YUM! XO

    November 25, 2012
  17. deb #

    I cannot wait to try this lovely looking and sounding salad with such unique ingredients. Festive for the Christmas season, yes 🙂 I put pomegranate seeds in a Thanksgiving salad and it was well received. Thanks for the tip for removing the seeds!

    November 26, 2012
  18. I’ve added this book and ‘Plenty’ to my christmas list:-)

    November 26, 2012
  19. mmmmm sounds really tempting
    I have been hearing about this book over and over..I need to look into it

    November 29, 2012
  20. Oh boy, does your salad sound great! I can’t wait to try it.

    November 30, 2012
    • Sorry about the double post.

      November 30, 2012

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