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.
(To print the recipe, click.)