Cauliflower & Cherry Salad

I love cherries so much – when I was a kid I would ask for a bag of them as a snack from the grocers. Weird kid huh. Anyway I was really happy to see a recipe using them that wasn’t a dessert even if I am very partial to a cherry clafoutis. This recipe was in Jamie Oliver’s ‘Veg’. Such a great book, I really recommend it. I subbed out brown rice for bulghar wheat and probably any mix of fresh herbs would be fine.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 200g bulghar wheat
  • 2 tsp za’atar
  • 200g cherries
  • 1 preserved lemon
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp honey
  • olive oil
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 30g fresh mint
  • 30g fresh dill
  • 4 tbsp yoghurt

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C

2.) Chop up the cauliflower into florets

3.) Add the bulghar wheat and cauliflower to a pan and cover with boiling water. Simmer for 10 minutes then remove the cauliflower with a slotted spoon. Continue simmering the bulghar wheat until cooked. When done, drain and set aside to cool.

4,) Line a baking tray and place on the cauliflower. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with za’atar and salt and pepper. Get another baking tray and crush down. Leave the top tray on the cauliflower and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes. (In fact I forgot to do this straight away and ended up taking the cauliflower out halfway through but I think I got away with it. It may have been easier to crush).

5.) While this is baking, prepare the cherries. Destone the cherries, roughly chop and throw into a mixing bowl.

6.) Finely chop the preserved lemon, removing the pips and add to the cherries. Slice the lemon in half and squeeze the juice in from one of the halves. Drizzle in the honey and 3 tbsp olive oil. Give it a good mix.

7.) Toast the pine nuts in a frying pan on a low heat until they start to smell fragrant.

8.) Finely chop up the dill and mint. Mix with the bulghar wheat along with the juice from the other half of the lemon.

9.) Plate up the bulghar wheat and place on the cauliflower. Spoon over the cherry mixture, sprinkle over the pine nuts and spoon over some yoghurt.

Cauliflower NACHOS

The new Bond film has been pushed back again. Inevitable but annoying. Now we’ve worked our way through the whole Netflix series of Alice in Borderland (why are there so many Japanese shows about young people having to kill each other and what does it say about me that I seem to enjoy them all?), it’s thankfully coming up to Oscar season so maybe for once this year I will watch some of the nominees. Nachos are a great for a ‘movie night’ and replacing nachos with cauliflower means that you save calories on the nachos for extra toppings (or chocolate).

Serves 2 for dinner or 4 for a snack

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • salt
  • 400g plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion
  • 10g coriander
  • chillis (preferably jalapenos)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 lime
  • 50g cheese (or more depending on how indulgent you’re feeling) I used applewood smoked cheddar but a mature cheddar will work well.
  • 4 rashers plant based bacon

Method

1.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C

2.) Line a baking tray

3.) Break the cauliflower into florets and put in a bowl with the spices and a sprinkle of salt and the oil

4.) Rub the spices into the cauliflower with your hands

5.) When the oven is ready, bake for 25 minutes

6.) In the meantime, make the salsa. Chop up the plum tomatoes into the cauliflower bowl. Dice the onion finely and mix with the tomato.

7.) Halve the lime and squeeze in the juice from half and sprinkle in some salt. Chop up the coriander and mix in half of it with the tomatoes.

8.) Chop up some chilli – I used a fairly mild chilli and added a third to the salsa but add to taste. Have some left over for a garnish.

9.) For the guacamole, peel, de-stone and chop up the avocado. Mash it up in a bowl, add juice from half a lime and some salt. Add the rest of the coriander.

10.) Chop up the plant bacon and the cheese.

11.) Once the cauliflower is done, switch the oven to the grill setting, sprinkle over the cheese, bacon and some chilli and grill for 5 minutes until the cheese is melted.

12.) Serve the cauliflower with the salsa and guacamole.