Roasted Cauliflower & Hazelnut Salad-Side

I have been completely remiss with maintaining this blog lately.  I’ve moved (back to the beachy ‘burbs) and although I’ve been cooking, I haven’t been able to justify time typing away when half my wardrobe is still sheltered in cardboard….  But I always forget about great recipes if I don’t etch them into my cyberspace recipe box, so I’m going to try to do a bit of catching up this weekend.  [Psst… I also want to mention that my new kitchen is far superior to my tiny cupboard NYC one, so cooking is even better now! I have my very first pot of splet simmering away at this very moment.]

I adore Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s cookbook Jerusalem (hence the multiple recipes I have already posted from this beautifully photographed book), but their terminology is not the same as mine.  This recipe is classified as a salad in Jerusalem and, to be fair, it is a salad.  However it’s not the type of green and leafy dish that conjures salad in my mind, so before you make this (very tasty) dish, think side or starter or some other liberal definition of salad.  One more note, I might have noshed on a good deal of the cauliflower before actually tossing everything together… so, you can always just stop at roasted cauliflower if it’s that type of day.

Ingredients serves 2 – 4

  • 1 head cauliflower broken into small florets
  • 5 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1-2 celery stalk cut at an angle into 1/4-inch strips
  • 5 Tbsp hazelnuts
  • 1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • salt and pepper
  • Optional: to make it more salad-esque, add a few handfuls of salad greens like arugula or similar

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  2. Mix the chopped cauliflower with 3 Tbsp of oil, 1/2 tsp salt, and some black pepper.  Spread out on a baking sheet and roast on the top rack for 25 – 35 minutes, until the cauliflower is crisp and parts of it have turned golden brown.
  3. Decrease the oven temperature to 325ºF.  Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly and then coarsely chop.
  4. In a large bowl, mix together the cauliflower, nuts, and all remaining ingredients including remaining oil.  Stir, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve at room temperature.  It tastes even better the next day.
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Salad Dressing: Pomegranate-Apple Vinaigrette

This is my new favorite salad dressing.  It takes a few minutes to put together, but then you have this delightful sweet (but not overly sweet) and healthy vinaigrette.

Directions (Quantities here are pretty flexible, so experiment with it.)

In a blender, add the following and blend until smooth:

  • Pomegranate seeds, about half a pomegranate
  • 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed apple juice
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 – 4 fresh basil leaves (more if the leaves are tiny)
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp or less mustard (Dijon or powdered)
  • a generous palmful of flat leaf parsley

 

This dressing goes well with shredded Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced apples, and crumbled blue cheese.

Brussels Sprout Salad

saladplateAfter eating this delicious salad at Bar Americain, I tried to recreate it here with delightful success.  The original salad called for goat cheese, but I had blue cheese on hand (it tastes good either way).

Your tools and ingredients

  •  The mandoline is VERY helpful for this recipe.  It cuts the Brussels sprouts and apple super thin. Obviously, you can make   this with just plain old knife skills, but I’m a fan of the mandoline.
  • My Blue Cheese Apple Cider Vinaigrette is kept in the handy-dandy Mason jar.
  • You know the rule about retrieving pomegranate seeds, right?  Slice in half, pare back white membranes, beat away (I use the flat end of a meat mallet), and, of course, be patient.
  • A few Brussels sprouts go along way when shredding them, use your own judgement on quantity.
  • A single apple, thinly sliced with yield several salads.
  • Cheese, goat, blue, or other

Directions

  1. Slice the apple and layer on the bottom of each bowl (this is the type of salad that is better platted in the kitchen– it will look impressive and everyone will receive the right ratio of ingredients).
  2. Slice Brussels sprouts and mound on top of apple.
  3. Add dressing and lightly toss (I am very sparing with the dressing).  Sprinkle more cheese on top if desired.
  4. Top with pomegranates and enjoy.

Here’s my finished product (I am not, however, an expert– or even particularly good novice– photographer.  I will have to work on my iPhone skills

Another Variation

If using goat cheese, substitute the pomegranates for roasted beets.  In this variation, use an apple cider vinaigrette rather than the blue cheese one.  Here’s one option for a cider vinaigrette, mix together:

  • 2 Tbsp apple juice or cider
  • 3 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste (I like a lot)

 

Or use my new favorite dressing: Pomegranate-Apple Vinaigrette