winter

Roasting cauliflower is my favourite way to cook it. Such a delicious flavour, especially with the cumin, coriander and fennel spice mix. The different textures of the raw crunchy celery with the roast cauliflower and toasted almonds work really well.

Serves 4
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Ingredients

1 small head cauliflower – cut into florets
6 cloves garlic – left whole and in their skin
2 tbsp olive oil
4 celery stalks – thinly sliced
small bunch of coriander – roughly chopped
1 tbsp sesame seeds – lightly toasted
small handful whole almonds
salt and pepper to taste
sumac sprinkle for garnish

Spice Mix
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp fennel seeds
Pinch sea salt

Dressing
1 tbsp balsamic sherry vinegar, If you can’t find this use good quality sherry vinegar and a touch of extra honey
1 tsp lavender (or plain) honey
½ 1tsp kirmizi biber*
4 tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper

Tahini Sauce
100g tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
About 100ml water
Salt to taste

*These are Turkish chilli flakes. They are salted and dried before being flaked and rubbed with oil resulting in a smoky sweet flavour.  You can find them in Middle Eastern shops, if can’t find them then you can substitute with regular chilli flakes.

 

Method

Preheat your oven to 200C.

Toss the cauliflower and garlic in the olive oil and place in a roasting tray large enough for them not to be cramped or they will steam rather than roast and become soggy.  Roast the cauliflower for 15-20 minutes until it turns golden. The garlic should be soft inside.

Turn the oven down to 150C and toast the almonds for 15 minutes to develop the flavour.  Once they’re ready allow to cool slightly and roughly chop.

While these are roasting, make your spice mix, dressing and tahini sauce.

Spice Mix
Lightly toast the seeds, separately in a dry fry pan. This will only take a couple of minutes for each, they will become fragrant when they are ready. Keep an eye on them because they will burn easily.  Roughly grind the spices and salt in a pestle and mortar and set aside.

Dressing
Mix the first four ingredients together and mix in the olive oil, season and set aside.

Tahini Sauce
Mix the tahini and lemon together and enough water to give the consistency of honey.

Salad
Slice the celery and chop the coriander.  Once the cauliflower is ready mix it with half the almonds, the celery, coriander and spice mix reserving half the almonds and the sumac for garnish. Add the dressing a spoonful at a time to taste.  Probably 3 or 4 tablespoons will do, and you can keep the rest for another delicious salad.  Check your seasoning.

Serve with almonds sprinkled on top and a good dollop of tahini sauce. Sprinkle this all with some sumac for a touch of extra colour and flavour.

Serve as a side dish to a big dinner or as a light lunch or starter.


About Chef Kali

Chef Kali qualified as a Chef at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York.  She has worked extensively as a private chef as well as in various restaurants including Jamie’s Kitchen, Terre a Terre and Leon.   Her style of cooking is heavily influenced by her Middle Eastern roots but she also has a strong interest in nutrition.

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