Here in the UK we’re fast approaching the hungry gap in our food growing season. As the days begin warming up, the crop of overwintering brassicas, winter cauliflowers and cabbages draw to an end before the new seasons growth has had a chance to establish.
We’re left with a period where there isn’t much UK grown produce available and there isn’t a lot of variety in what is available. But right now the last of the winter crops are hanging on in there and this week I’d like to share a recipe for one of those, the trusty old cauliflower.
Previously cauliflower conjured up thoughts of soggy, watery florets with some cheese sauce poured over. That was until I discovered Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe for roasted cauliflower and hazelnut salad. Roast it people, roast your cauliflower!! Or, you know, lightly steam it and generally mix it up in a salad : ) Turns out there are no ends to the culinary talents of a cauliflower if you’re willing to get a bit creative. Blend it up with some cashews to make a creamy sauce for mac and cheese or blend it up into a flour-like consistency and make a pizza base out of it -yes a healthy pizza, that’s right! So liven up your cauliflower, there are no ends too its talent!
So here is my recipe for cauliflower heaven! At its heart is Ottolenghi’s flavour combination but I’ve mixed it up with some different ingredients to provide a hearty, protein filled lunch. Now when you think of cauliflower, you can think of crispy, sweet and juicy florets mixed to perfection with a blend sweet and sharp flavours!
Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad
1 small cauliflower
1 tin of chickpeas
50g pearl barley
A big handful of parsley
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
Salt and pepper
For the dressing
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp date syrup (or maple, agave etc)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
- Chop the cauliflower head up into small florets and spread them out evenly onto a baking tray with some olive oil and salt and pepper.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas and spread out on another baking tray. Mix up 1 tbsp of olive oil with the 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and allspice and drizzle over the chickpeas and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast the cauliflower and chickpeas in a preheated oven at 200C. Take the cauliflower out after around 20 minutes, keeping an eye on them and turning them every now to make sure they don’t burn. Leave the chickpeas in for another 10 minutes or so until crisp, again keeping an eye and turning them occasionally.
- Whilst everything is roasting, in a saucepan bring some water and the pearl barley to a boil, lower the heat and cook for 30-40 minutes until tender. Once cooked drain and leave to cool.
- Meanwhile chop up the parsley and mix together the dressing ingredients in a cup.
- When the cauliflower and chickpeas have been removed from the oven leave and allowed to cool slightly, chop up the apple in small chunks or fine slices.
- Mix everything together a large bowl, pour over the dressing, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Enjoy! Amy x