This salad is SO tasty and such a good looking crowd pleaser. It feels quite festive with its beautiful bright colours and delicious middle eastern inspired flavours. It actually came about after I was trailing a whole roast cauliflower recipe I was making. It does take a while to roast a whole cauliflower, which got me thinking.... Taken to a gathering it is unlikely be hot by the time it is enjoyed. So, a salad version instead! So much easier to serve too. At the bottom of this post I have shared some ideas for swaps and additions. It is worth a read as this salad is so good with so many things you may already have on hand. Enjoy!
Serves 4 (or more as a side) Prep time 20 minutes Cook time 1 hour
Cauliflower 2 large cauliflower, broken into florets 2 tablespoons olive oil 3 teaspoons ground cumin 2 teaspoons ground turmeric 1/2 teaspoon salt Dressing 1/2 cup plant-based milk of choice, I used oat 4 tablespoons hulled tahini juice of one lemon (a juicy one) 2 teaspoons maple syrup 1 clove garlic, peeled Salad 1/2 cup raw almonds 1 pomegranate 1 1/2 cups (240 g) cooked brown lentils, drained and rinsed 1 cup fresh mint
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celcius, fan forced (200 degrees, conventional).
In a large mixing bowl, combine olive oil, salt and spices and mix well. Add the cauliflower florets and coat in spice and oil mixture.
Line 2 large trays with non-stick baking paper and spread cauliflower over both trays. Place in the oven for 1 hour, pausing to stir a few times. * I like to set my timer for 15 minutes. Stir and re-set the timer and do that 4 times.*
Add the almonds to a fry pan and gently toast over a low heat. Once toasted, set aside to cool for a minute before roughly chopping.
Remove the seeds of the pomegranate and drain and rinse the lentils.
Make your dressing by combining all of the ingredients in your blender. Pulse to combine evenly and blend until smooth and creamy.
To plate: I like to use a large serving platter. Evenly spread out half of the roasted cauliflower, almonds, pomegranate, lentils, mint and dressing. Repeat this process and voila! A super colourful crowd pleasing and hearty veggie-full salad! Enjoy x *see below for cooks notes including swaps and substitutes.
COOKS NOTES: WHOLE ROASTED CAULI: If you would like to make this into a whole roast cauli I definitely suggest making it at home so you can serve it straight out of the oven. It looks so pretty and is such a great addition to a spread if you are hosting a pot-luck type dinner too! With all the same ingredients follow the same recipe but instead of preparing the cauliflower to roast in florets, cut the base off the cauliflower. Sit it, base down on a baking paper lined tray and coat in the oils and spices. Roast in the oven for 90 minutes, checking every now and then. To check that it is done I used a skewer or a thin knife. If it goes right through with no resistance, it is perfect and ready. To plate this version up I like to pour the dressing onto a large plate, pop the cauliflower on top and sprinkle with the other ingredients. Then cut into sections! Swaps: - Instead of almonds you can use any toasted nut. Macadamias, and walnuts would be my pick. - Nut free option - toast some seeds instead. Pumpkin, sunflower or sesame seeds would be delicious. That element of crunch is really nice in this salad so for a nut and seed free option try toasting some buckwheat kernels or even roasting some chickpeas. YUM! - If you are not a fan of cauliflower, this would also be SO delicious with some eggplant! - If you do not have lentils handy, some chickpeas is a yummy and hearty addition. -For that sweet element instead of fresh pomegranate you can also use dried cranberries or even currents. SO GOOD. - Instead of mint: coriander and parsley both work really well in this salad. - A nice addition if you want to add a salty or tangy element, are either capers or pickled red onion.