Cauliflower has officially made a come back. Its no longer that plain, overcooked until watery vegetable but rather the hero of so many different dishes. We’ve seen it as pizza bases, a rice alternative, in cakes, in bread and of course flavoursome soups. But my favourite way has got to be roasted until the edges are charred and crispy and the inside still has a little bite. Here it is roasted with turmeric, cummin and cinnamon which lifts the mellow flavour of the cauliflower while also adding a little sweetness.
Now don’t get me started on eggplant because it is quite possible one of my favourite things now after years of hating it as a kid. Roasting, like the cauliflower has got to be my favourite way to cook it. Once again the edges get crispy and charred but the inside is buttery soft and so delicious.
I’ve paired these two beautiful vegetables with green lentils, lots of fresh parsley, sweet dates, tangy pomegranate jewels and a creamy tahini dressing to really create a satisfying salad that is perfect for any day or night.
Warm cauliflower and aubergine salad
serves 4 as a side or 2-3 as a main
- 1/2 large head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 2 tsp cummin seeds
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 aubergine, sliced into wedges
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp smokey paprika
- 1/2 C green lentils
- 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
- 1/4 of a preserved lemon, finely chopped
- 2 C baby spinach leaves
- 5 medjool dates, roughly chopped
- 1/4 c raw almonds, roughly chopped
- pomegranate jewels, to serve
- tahini dressing, to serve (recipe below)
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Toss the cauliflower florets with 1/2 the olive oil, the turmeric, cumin and cinnamon. Spread out on the baking tray and place in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes.
- Slice half way down along the wedges of aubergine, making sure not to cut all the way through. place on the other baking tray and drizzle with the rest of the oil, the chilli flakes and paprika. Place into the oven for 30 minutes, or until charred on the edges and soft and gooey on the inside.
- Rinse the lentils before placing in a saucepan and covering well with lots of water. Bring to the boil over medium heat before turning to low, covering and cooking for 20 minutes. Refresh under cold water and set aside.
- Combine the cooked lentils, roasted cauliflower, parsley, baby spinach and preserved lemon in a large bowl. Add the roasted aubergine on top followed by the almonds, pomegranate jewels and spicy tahini dressing.
- Serve immediately.
Spicy tahini dressing
makes 3/4 C
- 1/4 C tahini
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tsp raw honey
- salt and pepper to taste
- water, to thin, about 3/4 c
- Place everything but the water in a bowl and stir to combine. Slowly add the water until the desired consistency is reached. Its nice to have it quite runny so its a good drizzle consistency.
- Use for the salad and store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days.