Tasty salads are a lifesaver. There is nothing better for dinner than a nice piece of quality grilled meat and a flavoursome salad. They don’t have to be boring mixed salad leaves, sliced up vegetables with a basic dressing every night. Mixing them up with different ingredients and textures is a great way to keep them interesting and encourage non-salad folk to at least try them. My boyfriend who is a recovering vegetable-phobic has even eaten this salad!
Roast cauliflower is my absolute favourite salad base as it takes on the most nutty and delicious flavour when cooked. It also lends itself well to spices and more middle eastern style flavours as used in this salad. The dressing for this salad does include pomegranate molasses which does contain sugar, fructose and is most definitely not paleo. If you are on a sugar detox or strict paleo diet I would suggest you omit it. The spices already give the salad a good kick.
This recipe can be served either warm or cold and keeps well for several days so feel free to double the recipe and use it as a base for lunches as well. I sometimes flesh it out with extra greens like rocket or baby spinach too.
Roast Cauliflower, Pomegranate and Pistachio Salad
Serves 4-6 people
One large cauliflower
1 tablespoon dried fennel seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
large knob of butter or ghee
½ cup shelled pistachios
large handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
small handful coriander, finely chopped
½ pomegranate, optional
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 lemon, juice and zest
3 tablespoons cold pressed olive oil
½ clove garlic, crushed
1. Heat oven to 180 degrees C.
2. Chop the cauliflower into bite sized florets and arrange on an lined oven tray.
3. Heat a small fry pan, then add your spices for dry roasty times. Toast until fragrant. Do not leave toasting spices unattended.
4. Transfer spices into a mortar and pestle with a large pinch of salt, couple of grinds of pepper and pound until the spices are a rough powder.
5. Sprinkle all your spices over the cauliflower and distribute the knobs of butter/ghee around the tray as well. Pop in the oven to roast until tender and golden brown, about 25-30minutes.
6. Whilst the cauliflower is roasting, toast the pistachios in the spice pan until they are slightly golden. Again, really important to keep your eye on them as nuts can burn very easily. Once cool dice the pistachios, you can do this by hand or a very quick whiz in a mini-food processor.
7. To assemble pop all the salad ingredients except for half the nuts and the pomegranate, if using, into a large mixing bowl and then pour over the dressing. Cauliflower can still be hot if you want to serve it warm, or you can pre-roast and serve the salad at room temperature. Toss until everything is nicely coated and transfer to a pretty salad bowl. Then top with the remaining nuts and remove the lovely jewel like fruit from the pomegranate and sprinkle over the salad.
Dressing: Place all ingredients in a jar and shake it like you mean it or until well combined.
To make this FODMAP friendly: omit garlic and pomegranate for fructose free, but add an additional tablespoon of olive oil to the dressing. Cauliflower can be an aggravating food for some people who are sensitive to FODMAPs so substitute cauliflower for a different roasting vegetable like pumpkin.