Yotam Ottolenghi, the darling of London’s contemporary culinary world, brings us amazing, delicious, and not too complicated recipes with a Middle-Eastern sensibility, along with delightful cookbook banter. His cookbooks, “Plenty,” “Ottolenghi,” “Jerusalem,” and “Nopi,” are among my favorites. I find something new and interesting to make every time I pick up one of the books. Yesterday I was looking around in the refrigerator to see what I could pull together for dinner and I found myself with a head of cauliflower. I looked through my old stand-by cauliflower recipes and just felt like I needed some inspiration. Yotam and Sami Tamimi (his partner and co-author of “Jerusalem”) hit the nail on the head with this cauliflower and hazelnut salad. A ‘must make’ for cauliflower lovers. Cauliflower detractors will be pleasantly surprised.
Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Salad (from “Jerusalem A cookbook” by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi)
One head cauliflower (about 1 ½ pounds) broken into small florets
5 Tbsp olive oil
1 large celery stalk cut on an angle into ¼” slices
5 Tbsp hazelnuts (skin on or off)
1/3 small flat-leaf parsley leaves, picked off the stem
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp Allspice
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 ½ tsp maple syrup salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425°
Mix the cauliflower with 3 Tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp salt and some pepper. Spread out in a roasting pan and roast on the top oven rack for 25-35 minutes, until the cauliflower is crisp and parts of it have turned golden brown. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool.
Decrease the oven to 325°. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet on parchment paper and roast for 17 minutes.
Allow the nuts to cool a little, then coarsely chop them and add to the cauliflower along with the remaining oil and the rest of the ingredients. Stir, taste, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.