Okay I’m very excited about this one, so bear with me. First of all, I just have to say I feel so lucky to exist at the same time as Yotam Ottolenghi. The man is a culinary genius! His inventive dishes, unorthodox flavor combinations, the influence of Mediterranean cuisine, abundance of Middle Eastern ingredients, and vegetable-centric recipes are a real celebration of vegetables.
This is a Roasted Cauliflower, Pomegranate and Pistachio Salad from his popular cookbook, Jerusalem. It’s a great example why his recipes are so beloved and so interesting: a unique yet very simple combination of ingredients that come together brilliantly. You might question rather they even work well together at all, but oh they do! And that’s the beauty of his recipes! I’m fangirling over here, but I can’t help it!!
This salad is proof that cauliflower is not a bland vegetable. It’s actually a very versatile, exciting one, in fact. The addition of cinnamon to the dressing is a phenomenal detail that makes it so great, I’ll be certainly implementing it in future recipes. The celery, another surprising and interesting addition, adds a lovely crunch. Each ingredient serves a purpose and they all work so well combined.
It’s a perfect salad for Fall and winter. It’s lovely as it is on its own, but can also be served as part of a spread, or spooned alongside some roast chicken. And let’s not forget cauliflower is great a source of fiber and vitamins and may help strengthen bones, boost the cardiovascular system, as well as prevent cancer. What a gorgeous little vegetable that helps save lives. We don’t deserve her.
A few recipe notes:
The original recipe calls for roasted hazelnuts. I didn’t have any hazelnuts but I did have pistachios, and since pistachios and pomegranate seeds work so well together, it’s no surprised it works great here too!
Break or cut the cauliflower into medium-sized florets. Toss the florets in olive oil (I like adding a very generous drizzle) salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, until cooked through and a dark golden-brown, but don’t over bake them.
I subbed the sherry vinegar for apple cider vinegar and it worked great.
The recipe yields about 2 servings as a main dish, but about 5 as a side.
It’s best served on the day of making, but it’s still very good the next day. Serve at room temp, never fridge cold. Alternatively, you can keep the cauliflower at room temperature and then just combine with the remaining ingredients when ready to serve.
Some mindless news
I am currently rewatching The Office for 100th time and it feels like the first time. Michael and his delusional iconic quotes kill me. What a serotonin boost to go along with my booster shot (that I recently got)! The booster shot kept me down for a couple days – it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected though – but The Office kept my spirits up.
Current favorite episode: A Benihana Christmas, where Michael gifts us all with a hilarious and perfect representation of a man who has suffered heartbreak. A true masterpiece.
Cauliflower, Pomegranate and Pistachio Salad
- 1 large cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 celery stalk, sliced on the diagonal
- 1/3 cup pistachios, toasted and lightly crushed
- 1/2 pomegranate, seeds only (1/3 cup)
- 1 cup parsley leaves
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- ROAST CAULIFLOWER: Preheat oven to 220°C.
- Toss cauliflower florets with oil, salt and pepper. Spread florets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, roast 20 minutes, turn, then roast for a further 5 to 10 minutes until the edges are golden brown and the cauliflower is cooked through.
- Transfer to bowl and let cool for 20 minutes.
- TOAST PISTACHIOS: Turn oven down to 160°C. Spread pistachios (or hazelnuts) on baking sheet then roast for 5 minutes until lightly toasted.
- Cool slightly, then roughly chop.
- SALAD: Place pistachios, parsley and celery into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle over cinnamon, allspice, salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil, maple syrup and vinegar. Toss gently with hands or a spatula.
- Taste add more salt or pepper if needed. Scatter over pomegranates. Serve at room temperature.
If you make this Cauliflower, Pomegranate and Pistachio Salad please be sure to leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you and I love responding to every comment. And don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram. I’d love to see your photos!
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