I love a winter salad; I particularly love a winter salad that makes the most of a vegetable that was once, at least in the UK, only known for its affinity with cheese but, these days, is very much lauded beyond that. You now find cauliflower served as steaks, raw in tabbouleh and, like this, roasted and tossed in a very classic Ottolenghi style.
What I particularly like about using such a robust vegetable in salad is that, unlike more delicate ingredients like chicory or greens, leftover dressed cauliflower is usually still wonderful and not in the least bit soggy the next day. So make a bit extra, and take it into work. Easy and delicious, this will brighten your day whatever the (right now, very wet) weather.
Roast cauliflower and hazelnut salad (adapted from Jerusalem)
Makes enough for 2-3, depending on whether served with something else or on its own
Cupboard (or things you may already have)
olive oil, 5 tbsp
ground cinnamon, large pinch
ground allspice, large pinch
salt and black pepper
cauliflower, about 660g
stick of celery (soup for the rest!)
hazelnuts, 30g (the recipe says skin-on, I used skinned)
flat-leaf parsley leaves, about 10g
pomegranate seeds, 50g
sherry vinegar, 1 tbsp
maple syrup, 1½ tsp
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan-assisted/gas 7.
2. Remove the cauliflower leaves and trim the stalk, as necessary, then break the cauliflower into small florets. Toss the florets with three tablespoons of oil, season then roast in the oven for about 25–35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove, put in a large salad bowl or the dish you plan to serve it in, then leave to cool.
3. Whilst the cauliflower roasts, trim the celery stick if necessary then cut it into narrow ½cm-long pieces.
4. Lower the oven temperature to 220°C/200°C fan-assisted/gas 7, put the hazelnuts onto a baking sheet and roast until toasty and fragrant. (The recipe uses skin-on ones and says roast them for 17 minutes but I used skinned ones, which were done after about 7 minutes; whichever type you use, keep an eye on them.) Leave to cool then chop roughly and add to the cauliflower with the celery, parsley and pomegranate seeds.
5. Mix the remaining oil with the cinnamon, allspice, sherry vinegar and maple syrup, tip over the salad, stir, season to taste and serve at room temperature.