One of my new(ish) favorite cookbooks is Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi. So, when my friends came over last week for book club, I decided to make a few recipes from the book. I think that playing with new flavor profiles and using different spices is a great way to add variety in your daily meals. Middle Eastern flavors are some of my favorite, but the combination of spices does not come naturally to me because I didn’t grow up eating this cuisine. Even the most seasoned cooks get stuck making the same rotation of dishes because it is what comes naturally to them- it is what they are comfortable making. This is especially common in the winter months when there is not a wide range of fruits and vegetables available to us (locally that is.) So, I think it is especially valuable to use herbs and spices to add variety. The other two main reasons why I (and I think many people) don’t branch out more often is because there are often more steps involved, and I don’t have all of the ingredients readily on hand. Good news is, once you make a couple of new recipes you will have a more fully stocked pantry, and it will be easier for you in the future.
I changed this recipe slightly to take out some extra steps. This will save you some time with prep and with cleanup. So, I hope you enjoy this simple, but new take on cauliflower, and I hope it inspires you to try some new flavors, and experiment more! Also, buy this cookbook! You will LOVE IT! I am going to post another recipe from it soon after I re-test some time saving techniques!
Roasted Cauliflower and Celery Salad
Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem: A Cookbook
Yield: 4 servings (as a side dish) | Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 25 mins
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced on a bias
- 1/4 Cup celery leaves (tender light green leaves in center of celery stalk)
- 1/4 Cup parsley leaves
- 1/3 Cup pomegranate seeds (about 1/2 pomegranate)
- 2 Tbsp hazelnuts, raw
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 2 tsp sherry vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut the cauliflower into florets. Don’t know how? Let Martha show you how it’s done here.
- In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower with the olive oil, salt and pepper, cinnamon and allspice. Spread on a baking sheet (lined with parchment paper for easier cleanup) and place on top rack in the oven. This will give the cauliflower more color and make it more crisp! Roast for 25-30 minutes until cooked through. (Can test with a fork or cake tester.)
- Set cauliflower aside and let cool (the salad will be served with the cauliflower at room temp)
- Decrease the oven temperature to 325 degrees, spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 15 minutes.
- I always peel celery with a vegetable peeler because the strings annoy me- but you don’t have to do this. Thinly slice on a bias (angled cut) with your knife, or if you have a mandolin, you can use that too.
- When hazelnuts are done, let cool, and roughly chop.
- Pick leaves of parsley and celery leaves. The leaves inside of the stalk of celery are delicious, and most people just throw them away. Start using them more!
- Layer all ingredients in a serving bowl, cauliflower on bottom, then celery, pomegranate seeds, (I just buy them pre-seeded because it is WAAAAY too much of a mess to do it from scratch. But, if you want to do it, cut the pomegranate in half, turn it upside-down over a bowl, and smack it with a wooden spoon- here’s a video for that too!) parsley and celery leaves, hazelnuts, and finish with sherry vinegar, a little more good olive oil, some salt and pepper, and done!