Roasted cauliflower salad with farro, feta and pomegranate

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cauliflowercover

Cauliflower gets a bad rap.  Kinda like the B Sprout, people have veggie nightmares of overcooked limp veggies that emit a seriously unappetising pong.  Why do you think someone invented Cauliflower Cheese?  How else were you supposed to eat cauliflower back in the 70′s if the flavour wasn’t masked with drowning cheese. Cos we all know, cheese does make everything better…like bacon.

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Luckily times have moved on and we have learnt to handle veg with the care and love it deserves, however unfortunately the memories for some people still last.  Take ‘The Dr’ for example.  He rants and raves on about how he doesn’t like cauliflower yet, EVERY TIME I’ve cooked it or I’ve bullied him into ordering it at a restaurant, he’s all like “mmmm, oh yum, that’s soooo good, is this really cauliflower? but I hate cauliflower” and if you were to ask him today whether he like cauliflower, he’ll tell you hates the stuff, can’t stand it!

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So the cauliflower in this salad isn’t technically ‘roasted’ as in it’s not cooked in an oven but browning it in a pan gives it the roasty toasty flavour that will for sure convert any cauliflower haters out there.  Combine it with the nuttiness of farro, creamy salty feta and little tart explosions of pomegranate seeds and as Charlie Sheen would say….winning!

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Farro, Feta and Pomegranate

Serves 4-6 as a side

what you need:

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into bite sized florets, stem peeled and halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of farro (or you can use pearl barley)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 pomegranate, seeds removed
  • small handful of mint , roughly chopped
  • small handful of parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • maldon salt
  • pepper

what to do:

Rinse the farro/barley and in a medium saucepan and then cover with plenty of water.  Bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer and cook until al dente.  This will take approximately 30 mins.  Drain and pop into bowl and add 2 tbsp of olive oil and the sherry vinegar and sea on with salt and pepper to taste, and put aside.

In a dry fry pan, toast the coriander and fennel seeds until fragrant and then grind to a powder in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Wipe the pan clean and place on medium heat.  Toss the cauliflower in remaining olive oil and throw into the pan.  You want to cook the cauliflower so it’s barely cooked through but toasted on the outside.  Add the spices and stir through for about a minute.  Take the pan off the heat, give it a squeeze of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Throw the cauliflower in with the farro and add the feta, pomegranate, parsley and mint.  Let it sit for about 10 mins for the flavours to meld and serve.

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