Roast tomato salad with hazelnuts and cauliflower ’cous cous’

DSC_0012When it comes to cauliflower, raw is the only option for me. Sweet, delicate and crunchy, it is totally unrecognisable from its cooked counterpart which introduces that drab, slightly bitter taste so characteristic of any member of the cabbage family. I guess when it comes down to it, I am a cabbage-eater who fundamentally does not like cabbage. Raw cauliflower simply tastes less… cabbage-y.

For this reason, for years I’ve been experimenting with different types of raw cauliflower salads. Recently I came across this recipe from Kelly’s Food to Glow. It stars cauliflower grated to look like cous cous, and sprinkled over a hearty, rainbow-coloured salad.

Now, I know that hazelnuts and radishes make a perfect peppery and mellow accompaniment to cauliflower, and coupled with my favourite cooking staple – roast tomatoes – this makes an extremely moreish salad.

Not to say very healthy. This, in fact, is vitality in vegetable form (a feeling which, if you’re like me, will last for a glorious 20 minutes, by which point you reach for that chocolate bar. Well. It’s all about balance, eh?)

Serves 1:
½ punnet or 125 g vine tomatoes
½ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
quarter of a cauliflower
quarter of a head of lettuce
2-4 radishes
25 g feta
a handful of hazelnuts

vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ tablespoon white wine vinegar
salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Halve the tomatoes and toss with olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper in an ovenproof dish. Roast for 20-30 minutes in the oven.

2. Meanwhile, chop the almonds coarsely and toast in a hot, dry pan until brown and fragrant.

3. Grate the cauliflower, slice the radishes paper-thin, and tear the salad leaves. Arrange on a plate, add crumbled feta cheese.

4. Now mix together the ingredients for the vinaigrette and dress the salad. Sprinkle with cooled toasted hazelnuts and slightly warm tomatoes.

Serve with a hunk of well-buttered bread. Also goes well with fish or meat.

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