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I made a roast cauliflower salad to accompany the tomato salad and vegetable tagine that we served as part of our mezze.

The recipe is based on a roast cauliflower salad from the beloved (and sadly departed) television show ‘The Cook and the Chef’, although I tweaked the ingredients to have more of a Middle Eastern flavour. I have made the original version of this salad several times, to much acclaim!

The first step is to roast coriander and cumin seeds in the oven for a couple of minutes, until fragrant. Then crush the seeds, toss them through the cauliflower and add olive oil. Bake them in the oven until they are lightly browned and tender:

Prepare the other ingredients – pan fry the haloumi (sprinkle a little flour on top so that it colours), roast the pine nuts, zest the lemons and make your own breadcrumbs. Below are all the ingredients, ready to be mixed:

Clockwise from top, haloumi, lemon zest, pomegranate seeds, cauliflower, pinenuts, currants, breadcrumbs, onion and garlic

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients together with lemon juice, salt and black pepper and oil. Add parsley and toss altogether. Check the seasoning then pile onto a serving plate or in a bowl. Enjoy!


1 small cauliflower, cut into florets, stem attached
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, roasted
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, roasted
1/4 small red onion, sliced
1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs, toasted (about 2 slices of bread)
Zest and juice 2 lemons
50g roasted pine-nuts
50g currants
100g pomegranate seeds
Olive oil
100g haloumi, pan fried and cut into small pieces
1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped


  • Roast coriander seeds and cumin in the oven. In a separate tray, roast the pine-nuts.
  • Crush coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle. Combine crushed coriander, cumin seeds and cauliflower in a bowl and lightly coat with olive oil. Season. Bake at 200C until lightly browned and tender, but still with a bit of bite, about 25 minutes. Cool slightly.
  • In a large bowl add the cauliflower and toss with onion, toasted bread crumbs, lemon zest and juice, cheese, pine nuts, pomegranate, currants salt and black pepper and oil. Watch how much salt you add as the haloumi is quite salty. Cut the garlic into little slivers, and add with the parsley and toss altogether. Check the seasoning then pile onto a serving plate or in a bowl.
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5 Responses to “Mezze: roast cauliflower salad”

  1. luke says:

    Yuk – You can dress it up as much as you want, but Cauliflower will always be the ugly bridemaid!

    • Emily says:

      Ha! I disagree completely. Cauliflower is delicious and this salad is seriously good. In fact, I was having this very argument with a workmate, so I brought him some of the salad and he was converted. Try it before you judge!

  2. Sally says:

    I agree Em. The humble cauli can be dressed up to be a whole new thing. Sal

  3. Trish says:

    Thanks Sas for the yummiest recipe. J and I just shared your Cauliflower Salad with a few pieces of chicken with a sprinkle of pomagranate molasses. Dee…licious. The “nay sayers” need to get busy and make it post haste as I will certainly be making it again. Trish

  4. Saskia says:

    Seems like everyone’s come out in defence of the cauli.

    Trish, I’m so pleased that you made a recipe from our blog! I can’t take too much credit though – this one was Em’s creation.

    (ps: I’m planning to cook from Terre a Terre this weekend. So many interesting recipes; it’s difficult to choose..)

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