The preparation for this dish can be done several hours in advance, though I prefer not to cook it until closer to the time of serving. The vegetable is good served straight from the oven or at room temperature. The cauliflower in this recipe can be replaced with the exotic-looking green cauliflower called Romanesco.
The muhammara I suggest to serve with the cauliflower in this meal is spread over the base of your serving dishes and then the cauliflower is neatly piled on top. Finish the dish with the green olives, walnuts, pomegranate seeds and coriander leaves sprinkled over the roasted cauliflower. Don’t forget to serve the roasted cauliflower in another meal without the muhammara as a standalone vegetable.
– 1 head of cauliflower, green leaves removed
– 1 large red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
– 3 tsp cumin seeds, roasted and ground
– Zest of 1 lemon
– Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
– 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 1 batch of muhammara
– 6–7 walnuts, roasted and coarsely chopped
– ½ pomegranate, seeds removed
– 2 tbsp stoned and coarsely
– Chopped green olives
– 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander leaves
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2. Separate the cauliflower into florets and place in a large bowl. If the leaves are in good shape, roughly chop them and their stalks and add them too. Add the onion, ground cumin, lemon zest, salt and pepper and enough olive oil to glaze the vegetables.
3. Place on a roasting tray and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, turning the vegetables once or twice during the cooking time. The cauliflower and onion should be well coloured and tender. Don’t worry if the onion gets quite caramelised, as this will just add to the flavour.
4. To serve, spread the muhammara over the base of your serving dish or individual plates. Make neat piles of cauliflower on top, leaving some of the deeply coloured sauce visible around the bottom of the cauliflower. Finish the dish with the walnuts, pomegranate seeds, green olives and coriander.
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