Moroccan cauliflower salad with chickpeas & hazelnuts recipe image

Print Moroccan cauliflower salad with chickpeas & hazelnuts

This is a warm winter salad, although there is no harm in letting the couscous and cauliflower cool completely before mixing. It is a collision of comforting tastes and textures. By steeping the couscous in hot water, rather than boiling it in a pan, we are able to cook it but leave a slight bite and chewiness. Mixing a little oil through the grains helps to break and fluff it up more easily at a later stage.

Ingredients

  • 1 cauliflower
  • Olive oil
  • 100g couscous
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 60g dried apricots
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 50g watercress
  • 30g parsley
  • 1 large or 2 small shallots
  • 1 lemon
  • 50g hazelnuts
  • 75g Wootton White sheep’s cheese
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven on to 220˚C/Gas Mark 8. Put a kettle of water on to boil. Remove the leaves and central stalk from the cauliflower. Cut the head into small, bite-sized
  2. florets. Place the florets into a roasting tray, coat them well with light olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pop them in the oven to roast for 10-12 minutes or until coloured and just cooked.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the couscous with the cumin, coriander, ginger, cinnamon and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a bowl. Season with a good pinch of salt. Tip in enough boiling water from the kettle to just cover the couscous. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave to stand for 15 minutes. Chop the dried apricots into fine dice, put them in a cup and cover with boiling water. Leave them to rehydrate. Drain and rinse the chickpeas.
  4. Peel 1 clove of garlic and very finely chop or crush it. Wash the watercress, drain and shake, pat or spin it dry. Wash the parsley, shake it dry, remove the leaves and chop them roughly. Peel the shallots, and slice or dice as finely as you possibly can. When the cauliflower has roasted, remove it from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Drain the apricots. Give the hazelnuts a little rub with a tea towel or kitchen paper to remove as much of the skin as possible.
  5. When the couscous is ready, fluff it up with a fork to separate the grains. Add the chickpeas, watercress, chopped parsley, apricots and warm cauliflower. Give the hazelnuts a little bash with the flat side of a large knife to break them up a little. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of olive oil and half the chopped garlic. Turn it gently but thoroughly to mix.
  6. Adjust the seasoning with a little more salt, pepper and lemon juice to your taste. Divide the mix between 2 plates. Scatter over the hazelnuts and crumble over the sheep’s cheese.

Cooks notes

If you are only inclined to boiling or steaming your cauliflower, I hope this recipe shows what a great way of cooking roasting can be.
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