Five minute lunches: Cauliflower and parsley salad with maftoul cous cous

cauliflower salad

Reliable or not, the digital thermometer powered by the local taxi company read eighteen degrees on Friday, so I took it as an excuse to try out one of my favourite summer recipes a good three months early. I can't believe I've never written about this salad before on Guac because it feels like it's all I go on about once June turns into July. 

This is essentially an adaptation of my BFF Amelie's cauliflower salad, which I've veganised and added to a bit to turn it into a meal in itself. We eat this at barbeques, barbeque leftover dinners, and any occasion that calls for something salty and somehow refreshing all at once. The lemon juice and cauliflower just works in a way I don't think cauliflower gets to try out very often. Every time I make this recipe I'm reminded why cauliflower is like the Christopher Walken of the vegetable world: underrated and always so. ruddy. brilliant. 

Anyway, onwards. I used vegannaise as I had it to hand, (I recommend the Tiger-Tiger May-O brand sold in Sainsbury's, as it doesn't seem to have *too* many unrecognisable ingredients and is really tasty once you've tried it a few times), but Amelie told me she's also made this before with oat cream, lemon juice and a lot of black pepper, so I think there's room to experiment with the mayonnaise replacement! The main thing is plenty of fresh parsley and nice al dente cauliflower.

Also... big thank you to my Mum for finding so many great pieces of fabric to bring my Guac recipes to life, thanks Mum! Xx

cauliflower and parsley salad

Cauliflower and parsley salad with maftoul cous cous

Makes four portions

Ingredients

1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons of vegannaise (or equivalent)

Handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

100g maftoul cous cous

 

Boil the cauliflower florets in a saucepan until just soft and drain. Season straight away with the salt and pepper and then allow to cool for a minute. In a mixing bowl, stir in the cauliflower with the vegainnaise, parsley and lemon juice, and rest for a few another two minutes while you prepare the maftoul.

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, pour in the maftoul and stir occasionally to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Once the cous cous has doubled in size and has softened, drain and cover the base of your serving dish, arranging the cauliflower on top. Serve straight away with extra black pepper and a leaf salad.

Butternut squash, cauliflower and pomegranate tacos

Butternut squash, cauliflower and pomegranate tacos

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Orange is the new everything. Why do all the good shows end way before winter and only start in spring, when there's other things to do besides eat tacos and watch Piper Chapman make an absolute idiot of herself? In any case, the big news over here in the hermitage is that the vegetable bag returned this week. What can I say, it's pretty wild life I lead. So I now have a fridge full of amazing mid-winter produce and a hankering for food that doesn't need cutlery so you can watch laptop screens more easily. I also need a new box set. Suggestions can be traded for tacos.

To make the smaller tacos, just find a bowl or mug that will fit twice on a tortilla wrap, and cut around with a sharp knife. I also used a large cookie cutter to make the even smaller tacos, which are perfect for snack-sized party food or with drinks. To stop from wasting too much of the tortilla, you can use a mix of both, like I did, to get the most out of each wrap.

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Makes enough for 4
 

Olive oil 

Salt and pepper 

1 cauliflower, stalks removed, chopped in to florets 

1 medium butternut squash, deseeded and cut into roughly 1cm chunks 

Seeds of half a pomegranate 

1 tin chickpeas, drained 

1 handful of parsley, chopped fine 

4 tortilla wraps, cut into two smaller circles each if you want a smaller taco

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Start by preheating the oven to around 220 degrees celsius. In a small roasting pan, drizzle in olive oil, salt and pepper, and add in the cauliflower florets. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes. 

In the meantime, start preparing your squash to roast too. Grab a bigger try and again drizzle over with olive oil, add salt and pepper, and finally mix in with the squash. Roast for 20 minutes also. Keep an eye on the cauliflower as it will burn easily and may need taking out before the squash. You don't want either to have blackened edges but to be soft and just cooked the whole way through.

While they're roasting, add the chickpeas, pomegranate seeds and parsley to a serving dish. Once the cauliflower and squash is cooked, stir into the mix and serve with warm tacos. Eat straight away. 

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