Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Salad

Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Salad

Roasted Cauliflower and Hazelnut Salad

Here’s yet another entry from  Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.  This is one of my favorite salads ever.  It pairs very nicely with spicy middle eastern dishes but we’ve also loaded up our plates and eaten it as an entree all by itself.  The flavor combination works so well and were (for me at least) so unexpected that I just keep making it over and over because I can’t believe how good it is.


  • 1 head cauliflower, broken into small florets (1½ lb / 660 g in total)
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large celery stalk, cut on an angle into ¼-inch / 0.5cm slices (⅔ cup / 70 g in total)
  • 5 tbsp / 30 g hazelnuts, with skins
  • ⅓ cup / 10 g small flat-leaf parsley leaves, picked
  • ⅓ cup / 50 g pomegranate seeds (from about ½ medium pomegranate)
  • generous ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • generous ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1½ tsp maple syrup
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F / 220°C.
  2. Mix the cauliflower with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and some black pepper. Spread out in a roasting pan and roast on the top oven rack for 25 to 35 minutes, until the cauliflower is crisp and parts of it have turned golden brown. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool down.
  3. Decrease the oven temperature to 325°F / 170°C. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 17 minutes.
  4. Allow the nuts to cool a little, then coarsely chop them and add to the cauliflower, along with the remaining oil and the rest of the along with the remaining oil and the rest of the ingredients. Stir, taste, and season with salt and pepper accordingly. Serve at room temperature.

Excerpt From: Yotam Ottolenghi. “Jerusalem.” iBooks.


Celery Salad

Cel-abration! Celery Salad with Celery Root and Horseradish

Celery Salad

Celery Salad

Because we love to eat and because we’re endlessly fascinated with food, we end up having many conversations about what we’re going to eat and just food in general.  During one such conversation a few weeks ago, I said, without the slightest hint of sarcasm, “I think we need to explore celery root.”  Now, I’ll admit, it does sound like a pretty ridiculous thing to say.  As you might imagine, much chortling and chastising ensued so I changed the subject, while quietly resolving to look for recipes that included celery root.

Lo and behold an issue of Bon Appetit arrived sporting a salad recipe that used, not only celery root, but also celery stalks and celery leaves.  It’s a combination for fresh deliciousness that is not to be missed.

Get out your mandoline and prepare to be amazed!


  • 1 medium celery root (about 1 pound)
  • 10 large celery stalks, thinly sliced on a sharp diagonal, plus 1/2 cup celery leaves
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced into rings
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (packed) flat-leaf parsley leaves


  • Peel and halve celery root. Using a mandoline, very thinly slice one half. Cut other half into matchstick-size pieces.
  • Combine celery root, celery stalks, shallot, lemon zest, and horseradish in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Let vegetables sit for 10 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
  • Whisk oil and lemon juice in a small bowl; season vinaigrette with salt and pepper. Drizzle vinaigrette over vegetables. Add celery leaves and parsley and toss salad to combine.
Shrimp Salad on Avocados and Arugula

Shrimp Salad on Avocados and Arugula

Shrimp Salad on Avocados and Arugula

Shrimp Salad on Avocados and Arugula

There’s nothing quite like sitting down to a tasty lunch on a gorgeous San Francisco weekend and looking out at the city with good friends.  I used a recipe I found at Taste of Home as the inspiration for this recipe.  I have to say that tarragon is a spice I haven’t explored much, but it works really well in this recipe; I can see it moving into more regular rotation on the spice rack.

I’m back on trying to bring down points values wherever possible (you know, so as to reduce the impact of serving lunch with a side of brie and honey), so I made a few adjustments: using 1/4 of an avocado instead of half and using light mayo instead of the full fat version.  The flavors are so good in this salad that you don’t even miss the extra fat.

I seasoned the shrimp with salt, pepper and red chili flakes and cooked it about 1 minute on each side.

I also dressed some arugula with a light vinaigrette and used it as a bed for the salad.  Keep it to 2 Tbsp. to preserve the points value.

WEIGHT WATCHERS PLUS POINTS: 5 per serving (not counting wine and cheese)

This one works really well with Sauvignon Blanc.


  • 1/2 pound cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons light mayonnaise
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons capers, drained
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and divided into quarters


  • In a small bowl, combine ingredients. Spoon onto avocado quarters. Serve immediately.

Yield: 4 servings.

Summer Squash and Red Quinoa Salad with Walnuts

Summer Squash and Red Quinoa Salad with Walnuts

As much as I love to cook, I really love it when I just get to pull myself up to the table and revel in someone else’s creation.  Brett and Frank had us over for dinner last weekend to help break in the new counter top rotisserie, which was filled with skewered shrimp, scallops and vegetables.  They also plucked this ultra-fresh, salad of summery, crunchy, nutty goodness out of the latest issue of Bon Appetit.  We liked it so much we had to make it at home.  It works really well as a side dish, but our inability to stop after a small portion makes it an entrée here.

Tonight was one of the rare occasions when there wasn’t any parmesan in the house so we used pecorino instead and it worked very well.    The best news is that there’s enough for lunch tomorrow!  Welcome to regular rotation!


  • 1/2 cup red or other quinoa, rinsed in a fine-mesh sieve, drained
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more for seasoning
  • 1 pound assorted summer squash
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan plus 1/4 cup shaved with a peeler
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Sherry vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn


  • Bring quinoa and 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Season with salt, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until quinoa is tender but not mushy, 12–15 minutes. Drain; return quinoa to hot saucepan. Cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Uncover; fluff with a fork and let cool.
  • Cut squash into 1/8″-thick slices, some lengthwise and some crosswise. Transfer to a large bowl, season with 2 tsp. salt, and toss to coat. Let sit until slightly wilted, about 15 minutes. Rinse under cold water and drain well. Pat dry with paper towels.
  • Whisk grated Parmesan, zest, juice, and vinegar in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing with salt and pepper.
  • Combine squash, quinoa, parsley, walnuts, and basil in a large bowl. Pour dressing over; toss to coat. Garnish with shaved Parmesan.