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.


Spiced Chickpeas and Vegetable Salad

TASTE THE HEATWAVE: Spiced Chickpeas & Fresh Vegetable Salad


For five or six days a year, with blatant disregard for normal calendrical expectation,  San Francisco experiences what the rest of the world commonly refers to as “summer.”  Rare and periodic as these inclement temperatures are, it takes us several days to work up to a full heat-induced panic (though the complaining starts the moment the mercury rises above 75 degrees).

We are currently smoldering in the grip of just such a fiery heatwave:  people wander listlessly about, peeled to the innermost layer, wondering what to do with the light jacket they just can’t possibly leave behind regardless of the temperature and yearning, PINING even, for the return of the glorious, cool, romantic embrace of the San Francisco fog and it’s decidedly more humane and appropriate temperatures.  Karl, where are you?.  It was 80 degrees by 8am this morning for heaven’s sake, which drove the resulting evening temperature in the house up somewhere near the top end of 400 — the bread is toasting on the counter.  It’s still a sweltering 85 degrees as my fingers melt across the keyboard.  Heat advisories are in effect!  Hydration levels are plunging!  People are breaking a sweat outside the designated arenas of gyms and bikram yoga studios!  Fortunately, I’m much too distracted by the satisfying clatter of my imaginary swamp cooler in the window to notice your rolling eyes.

Needless to say, igniting a heat source in such perilously incendiary conditions was unthinkable.  Salad was the only solution and I knew just where to go.  Every once in a while, you find a cookbook that speaks a delicious harmony to your tastes.  For me it’s Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.  Every recipe I’ve made from this book has completely rocked our world.  I’m so grateful and deeply indebted to my friend Darlene for the recommendation.

Serve this with some whole wheat pita bread, hummus, a dollop of greek yogurt and chilled white wine and the heat will melt away.  Without further ado, here is something delicious to make when it’s hot out:


Spiced Chickpeas & Fresh Vegetable Salad

  • ½ cup dried chickpeas (I cheated, took the shortcut and used a can)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 small cucumbers
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 8½ oz  radishes
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and ribs removed
  • 1 small red onion, peeled
  • ⅔ oz cilantro leaves and stems, coarsely chopped
  • ½ oz flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 2 tbsp juice
  • 1½ tbsp sherry1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp superfine sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1½ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Greek yogurt (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


Soak the dried chickpeas overnight in a large bowl with plenty of cold water and the baking soda. The next day, drain, place in a large saucepan, and cover with water twice the volume of the chickpeas. Bring to a boil and simmer, skimming off any foam, for about an hour, until completely tender, then drain.

Cut the cucumber, tomato, radish, and pepper into ⅔-inch / 1.5cm dice; cut the onion into ¼-inch / 0.5cm dice. Mix everything together in a bowl with the cilantro and parsley.

In a jar or sealable container, mix 5 tbsp / 75 ml of the olive oil, the lemon juice and zest, vinegar, garlic, and sugar and mix well to form a dressing, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss lightly.
Mix together the cardamom, allspice, cumin, and ¼ teaspoon salt and spread on a plate. Toss the cooked chickpeas in the spice mixture in a few batches to coat well. Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and lightly fry the chickpeas for 2 to 3 minutes, gently shaking the pan so they cook evenly and don’t stick. Keep warm.

Divide the salad among four plates, arranging it in a large circle, and spoon the warm spiced chickpeas on top, keeping the edge of the salad clear. You can drizzle some Greek yogurt on top to make the salad creamy.

Excerpt From: Yotam Ottolenghi. “Jerusalem.”






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.