Delicious Dukkah Roasted Cauliflower Salad

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Is this a salad? Or is it a side? It doesn’t matter because it is delicious! In fact, it could be a main dish and I would be happy. What makes it so good is that the cauliflower is roasted with an addictive seasoning from Egypt called Dukkah. I had been seeing it mentioned in foodie magazines and then I stumbled on it in a spice blend shop in Melbourne, Australia.

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Of course I had to try it. We all loved it with crusty bread dipped in olive oil, and then the Dukkah. It was even good sprinkled on our breakfast of hard boiled eggs in our Airbnb. Earlier in the trip we had eaten roasted cauliflower atop a salad with yogurt sauce; I wondered how cauliflower would taste if it was sprinkled with Dukkah before it was roasted… It turned out to be a winner! Below is a recipe for basic Dukkah. As you can see, there are options listed to make variations. Following that is the cauliflower salad recipe. The lemon & oil salad dressing and yogurt sauce take the whole thing over the top – enjoy!

Basic Dukkah Recipe

1 cup chopped nuts (Australian tend to use hazelnuts, others use pistachios and/or almonds)

1/2 cup sesame seeds

2 teaspoons cumin seeds

2 teaspoons coriander seeds

2 teaspoons pepper

1 teaspoon coarse sea salt

Other possible additions:

1 teaspoons turmeric powder

1 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon  ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

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Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the nuts out on it. Bake the nuts for five minutes, watching them carefully so they get brown around the edges but don’t burn. Set them aside and let them cool.

Place the seeds in a skillet and over medium heat, stir them until they start to brown. They may pop! Set them aside and let them cool.

Place the nuts in a food processor and pulse a few times until crumbly. Do not let it become a paste. Place in a mixing bowl. Process the coriander and cumin seeds until ground. Add them to the mixing bowl, along with the sesame seeds, salt, pepper and any additional spices and stir to combine.

Serve with olive oil and crusty bread. Use as a breading for chicken or fish. Or make the tasty cauliflower dish below:

Dukkah Roasted Cauliflower Salad – Serves Four

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Ingredients:

For the roasted cauliflower:

1 head cauliflower

3 tablespoons Dukkah – recipe above

2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Wash and cut the cauliflower into florets. Place them in a single layer on the parchment paper. Sprinkle the florets with the olive oil and Dukkah. Bake for 30 minutes. Cauliflower should be tender, easily pierced with a fork, and browned on the edges.

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For the yogurt sauce:

1/2 Greek yogurt

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

Whisk all ingredients together.

For the salad:

6 cups arugula

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Place the arugula in a large bowl. Whisk the rest of the ingredients together. Pour enough dressing over the arugula to coat it, but not drench it. Reserve the rest of the dressing. (It’s great drizzled over vegetables or as a dressing on any kind of salad.)

For Garnish:

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

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To assemble the dish, place the dressed arugula salad on a serving platter. Place the roasted cauliflower on top. Drizzle some of the yogurt sauce on top. Scatter the chopped cilantro and cherry tomatoes over the top. Serve immediately and pass the remaining yogurt sauce at the table.

 

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How to Make Preserved Lemons

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DSCN9805My quest to learn how to preserve lemons came this summer after eating a fabulous salad at Black Star Farms Winery near Suttons Bay, Michigan. We had rented bikes and stopped at the winery for lunch. Of course we were starving and everything tasted so, so wonderful! I asked the waitress about the salad dressing and she told me it was made with verjus, which is very young green grape juice. I bought a bottle and tried to duplicate the dressing. What a disappointment! Something was definitely missing. Adam, my daughter’s boyfriend, thought the winery salad was more lemony but adding lemon juice still didn’t make it stellar. I googled the menu and looked at the description of the salad. One of the ingredients listed was preserved lemon – something I had been stumbling across in several cookbooks.  I had seen it in Yotam Ottolenghi’s iconic vegetarian cookbook, Plenty, and in Sarah Raven’s cookbook, In Season. I had just sort of written that ingredient off as too hard to get and something that wouldn’t make that much of a difference anyway.  Then I saw it on an episode of Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa. My interest was piqued.  I found a jar of preserved lemons at a Middle Eastern grocery store near my house but they didn’t have the same fresh lemony flavor I remembered from that special salad. I knew I was going to have to find out how to make them at home.  Sarah Raven included a recipe in the book mentioned above, but the biggest help was from an August 2013 post on http://www.bonappetit.com.  The following post is the result of my experimenting. For the salad recipe where preserved lemons were the secret ingredient that added a “wow” factor click HERE .

Gather Together:

1 quart jar with some kind of lid

4 to 6 lemons depending on size

2/3 cup sugar

7 tablespoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 whole clove

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Place the lemons in a pan and cover with plenty of water. Boil them for about 15 minutes or until skin softens.

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Place the lemons into a bowl of ice water and permit them to cool down.

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Without going all the way through, cut them lengthwise in four places.

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Measure out 3 cups of the cooking liquid and bring it up to a boil again. Turn it down and stir in the sugar, salt, coriander, and clove.  Place the lemons in the jar. Don’t smoosh them down, just put in as many as there is room for. Pour a bit of the water/spice mixture in the jar and wait 1 minute before pouring more liquid in up to about an inch to the top.

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Place the lid on and store in the refrigerator for at least a week before using.  They last for several weeks.

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Enjoy! Please let me know if you find some great recipes that include this secret ingredient!

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