Arguably one of the most underrated vegetables out there, cauliflower can be pickled, pureed, made into soup or, as it is here, roasted until golden and delicious. Buy fresh, tight heads as they’ll hold together better when sliced, and ensure your oven is blisteringly hot for the best caramelisation.
- 300 g cauliflower, cut into 2 cm-thick slices
- 1½ tbsp extra–virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp ras el hanout (Moroccan spice blend) (see Note)
- salt and pepper
- 6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 125 g buckwheat (see Note)
- juice and finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup pistachios, toasted and halved
- 100 g yoghurt
- ⅓ cup mint leaves
- ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat oven to 220˚C.
Lay the cauliflower slices on a baking paper-lined oven tray. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with 1½ teaspoons ras el hanout. Season to taste. Place the whole garlic cloves around the cauliflower and place the tray in the oven. Roast for 18–20 minutes or until the garlic is soft. Remove the garlic from the oven and set aside. Continue to roast the cauliflower for another 5–10 minutes or until tender and golden.
Meanwhile, dry roast buckwheat in a large frying pan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes until lightly toasted. Bring 220 ml water, ½ teaspoon ras el hanout and a pinch of salt to the boil in small saucepan. Add the buckwheat and cook, uncovered, for 6–7 minutes, until the water is level with the surface of the buckwheat. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for a further 8–10 minutes or until the buckwheat is tender. Strain if there is any residual water remaining. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice, lemon rind and the remaining olive oil. Season to taste, cover and keep warm.
Squeeze the garlic from their skins and mash until smooth with a fork. Combine the garlic, yoghurt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 2 teaspoons water. Season to taste and mix until well combined.
Add the mint and pomegranate to the buckwheat and toss gently. Divide between plates and top with cauliflower. Serve with yoghurt.
• Ras el hanout is a spice blend commonly used in Moroccan cuisine and is available from international delis and quality spice merchants. If unavailable, substitute with harissa spices or make your own blend from cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, paprika and turmeric.
• Buckwheat is high protein, gluten-free grain with an earthy, nutty flavour available in the health-food section of supermarkets and from health-food stores.
Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Suresh Watson.
Robert Welch mulberry fork and 18/10 serving spoon, both from Tomkin.