Guess what? I’m cooking with cauliflower again! I know this is no surprise. My obsession has been well documented throughout this blog. This is a super tasty salad that looks a little fancy on the plate. Because you deserve something fancy looking.
I love the colours of this dish, the spiced rice takes on colour and flavour from the paprika laced stock, the golden and charred cauliflower edges contrasts with the still creamy white bits and then you have the jewel toned pomegranate and bright green mint. It looks so festive. You could totally have this as part of a ‘friendsgiving’ feast if it’s that time of the year for you.
If it’s not that time of year because your over here with me in Australia just gearing up for summer, but still holding on to some autumnal love, then it’s just as great as a mid week meat free meal. It’s got loads of flavour and the protein in the labneh paired with the high fibre cauliflower and brown rice make it pretty filling. You could also go ahead and have it as a side with a middle eastern flavoured roast chicken or lamb ribs or cutlets.
You can make your own labneh by straining thick good quality Greek yoghurt overnight. You want it to be super thick and rich when you spread it over the bottom of the plate. So delicious. It’s the perfect creamy accompaniment for the za’atar roasted cauliflower. I love za’atar spice mix and you can make your own fairly easily too. My usual mix can be found in this recipe. Or just buy it, it’s readily available at lots of supermarkets and markets. It’s super fragrant thanks to coriander seeds and thyme, as well as having a little heat and the sesame seeds give it a toasted nutty flavour. Yum!
1 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs za’atar spice mix
1 Tbs olive oil
1/4 cup onion (I used the green part of spring onion to make it lower in fructose)
1 cup brown rice, rinsed well
1 cup stock
2 cups water
1 tsp paprika
1 cup labneh
1/3 cup roasted almonds (or your favourite nut/seed)
2 cups mint leaves
Preheat you oven to 180 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Break the cauliflower into bite sized florets and chop the stalks into bite sized pieces. Place this all in a bowl and toss with the spice mix. Drizzle over the olive oil and toss again. Spread in a single layer on your baking tray, use two if you need to. Roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes or until golden and crispy.
Meanwhile make the rice: add olive oil to a medium sized pot and place on medium high heat. Once the oil is hot add the onion and sauté until soft. Add the
Rice and stir to coat in the oil. Toast for a minute or two like you’re making risotto. Add the stock, water and paprika and bring to the boil. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 25-30 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
To serve, spread labneh on the bottom of a plate (can do individual portions or one big plate). Toss the almonds, rice, ½ the mint and cauliflower together. Spread on top of the labneh and sprinkle with the remaining mint and pomegranate.