Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fried Cauliflower with Tahini & Pomegranate and How To Use Pomegranate Molasses

Fried Cauliflower with Tahini & Pomegranate

Sadly for those of us who play at I Heart Cooking Clubs, our six-month journey with the amazing Yotam Ottolenghi ends this week.  To a person, we've been inspired, surprised and amazed by dish after dish of incredible flavours and textures, by "new to us" ingredients and by new ways to use them.  I've been cooking on a regular basis with Ottolenghi for about 3 years now, but he still never ceases to surprise me with taste and texture combinations that are a pure delight, and although we are effectively farewelling him this week, his dishes will continue to play a starring role in my kitchen.

I had planned to share a round-up this week of my favourites, but of the 20-plus Ottolenghi dishes I've made over the last six months, I just couldn't narrow it down to four or five, instead I'm going to celebrate the way in which he has opened my eyes to wonderful ways with cauliflower.  I've always loved cauliflower - it's one of my favourite vegetables - but until my introduction to Ottolenghi I was always at a bit of a loss for interesting ways to prepare and eat it.  In the past, it's always just been a bit of a side dish, enjoyable but not particularly remarkable unless smothered in a cheese sauce!!  Now, thanks to some of these wonderful dishes, I'm happy to make a meal of cauliflower.


Chargrilled Cauliflower Salad 4


Roasted Cauliflower & Almond Salad

... and the Saffron Cauliflower from Plenty, a dish which, although I'm yet to share with you, I've made many times.  Trust me, if you happen to have Plenty in your cookbook collection, you need to make this dish.

Then there was the Fried Cauliflower with Pine Nuts, Capers & Chillies which my friend, Michelle at Ms. enPlace made.  I haven't had a chance to make this one yet, but it's high on my must-make list.

And, today's discovery from Jerusalem: A Cookbook, this recipe for Fried Cauliflower with Tahini & Pomegranate.  I made a few small changes to the original recipe.  Now I'm sure that a whole bunch of cauliflower fried in two cups of sunflower oil would taste amazing, but looking for a healthier version I used a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil instead.  Still tasted amazing and went a beautiful golden brown in no time.  The original dish was designed to serve six as part of a mezze feast, but I cut quantities back to make a substantial meal for one, and adjusted all the sauce quantities accordingly.  I also left out spring onions, as I didn't really feel the need for them, and I finished off by tossing a few pomegranate seeds in at the end.

I'm also sharing this dish at Tasting Jerusalem, where our theme for the month is pomegranate molasses.  I've used pomegranate molasses in a number of different Ottolenghi dishes in the past, such as Lamb-Stuffed Quince with Coriander & Pomegranate, ...

Lamb-stuffed Quince with Coriander & Pomegranate 3

Shakshuka, ...

Shakshuka 4

...  and the earlier mentioned Roasted Cauliflower & Almond Salad.

You might also be interested in a few other ideas for using pomegranate molasses.  I actually posted some of these suggestions way back in one of my very first posts on this blog, but that was before anybody ever read this blog, so they bear repeating:

Make a refreshing drink by mixing 1 teaspoon of pomegranate molasses with lemon juice and sugar; then add water or soda and adjust to your taste. You could also turn this into a cocktail by adding the alcohol of your choice – vodka and rum both work really well with this.

Use to glaze the skin of a chicken or duck breast before cooking – skin will be crispy and a little sour.

Glaze a rack of lamb before cooking, or use to dip barbecued lamb cutlets.

Make a marinade for salmon fillets by combining: 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup dry sherry, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1 clove of garlic, crushed. Marinate up to 4 hours, remove from marinade and bake in a 160oC oven for 10 minutes. While fish is baking pour marinade into a saucepan, and reduce over low heat to about half. Drizzle reduced pomegranate marinade over fish to serve.

Baked fish parcels – place pieces of firm fleshed fish in centre of piece of tinfoil or parchment paper, drizzle over pomegranate molasses, slivers of garlic, sliced lemon, and finely sliced fennel. Complete with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, close up parcel, and bake at 180oC till cooked through.

Make a dressing using pomegranate molasses, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and salt and freshly ground black pepper, add chopped flat leaf parsley and mint. Use this dressing over any of the following combinations:
*  Char-grilled eggplant and courgette, roasted tomatoes and carrots, black olives and feta cheese
*  Roasted pumpkin and mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, baby spinach and grilled haloumi
*  Mesclun leaves, toasted hazelnuts, sliced apple, dates and goats cheese

Drizzle pomegranate molasses over a block of cream cheese and serve with crackers. 

Do you have any other great ideas for using pomegranate molasses?  If so, I'd love to hear about them.  In the meantime, on with today's recipe ...

Fried Cauliflower with Tahini & Pomegranate 2

Fried Cauliflower with Tahini & Pomegranate
Adapted from recipe by Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi
Serves four as part of a mezze table
or serves two as a generous side dish
or serves one as a substantial meal
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

1/2 a head cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup tahini paste
1/4 cup natural Greek-style yoghurt
1x garlic clove, crushed
handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
handful mint leaves, finely chopped
1x lemon, zest and juice
1 teaspoon pomegranate molasses, plus extra to finish
water
flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
handful of pomegranate seeds

Heat oil in a large skillet set over medium heat.  Add cauliflower to the hot oil and saute until golden and tender.  Remove to a plate covered with a paper towel to drain, and sprinkle liberally with flaky sea salt.  You will probably have to do this in two batches.  Set aside to cool slightly.

In a small bowl mix together tahini, yoghurt, crushed garlic, parsley, mint, lemon juice and zest, and  pomegranate molasses.  Add sufficient water to thin to a smooth, pourable sauce - about the consistency of runny honey.  Taste and add flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Arrange cauliflower in a bowl or serving platter, drizzle over the tahini sauce.  Finish with an extra drizzle of pomegranate molasses, a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds and a sprig of mint.

Delicious served warm or at room temperature.

If you would like to get to know Yotam Ottolenghi a little better, and to see what everyone has cooked up for our final feast together, then do go and visit my friends at I Heart Cooking Clubs and check out the links ...

IHCC Ottolenghi Leek Badge resized

... or check out Jerusalem and Ottolenghi's other great titles available from Amazon USA, Amazon UK or Fishpond NZ.

          Jerusalem

I am also sharing this post at Tasting Jerusalem, a virtual cooking community exploring the vibrant flavors and cuisine of the Middle East through the lens of “Jerusalem: A Cookbook” by Ottolenghi and Tamimi published by Ten Speed Press. You can follow along and cook with us by subscribing to omgyummy.com, following the hashtag #TastingJrslm on Twitter and Instagram, and liking our Facebook page.

And, because it would be rude not to, I'm sharing this post this week at See Ya In the Gumbo hosted by the lovely, Michelle at Ms. enPlace, at Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth at Beth Fish Reads, and at Foodie Friday, hosted by Designs by Gollam.


See Ya in The Gumbo Badge            Weekend Cooking Badge            Foodie Friday Badge

36 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks, Sherry, and thanks so much for visiting - I do hope you'll stop by again.

      Delete
  2. Oh, I am all over this post like you wouldn't believe! I have come to love cauliflower. Fried cauliflower w/ tahini is one of the first recipes I bookmarked when we started cooking with YO. Will have to try it for potluck. Thanks for the shout-out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Michelle - I know you're a huge cauliflower fan, so I'm sure you'll love this dish.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for linking, Sue!

      Delete
  3. This is a fabulous post! I adore pomegranate molasses, I try to put it on everything. I missed the stuffed quince post, so I'm heading over there now...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sue. Pomegranate molasses is just the best, isn't it?! I can't remember now how I first ever came across it, but it's definitely a "can't live without" ingredient in my pantry now.

      Delete
  4. Yuuum love the cordial idea. I usually use pom molasses instead of lemon juice as I don't have to worry about lemons drying out or going off in my fridge :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Zo. The cordial is a winner - especially refreshing now we have warmer days and longer evenings. The pomegranate molasses does make a good substitute for lemon juice.

      Delete
  5. Wow! That final cauliflower dish looks wonderful. I've just realized that despite the fact that I like the vegetable and have cooked extensively from his books, I have yet to make one of Ottolenghi's cauliflower recipes. So much more cooking to do....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Zosia. Yes, I definitely have so much more cooking to do with Ottolenghi too - hope you give some of his cauliflower recipes a try.

      Delete
  6. Hi Sue,
    Your cauliflower dish looks amazing! I love cauliflower and would love to try Ottolenghi's cauliflower recipes!
    Thanks for the info on using pomegranate molasses, an ingredient that I have yet to find over here! I've used pomegranate concentrate instead to sub for the molasses when I was cooking with Ottolenghi's recipe.
    I've really enjoyed cooking from Ottolenghi's recipes, am eyeing his latest book now!
    Thanks for being a wonderful hostess. Looking forward to our trip to Australia!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Joyce. Pomegranate concentrate is a good sub for the molasses, and in fact you can make your own pomegranate molasses by just reducing pomegranate juice down until it's think and syrupy.

      I've loved co-hosting Ottolenghi, and I too am looking forward to cooking with Donna Hay.

      Delete
  7. These dishes look and sound amazing! This year Food and Wine magazine named Jerusalem one of the Top 25 Cookbooks of the Year. It's definitely on my Christmas list, having visited for the first time this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Col. I can easily see how Jerusalem has won such accolades - it's definitely my favourite cookbook I've ever owned. Hope Santa takes notice of your request.

      Delete
  8. Where to start? It has been a wonderful 6 months & as you say the wonderful thing is he continues to surprise & delight.
    I am not a huge fan of cauliflower...but yes Mr Ottolenghi has turned me around :) I will check out the saffron cauliflower in Plenty :) As for pomegranate molasses I love that stuff....it just packs such a punch of flavour, I think that little cocktail could be one of the tipples for Summer this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has definitely been an amazing 6 months. Think you'd love the saffron cauliflower, Mairi, and I know for sure you'll love the pomegranate mocktail - great with a bit of gin too!

      Delete
  9. I'm definitely going to try that fried dish with pomegranate. Our favorite way to eat cauliflower is to roast it, but I add it to raw to salad, so we eat it almost every day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love cauliflower roasted too, Beth - I just love the beautiful nuttiness that it develops. Funnily enough I never think of eating it raw so much.

      Delete
  10. this sounds delicious. I have his cookbook and need ot seek out this recipe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Esme. This is definitely a recipe to bookmark if you have the book. Hope you enjoy it.

      Delete
  11. I have a few ways that I prepare cauliflower, and am always open to new ways to enjoy it ... the price of a head of cauliflower is always reasonable, it seems. Finding more ways to prepare it is not only flavourful, but frugal!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan, I agree. It's funny how the price of broccoli seems to fluctuate dramatically here depending on what's happening with the weather, but the price of cauliflower seems to remain fairly constant (and always reasonable) just about all year round.

      Delete
  12. How did I get away without making any of these fantastic cauliflower dishes these past six months?!? I will definitely need to rectify that for some of the Potluck weeks! ;-) This one looks especially wonderful with the tahini and the pomegranate. Yay Ottolenghi! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deb, I think some of these cauliflower dishes would be right up your alley, and I'm sure you would put your own unique spin on any of them.

      Delete
  13. What a spectacular roundup of recipes. I had no idea there were so many uses for pomegranate molasses. I will keep my eye out for it. I've also heard many great things about the cookbook. I for one certainly need to eat more vegetables. There goes another cookbook on my wish list :)
    Sam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sam - pomegranate molasses is such a wonderfully versatile ingredient, it is definitely worth seeking out, and as for the cookbook, if I could only keep one book from my entire collection it would be this one.

      Delete
  14. What a spectacular roundup of recipes. I had no idea there were so many uses for pomegranate molasses. I will keep my eye out for it. I've also heard many great things about the cookbook. I for one certainly need to eat more vegetables. There goes another cookbook on my wish list :)
    Sam

    ReplyDelete
  15. I also love cauliflower. I've always had creamed cauliflower. Until today didn't know any other way to cook cauliflower.

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a beautiful round up of recipes, Sue! Love that you added pomegranate molasses to shakshuka, too. Your photos are just lovely and so tempting!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I am in complete agreement with you when you said that it was hard to narrow down your Ottolenghi favorites! It's nearly impossible, isn't it? I love that you chose to feature cauliflower. I really and truly meant to make so many of his cauliflower dishes. Goodness knows they always appealed to me as I was thumbing through his cookbooks. My guess is that Ottolenghi will be the star of potluck week for me. There are so many more YO dishes on my list and I haven't bought the Ottolenghi cookbook yet.

    It was so nice co-hosting this round of IHCC with you! Looking forward to Donna Hay :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I think all the recipes in this post look delicious. It is lovely to have them all together in one place (I've pinned your post) because my husband loves cauliflower. On the other hand, I am not so sure about it! However in these recipes it looks absolutely mouthwatering! Also I really enjoyed reading about pomegranate molasses. I had heard of it but not seen any here in England. Then the other day I found a bottle but had no idea what to do with it. I'm going to go back and buy some now :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Do you think it would acceptable to mix a pomegranate molasses mocktail for breakfast? What a fabulous thought. I don't think I can wait till after work!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Such a great post Susan - can I hire you to do my pom molasses round up for TJ?? :-) What an inspiration for cooking and creating with new ingredients. I am especially craving that pom molasses drink right about now! thanks for a great post Sue! What's your cookbook club cooking from next?

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm looking forward to trying the roasted cauliflower and almonds. I also use cauliflower mostly as side dish, but would like to ramp it up a bit in the flavour department. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I've always quite liked cauliflower, this year I've been on a diet and eating more cauliflower than normal, I joke that I've eaten my own body weight in cauliflower this year. So now I'm always on the lookout for new ways to prepare it. These look great ideas. This is my first visit to your blog from Weekend Cooking, I love how you group your recipes from the cookbook source. That's a great idea. And you're so lucky to live in Nelson, it's a beautiful area.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. I love hearing from you and your comments are like gold to me. Your comment will be visible as soon as it has been approved.