Sunday Salads- Semolina Crusted Cauliflower with Arugula and Capers



The last month has just about taken it out of me. Valentines was very near the death of me. For serious.

The thing about doing the pastries for 4 different restaurants is that, when one is busy usually all of them are busy. And then it gets crazy.

Post Valentines there will be lots of deep breathing, lots of yoga, and lots of writing. I know I’ve been bad to you you all lately. I just haven’t had a chance to breath lately.

But now is the prime time to start again, to write again, and to eat salads again.

This one is one of my all time favourites, one I make pretty regularly and one that gets lots of praise every time I do. It’s full of super crispy cauliflower, peppery arugula and the sharp acid of capers. It’s admittedly, not one of the healthiest salads I make, I know it, and you could bake the cauliflower if you wanted to, I have and it’s still good, but there is just something about it when it’s pan fried in bubbling olive oil that just makes it better. It might make everything better.


Semolina Crusted Cauliflower with Arugula and Capers.

1 head of Cauliflower

1 cup Semolina Flour

1 cup Olive Oil

Half a Lemon

1 tsp Dijon Mustard

1 tbsp Capers- I like the really little ones if you can find them

2 cups Arugula

Bring a large pot of water to a boil

Mix a tsp of salt with the semolina flour in a medium bowl.

In another medium bowl mix together the lemon and mustard and slowly mix in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Taste and add salt to your liking.

Meanwhile cut the cauliflower into small-ish florets.

Generously salt the water and blanch the cauliflower for about 1 minute.

Drain it well and immediately mix it into the semolina flour and toss to coat.

In a large saucepan over medium- high heat warm about a quarter of a cup of olive oil.

Put in half the cauliflower and fry until it’s nicely browned.

Drain off the oil, and put the cauliflower into the bowl with the dressing.

Repeat this process with the rest of the cauliflower, adding more olive oil as needed.

Mix in the capers and arugula and serve immediately.

Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters with Lime Yoghurt

I find myself over and over again seasoning everything with fennel seeds, dried chilis and lemon zest. A little rosemary if I’m feeling crazy. It’s a fantastic combination, for pasta sauces, a big plate of sauted veggies, roasted meats, it works on nearly everything. But I’ve been finding lately that I’ve been a little bit on auto-pilot with them. It’s easy, it’s comforting but I’m finding it a little tired lately.

And whenever I’m in a food rut, I turn to Ottolenghi.
His food is simple, easy, and elegant, but it’s also heavily influenced from his Isreali background, and his use of spices is immaculate.

It’s never heavy or laden with them but there is always a waft or coriander, or a hint of rosewater in his food that makes you curious about your food. I like to be curious about my food.

These fritters are no exception. The cauliflower and cumin are a brilliant marriage and the lime yoghurt cuts through any heaviness, making it a perfect appy on it’s own or a great light supper with a salad. Although, with a poached egg on top, this could also be an epic breakfast.

Cauliflower and Cumin Fritters with Lime Yoghurt

(almost exactly how it appears in “Ottolenghi”


1 small Cauliflower, cut into florets

1 cup AP Flour

3 tbsp Chopped Flat leaf Parsley

1 clove, Garlic- minced

2 Shallots- minced

4 Eggs

2 tsp Cumin, ground

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Tumeric

1 1/2 tsp Salt

1 tsp Black Pepper

Oil to fry

Lime Yoghurt

300g Greek Yoghurt

2 tbsp Finely chopped Cilantro

Zest of 1 Lime

2 tbsp Lime juice

2 tbsp Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Mix all the yoghurt ingredients together in a bowl, set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add in a healthy pinch of salt and cook the cauliflower until it’s soft, about 15 minutes. Drain.

While the cauliflower is cooking mix together all the other ingredients (except oil) and beat until smooth. Add in the cauliflower and mix that in too.

In a frying pan on medium heat add in a good glug of oil and heat until it’s hot- put a tiny dollop of the batter in, when it starts bubbling your ready to go.

Carefully spoon in the batter and let fry until a bubble or two appears on the top and the edges and the bottoms get a nice brown color. With a spatula flip them over and repeat on the other side. Continue cooking until they are all done, then serve them with a generous helping of the lime yoghurt.

Cauliflower Soup with Mint Almond Pesto

I’m sick. I’m sick and I feel dreadful. I’m sick and all I want is my moms chicken noodle soup because hers always tastes better then mine no matter how much I do it exactly the same way. I’m sick and I’m cranky. I’m sick and I need something comforting that takes very little work to produce, and also very little money because I can’t work when I’m sick, and though I dream of paid sick days they are certainly not in my immediate future. Did I mention I’m sick? And that I’m cranky?

Oy Vey.

So I made cauliflower soup. It’s so simple and takes minutes to make and its so creamy and rich without having any dairy in it (bad for my throat) or being heavy (tough on my stomach). It’s a wonderful, wonderful soup that lends itself to all sorts of things, and in this case it is a perfect backdrop for a mint-almond pesto that makes everything seem just a little bit brighter. Which is a very good thing when your sick and cranky and it’s raining out.  Did I mention that it’s raining out?

Cauliflower Soup with Mint Almond Pesto

2 Heads of Cauliflower, cut up into big chunks.

1 White Onion, Chopped

1 Clover Garlic, minced

3 cups Chicken Stock

1 tbsp Flour

3 tbsp Olive Oil

1 -2 tsp Lemon Juice

Salt and Pepper


Half a Bunch Parsley

Half Bunch Mint

Zest of 1 Lemon

1 cup Almonds

½ tsp Chili Flakes

1 Clove Garlic

¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Salt to taste

In a large pot on medium heat add warm the olive oil

Add in the onion and cook until it’s translucent, about 5 minutes.

Add in the garlic and cook another minute until the garlic just gets fragrant but doesn’t colour.

Add the flour and mix well so that it forms a loose paste. Stir for 2 minutes to cook out the flour.

Add in the stock and give it a quick stir, then add in the cauliflower. The florets should be barely covered, if  they aren’t add a little water or more stock.

Put in a good pinch of salt and let that simmer until the cauliflower is cooked, about 15 minutes.

Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth, and then rewarm on medium heat. Add the lemon juice just before serving.


Turn the oven on for to 400F

Spread the almonds onto a pan in a single layer and put them in the oven for about 10 minutes, turning them once or twice to toast them.

In a food processor put the mint, parsley, garlic, zest and chili and pulse three or four times, just to break up the leaves.

Add in the Almonds and pulse again to break them up.

Taste and check your seasoning and then pulse again until a nice loose consistency is achieved.

 Then eat this soup curled up in a ball in front of your computer while you watch Mad Men reruns. And you will return to health.