Thursday, 10 March 2011

Cumin Cauliflower Pasta Salad

I made this simple 'Cumin Cauliflower Pasta Salad' for our journey down South last week.

On opening the Tupperware, you are instantly hit by the waft of cooked cauliflower, but after the initial shock to the nose, both your eyes and tongue will be pleasantly pleased. This pasta salad was really good. The cauliflower and pasta had bite and flavour. It was also rather filling, prepping us for the next part of our travels.
In this recipe, the cauliflower is stirred into the oil while it is still warm to gain maximum flavour from the three spices: cumin, coriander and chilli.

The beady eyed amongst you may have noticed a large cube in the bowl above, let me assure you that it is not a chunky potato cube. Its actually the core of the cauliflower. I know many people dispose of this and only use the florets, not me - I like the core, much more than I do the florets.

I am submitting this Cumin Cauliflower Pasta Salad to Presto Pasta Nights or PPN as it is fondly known. PPN is organised by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast. This weeks PPN#204 is being hosted by Sarah at Maison Cupcake.

Cumin Cauliflower Pasta Salad
Serves 3 - 4
200g - 250g of cooked Pasta of your choice – I used casarecce left over from the Beetroot and cumin pasta recipe last month.
1 small cauliflower
4 - 6 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch of spring onions, sliced
1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
1 generous teaspoon freshly ground cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of chilli flakes or to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or coriander
Salt and pepper to taste
Divide the cauliflower into small florets. (Please try and use the core too) and steam or boil in salted water until tender. Drain and set aside.
Slice the spring onions. Heat the oil in a wide frying pan. Add the spices and onion and cook, stirring gently for 5 minutes for the spices to infuse the oil. Then stir in the chopped herb. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the cauliflower and pasta to the oil and stir well. Leave to marinate for several hours, turning occasionally. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Serve cold or at room temperature.


  1. I was hoping you would post this after mentioning it in your last post. I don't eat cauliflower nearly enough, but this really tempts me :)

  2. Jacqueline.
    Happy to please :)
    Now you must make some. I think you will like it - not one for little Cooper though, well not yet anyway.

  3. I really have to make this - it sounds wonderful!

  4. Did you see last night's programme about Great British Food in which the Hairy Bikers were encouraging us all to eat more cauliflower? This recipe would fit the bill nicely.


  5. Cumin and cauliflower go together brilliantly, I love this combination. Thanks for taking part in this week's PPN.

  6. Thank you so much Affectioknit.
    I do hope you enjoy. Its simple and delicious. Well I think so.

    Thanks Jane.
    I actually missed the Hairy Bikers last night, not sure why as I watched Masterchef. I'll have to get it on BBCiPlayer. Thanks for letting me know.

    PS I'm looking forward to Masterchef next week as they are focusing on Vegetarian cuisine - a first.

  7. This pasta salad sounds delicious! Great mix of spices!

  8. This sounds so yummy! I love all those spices too! Very tempting :)

  9. This sounds delicious and the freshly ground spices makes a huge difference don't you think! ...along with the fresh herbs. Thanks for sharing)

    Also really enjoying the holiday pictures...wonderful! You sound so happy so am pleased.

  10. Love the sound and flavor of the salad.

  11. This looks lovely - fresh cauli straight from the garden is just a delight, and I've never thought to try anything like this. I'm so predictable and just steam it.

  12. I love cauli stems (and broccoli stems) too, much more of a satisfying crunch!

  13. YUM! Love the cauliflower and pasta combo.

  14. Thank you Gardeningbren.
    I hope that you are doing well.
    When I can I do use freshly ground spices, especially coriander and cumin. Your right - freshly ground spices do make a huge difference, it enhances or should i say elevates the dish further! along with the fresh herbs - of course.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the seaside pictures as I have many more to come. Blackpool and Morecambe Bay were taken on our drive to Wales to see my family. It was an overnight stay there, the followign day we drove on to Ds mother who lives in Essex. We stayed with her for about 5 days before driving back up to Scotland and seeing more of the English coast.

    Thank you Victor.
    I hope you do try it. Its a lovely way to enjoy the under-rated cauliflwoer.

    Thank you duchess_declutter.
    I've never been successful at growing cauliflower, they have either blown or the bugs have got them. Please do try this recipe. Thenext time you steam it, just go a few steps further with this recipe. Its really a nice salad and good to share.

    Thank you KitchenMaid.
    Ah a lady like me. I like broccoli stems to, I've never liked the florets of the broccoli, the heads are so much more beady.

    Thank you Anna A.
    Its a lovely combo for sure.

  15. Looks so healthy and divine... never tried cumin flavor with pasta..

  16. An excellent way to feature cauliflower, which I need to do more of. Sounds very good.

  17. Thank you Claudia.
    It was really good. I really recommend it.

  18. We love cauliflower in this house. We always roast it in the oven till it gets crisp. I received a cast iron pan for Christmas and I am using it for everything so I may try and sauté my cauliflower in it next. I have never tried the core before but you are tempting me to give it a try. It would be great not to have to waste it.

  19. Thank you so, so much Jacquelyn.
    Please do try the core, its lovely. Like potato with a bit more flavour.


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