I've never been able to grow my own cauliflowers well, whether it be snowball or a beautiful green coiled variety called Romaneco Cauliflower. So last weekend when we went to the farmers market in Glasgow, my eyes full of excitement fell upon these large heads of luminous green vegetables.
These Romanesco Cauliflowers with its spiralling and mesmerizing natural pointy shell like pattern known as pyllotaxis were being sold for a superb price of £1 pound each, well I could not resist. Not only was it my first time up close and personal with this 3D vegetable, it was the first time I had ever seen them being sold the Scottish farmers market. I also came away with rhubarb sticks; and fat courgettes from a different stall.
Sicilian Vegetable Stew with the courgettes, and with the rhubarb I've made a sweet and salty rhubarb bread (yet to be posted); and with the Romanesco Cauliflower a
I haven't yet mastered presenting my cold or warm salads elegantly, like those you see at high end deli's, so you will just have to set your eyes on this messy, yet colour and flavour packed bowl.
A little while ago, I also picked up a packet of Mughrabiya (or Mograbieh) from a Middle Eastern shop. Mughrabiya looks a bit like Israeli couscous, in that it is larger, but it doesn't taste the same. I have found the taste of Israeli couscous a bit like pasta, whereas this has some flavour. You may find Mughrabiya being sold as: Giant couscous or Lebanese Couscous. Mughrabiya is made from semolina, salt and water and the round grains are rolled individually by hand and therefore vary in size. So if you do find some and end up cooking them, you will note that these semolina dough balls don't all cook the same, leaving some al dente, but that was okay with me.
I don't have an actual recipe for this warm salad as I made it on the spot. But here are some measurements.
Warm Romanesco and Feta Salad
Serves 6 generously
1 whole Romanesco Cauliflower, broken into bite sized florets
2 - 4 tablespoons olive oil
Optional: 60g Mughrabiya
250g feta cheese, chopped into cubes
2 tomatoes, sliced
Handful of fresh mint, chopped
Salt and black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons of toasted pumpkin seeds
Roast the florets in the oven with a little drizzling of olive oil and bake until tender. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cook couscous according to packet instruction or pour 400ml vegetable stock and 1 tablespoon olive oil . Stir and cover and allow to stand for 5 minutes.
Boil the Mughrabiya in water for 5 minutes or until tender, then drain and stir into the couscous.
Then stir in all the remaining ingredients. Season to taste and scatter over the pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately. Best eaten warm.