Spiced Cauliflower, Pickled Fig, and Almond Salad

By savorthis
July 29, 2013
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Author Notes: My obsession with making salads spiked with pickled vegetables and fruits continues. This time, I roast cauliflower in a toasted spice oil, which later gets a zap of lemon juice and is used as a dressing to complement pickled figs. Some capers add a briny goodness, while toasted almonds play nicely with the roasted cauliflower. A big handful of parsley adds a fresh bite, tying the whole flavor profile together. It is wonderfully balanced and satisfying meal on its own, but equally good with grilled meat or pasta. It will hold up in the fridge for a couple days.savorthis

Food52 Review: There is a lot going on in this salad, but it's ultimately a great combination of tart, sweet, and spice. I especially liked the sliced toasted almonds here—they add some much needed crunch and really help cut through the other flavors in the salad. The directions don’t explicitly say to serve the salad warm or cold; I chose room temperature and loved the result.Megan

Serves: 4

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 dried figs, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 cup parsley, packed
  1. Preheat oven to 400° F.
  2. Toast spices in a pan until just fragrant. Grind in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and stir in olive oil. Toss cauliflower with half of spiced oil and garlic and season well with salt and pepper. Roast in oven about 25 and 30 minutes, until tender and browned in places, stirring a couple times.
  3. Meanwhile, heat vinegar, water, salt, and sugar until dissolved and steep figs until softened. Remove figs with slotted spoon. (The vinegar can be saved and mixed with oil and a bit of mustard for a nice vinaigrette later.)
  4. Add lemon juice to remaining spiced oil and drizzle a couple tablespoons over cauliflower. Add almonds, figs, capers, and parsley and toss well to coat. Season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

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