Baked sesame & honey feta with cauliflower pilaf 

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Two new techniques for me here. The first, the feta. Have you ever tried baking it? I always Serve it raw, normally crumbled in salads. However I was intrigued on seeing a Nigel Slater recipe in the paper about baking feta brushed in honey and coated in toasted sesame seeds. I can vouch that it’s a truly great idea. Baking bring out the saltiness, and the honey counteracts that, plus turns slightly sticky and golden. Yum.

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The second technique is a raw cauliflower pilaf made with grated cauliflower, as inspired by a recipe in the Hemlsey + Hemsley cool book. A book given to me by a friend that I probably wouldn’t have bought but that has been fairly inspiring after all. I added coriander, salt and cinnamon to their recipe. I feared, really feared, the cauliflower would turn mushy when cooked. It totally surprised me. It keeps its bite and doesn’t give off water – who knew?! The resulting texture is very similar to that of a pilaf. An accurate name indeed.

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Give this recipe a go drizzled with tahini sauce (mix tahini with crushed garlic, lemon juice, seasoning, olive oil and a splash of water).

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You will need:

3 tbspns sesame seeds (use a mix of white and black), freshly toasted

2 tbspns honey

200g block of feta, halved

1/2 tbspn olive oil 

1 head cauliflower, coarsley grated

1 onion, diced

1 tspn turmeric

4 crushed cardamom pods

1 tbspn (pul biber) chilli flakes

1 tspn cinnamon

2 bay leaves

2 tbspns toasted flaked almonds

2 tbspns sultanas

1 tbspn stock or water

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Handful freshly chopped coriander

Salt, pepper

1/2 tbspn coconut oil

Method:

1 – Start by preparing the feta. Preheat the oven to 180 and then take your two feta blocks and brush with the honey.

2 – Pat the sesame seeds onto the feta, covering each block. Set into a baking tray and drizzle with the oil.

3 – Move on to the cauliflower. Heat the coconut oil in a pan and add the onion, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom and bay leaves. Season well with salt and pepper and cook for 6-8 minutes til the onions are well cooked.

4 –  Place the feta in the oven to bake for 10 minutes. 

5 – Stir the cauliflower into the onions along with the sultanas and more seasoning, plus a tbspn of stock or water. Cover and leave to steam for 4 minutes. 

6 – Stir the almonds, coriander and lemon juice into the cauliflower. Serve topped with the baked feta and tahini sauce.

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3 thoughts on “Baked sesame & honey feta with cauliflower pilaf 

    1. I’m a little skeptical about the cauliflower, but I’m willing to be convinced. The feta sounds really intriguing, and since it appears you need the cauliflower in order to provide a foundation for the feta… I’m in, Ken

      1. So was I! I honestly thought it would be a disaster. But it worked out really well for me :-) I’m very open to trying new things and some fail, some don’t. This cauli is a good alternative to rice of trying to slim down, as I am!

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