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.
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.
Give this recipe a go drizzled with tahini sauce (mix tahini with crushed garlic, lemon juice, seasoning, olive oil and a splash of water).
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
1/2 tbspn coconut oil
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.