Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

This warm Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing is the perfect way to serve cauliflower. The cauliflower is golden and crunchy at the edges, soft within and paired with sweet red peppers, lush peppery rocket and drizzled generously with the vibrant Tahini Turmeric Dressing.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

I can’t sleep. Everything is keeping me up at the moment and I’m worrying perpetually about the baby. I’m due next week and ever since I had this last minute diagnosis of gestational diabetes (which the doctors are still unconvinced I actually have but are treating it like I do anyway) I’m convinced my baby and I are suffering from every affliction under the sun.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

It wasn’t this way when I was pregnant with Cole, I think I was naïve and just assumed everything would be okay and it was. However since I have become a mother and spend most of my social time talking to other mums, listening to their stories and engaging more with birth stories in the media then I realise how lucky I had it with Cole and that terrifies me.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Last night I couldn’t sleep due to itching. I have had itchy skin for the past few weeks and have put it down to hormones and one of those weird pregnancy things. But I couldn’t sleep and I did what any nervous mother does at 3am I googled it. Does Google make things better or worse? Turns out the itching could mean something which of course will probably lead to dire consequences for the baby. When does it not? Or it could mean nothing. Let’s face it, it’s usually nothing. All I know is as I wait for the midwife to call me back I am itching more than ever and convincing myself that this is something else I and the doctors have missed during my pregnancy. The baby is arriving next week regardless as I am being induced early due to the maybe gestational diabetes. It is the same course of action they would take for the itching thing as well so it’s all being taken care of anyway so really I’m worrying over nothing. That’s easy to say but as I wait here feeling my baby kicking and shuffling around like he’s trying to reassure me I won’t rest or sleep properly until he’s in my arms happy and safe. Then of course comes the worry that comes hand in hand with a having a newborn. But at least it’s a different kind of worry and that would be a relief at this stage.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Launching from my inner turmoil about pregnancy and motherhood to a roasted cauliflower recipe is always going to be a bit clunky I’m afraid. I’m sure there’s an analogy somewhere about giving birth and brassicas but my brain is everywhere and you’re just going to have to go with it.

I was going to post this recipe over the weekend but I only remembered during my sleepless night last night that this delicious recipe has been patiently waiting to be published since Saturday.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

Roasted cauliflower is the perfect accompaniment to the Tahini Turmeric Dressing I posted last week and this salad has overtaken cauliflower cheese as my favourite way to serve this particular vegetable. I absolutely adore it as an accompaniment to steak on our patented Steak Fridays. It’s no effort to make and feels very virtuous heaping a pile of delectable vegetables next to your steak. I love the way cauliflower roasts in the oven, the balance is to get it beautifully golden and crisp at the edges of the florets whilst keeping the inside of the vegetable soft and creamy.

Cauliflower needs robust flavour so paired with the sweetness of the red pepper and the pepperiness of the rocket it’s a perfect combo. Then the Tahini Turmeric Dressing is an absolute bonus, bringing all the elements together into a complete dish.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

I need all the help I can get making my meals as delicious as possible so that I don’t miss my sugar hit afterwards and this Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing really hits the spot.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

This warm Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing is the perfect way to serve cauliflower. The cauliflower is golden and crunchy at the edges, soft within and paired with sweet red peppers, lush peppery rocket and drizzled generously with the vibrant Tahini Turmeric Dressing.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: British
Keyword: roasted cauliflower salad, roasted cauliflower salad recipe, tahini turmeric dressing
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 140kcal
Author: Georgina Hartley

Ingredients

  • 1 kg cauliflower
  • 2 red peppers diced large
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 tablespoons Tahini Turmeric Dressing
  • 100 g rocket

Instructions

  • First par-boil the cauliflower. Place the cauliflower in a large saucepan of boiling water, bring back up to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Drain the cauliflower then tip into a large baking dish with the diced red pepper, tossing together with the olive oil and sea salt.
  • Roast for 20 minutes, give the dish a good old shake then roast for a further 20 minutes until the cauliflower is starting to crisp and brown.
  • Remove from the oven and coat liberally with the Tahini Turmeric Dressing.
  • Serve over the rocket.

Notes

*Recipe for Tahini Turmeric Dressing here

Nutrition

Calories: 140kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 228mg | Potassium: 643mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 32.8% | Vitamin C: 161.8% | Calcium: 6.6% | Iron: 6.2%

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Piccalilli

Piccalilli is the perfect preserve for your festive table. Bite-sized pieces of Autumn vegetables fragrant with curry spices which is excellent with any kind of cheese or cold cut.

Piccalilli is a must-have addition for any festive table. A beautiful trio of purple cauliflower, romescu and white cauliflower preserved with autumn vegetables in delicious curried spices.

There was one word with which people always used to describe me; my school teachers, my work colleagues, my family, friends, strangers on the bus, the butcher, the baker, the weirdo on the corner. All of them would mutter a singular word in my direction as I floated past, filofax in one hand, iphone in the other. Organised.

Piccalilli is a must-have addition for any festive table. A beautiful trio of purple cauliflower, romescu and white cauliflower preserved with autumn vegetables in delicious curried spices.

I never really took kindly to that word, as surely it’s just another way of saying god she’s boring, always making those lists and getting things done. What a teacher’s pet. Boo, let’s all go off down the pub and leave her at home. Ha ha, what a loser.

I would also get the bum job of booking our holidays. This meant researching the itinerary, making a powerpoint with appropriately fun fonts to share with the world on a domain specifically bought for the purpose, taking all the photos on the trip then sorting them into the photobook on our return complete with on point bon mots, then printing them out for Christmas presents, sourcing personalised wrapping paper for every recipient and ribbons to match; finally making sure everything was couriered off a week before to ensure a proper punctual Christmas.

Ah, the good life. The me I knew and loved and now have lost. As then came baby.

Piccalilli is a must-have addition for any festive table. A beautiful trio of purple cauliflower, romescu and white cauliflower preserved with autumn vegetables in delicious curried spices.

My house keys are currently misplaced. For the third time in the past month. No doubt I will find them in a shoe or the blender in a week or two. I have forgotten numerous vet appointments (sorry Billy Buddy), play dates (sorry Cole). I have been to weddings and sent thank you cards three months after the fact, if at all (sorry all of this year’s newlyweds). I have a multitude of blog posts half finished, mostly for recipes that are now irrelevant with the changing seasons. I haven’t been out for dinner in about four months as I can’t be bothered to find a babysitter and I’m now just about to cancel our anniversary holiday at the end of the month as I haven’t got around to booking the hotel as quite frankly it sounds more hassle than it’s worth. Just the thought of another wrestling match with the travel cot from hell is enough to make me shudder.

Piccalilli is a must-have addition for any festive table. A beautiful trio of purple cauliflower, romescu and white cauliflower preserved with autumn vegetables in delicious curried spices.

There is one job though that I have forced myself to do, and blimey if I haven’t gone and completed it with weeks to spare. And that is my Piccalilli. To be fair, I had to finish it really as I’m planning on selling it at the Christmas fairs I am attending later this month and empty jars just don’t sell as well.

My Piccalilli is so important to make as it is the most popular preserve on my stall. Without fail it is the first to sell out but I have to make sure I keep a couple of jars back for my family each year, otherwise there will be cheese knives at dawn on Boxing Day if there is no Piccalilli to enjoy with the cold cuts.

For years I would make it just for us, sometimes along with another chutney or jam but the Piccalilli was the break out star and soon became the number one preserve that was clamoured for and I pretty much set my whole preserve stall up around it.

Piccalilli is a must-have addition for any festive table. A beautiful trio of purple cauliflower, romescu and white cauliflower preserved with autumn vegetables in delicious curried spices.

Now is the best time to make it as although you can eat it freshly bottled and has a lovely bright taste if you do, if you allow the Piccalilli to rest for a few weeks, the vinegar has a chance to mellow and the spices are given room to breathe and really envelop the vegetables.

The only real labour of making a Piccalilli is the chopping of the vegetables which I like to be bite-sized so they can nestle happily in a sandwich or on a cracker without weighing it all down. The vegetables should then be brined overnight which helps them retain their crunch. Then all that’s left to do the next day is to quickly poach them in vinegar and sugar before adding them into your delicately spiced curry dressing. I stick to the traditional vegetables of cauliflower, green beans, cucumber and onions. Although by using romescu and purple cauliflower the Piccalilli is given wonderful texture and a beautiful rich colour.

Piccalilli is a must-have addition for any festive table. A beautiful trio of purple cauliflower, romescu and white cauliflower preserved with autumn vegetables in delicious curried spices.

If you are thinking of making homemade gifts this year then I don’t think you can ever go wrong with chutneys and pickles, at least that’s what I say whenever I hand a festively wrapped jar over to an unsuspecting recipient. They always give a good show of being appreciative and that’s the main thing. Plus I think if I can pull myself together enough to knock up a few jars then it gives me hope that one day I can be that organised loser so beloved once more.

Piccalilli

Piccalilli is a must-have addition for any festive table. A beautiful trio of purple cauliflower, romescu and white cauliflower preserved with autumn vegetables in delicious curried spices.
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: British
Keyword: piccalilli, piccalilli recipe
Servings: 20 servings
Calories: 201kcal
Author: Georgina Hartley

Ingredients

  • 1 white cauliflower
  • 1 purple cauliflower
  • 1 romescu cauliflower
  • 800 g small onions
  • 700 g green beans
  • 3 cucumbers
  • 3 red chillies sliced
  • 100 g salt
  • 1500 g white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • teaspoons ground allspice
  • 525 g granulated sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 50 g tapioca flour
  • 50 g cornflour
  • teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder I used a Jamaican curry powder blend but any will do
  • 3 tablespoons mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper

Instructions

  • Cut the cauliflowers, onions, green beans and cucumbers into bite-sized pieces then place in a large bowl, along with the chillies and sprinkle with the salt. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.
  • The next day drain the vegetables and rinse with cold water to remove the excess salt.
  • Place the vegetables in a large preserving pan with the vinegar, nutmeg, allspice and sugar. Crush the garlic with the salt and add that in too. Bring to the boil, then turn down to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Take off the heat then remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon leaving the liquid behind. Pour the liquid into a separate jug and set aside for a moment.
  • Sift together the tapioca flour, cornflour, turmeric, ginger, curry powder, mustard powder and pepper. Add 200ml of the reserved liquid and blend together to make a smooth paste.
  • Pour the paste into the preserving pan and with the heat on very low, slowly pour the rest of the reserved liquid into the paste, whisking all the while.
  • Bring to the boil, then cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
  • Add the vegetables back into the sauce, stirring to coat thoroughly. Turn off the heat.
  • Decant into sterilised jars and store in a cool dark place until needed.

Notes

Yield 10 300ml jars

Nutrition

Calories: 201kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 2325mg | Potassium: 531mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 32g | Vitamin A: 6.9% | Vitamin C: 73.6% | Calcium: 6.2% | Iron: 10.2%

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Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese doesn’t have to be an inferior version. This cauliflower cheese is rich, creamy, cheesey and infused with roasted garlic, dijon mustard and plenty of white pepper.

overhead shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish with a spoon on a wooden board with plates

I’ve tried to steer clear of this subject on my blog since I began it as I didn’t want to have to pigeon hole myself into any particular diet or limit the recipes I wanted to share. However, I’ve realised I’ve been doing myself and you guys a disservice as it seems sometimes that I’ve told half a story. So, throwing two fingers up at my natural inclination to not bore you relentlessly by talking about me me me all the time, I thought sod it, it’s time to over-share.

The subject of gluten is deadly dull, too scientific, too all-encompassing and too been-there-done-that. There are bloggers, food writers, cooks and nutritionists that can talk about it much more eloquently than me. Don’t ask me why gluten is bad, why we were all fine with eating bread 50 years ago and now it’s suddenly poisonous to half the western world or even what gluten actually is, like a well meaning friend asked me the other day. I might have changed the subject rather quickly to talk about Daredevil on Netflix instead.

side shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish on a wooden board

However, today I’m coming clean to tell you about my destructive love affair with gluten and why you’ll find that if you look down my recipe list that perhaps 80% of the recipes on my blog are gluten-free (although steer clear of the biscuits and cakes section if you’re doing that). So as I wang on in these next few paragraphs and you are rolling your eyes at yet more nonsense about how gluten was created by the Devil to contaminate society and destroy us from within, just bear with me. Or just wait for my next post – it will probably involve copious amounts of white flour rendering all my woeful soul bearing here totally irrelevant.

About 10 years ago I felt really unwell. I won’t make more of it than it was but it was affecting my daily life. I felt completely lacklustre with no energy and was constantly sick, I had horrible digestive cramps and unless I ate every few hours I would pretty much collapse. It was odd, I was eating healthy and hearty meals, lots of vegetables, not much sugar. However, come 3pm every day I felt dreadful and I often had to leave work in the middle of the day as I simply couldn’t function. I remember being slumped on the bus on the way home, barely being able to keep my eyes open, feeling awful as I had no idea what was wrong. Naturally I thought I was allergic to work, like any normal twenty-two year old fresh out of university, and was wracked with concern that I was not destined be the dynamic cutting edge TV producer I had dreamed of being but would instead have to dump Luke and marry a millionaire pretty much in order to save my life.

overhead shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish on a wooden board

I was in and out of the doctors, I had blood tests, allergy tests, thyroid tests. Everything was normal. My GP thought I might be clinically depressed and wrote me a prescription for anti-depressants. I threw it in the bin on the way out and got a new doctor.

At the same time though I had started to see a personal trainer and nutritionist who recommended cutting out gluten from my diet. I didn’t really know much about the gluten-free way of life back then. I had done Atkins like everyone else to lose weight but I didn’t really get the gluten thing. No one was really talking about it. Ha, how times have changed.

However, after a bit of trial and error (I was a bit of a slow student in that regard – what you mean I can’t eat flour tortillas) I gradually began to feel better. It didn’t take long for me to realise that come 3pm I was no longer crying or cramming a chocolate bar in my face to pick myself off the floor. My body ache and sickness had disappeared and with that I was able to be more productive at work and I started running and getting really rather healthy.

The End. I lived happily ever after and never did the big bad Gluten cross my path again, he was banished from my kingdom, Luke and I got married (sorry Mr Millionaire) and we had a wonderful baby boy whom we named Cole.

side shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish with a spoon on a wooden board

Except real life dictates that there must be an epilogue. And so here it is. Since Cole was born in June last year gluten has made a major comeback for me. Turns out he wasn’t content sitting in the wings any longer but instead wanted a starring role yet again in my life. It hasn’t been just the odd cake or Yorkshire pudding because it’s the weekend but loaves of bread have passed these lips, a slip of the finger on my keyboard and packets of digestives have fallen helplessly into my Ocado shop.

I know I’m not alone when I confess that I have found these first few months of motherhood hard and as is my wont as a food loving, comfort eating, sugar addicted gal I have turned to food to get myself through it. Cake has been my 3am ally, tucked into the sleeves of my nursing chair and nibbled on throughout the night and toast has been my saviour when I’ve skipped another meal due to relentless crying, holding and feeding.

It is only now, 10 months in that I have calmed down enough to confront how sick I have been making myself. It’s not that anything has got any easier. Yes we have more of a routine but that goes out of the window more often that not. I have been getting more sleep but again just because I had a good seven hours uninterrupted last night doesn’t mean that I won’t be up and down every couple of hours tonight. However, for the most part it’s better.

Although, my health and my body have been left a wreck and I need to address the situation.

So having fessed up and outed myself as another one of those faddy diet people I would now like to talk to you about cauliflower cheese. Are you still with me? In the past I have always made cauliflower cheese with a traditional method of using a roux of butter, white flour and milk then adding the cheese. However because of this it has been a rare treat which only reared its delicious cheesy head at high days and holidays. Lately thought I have been whipping up a gluten-free version using only cornflour and milk instead of the roux. It’s so quick! Absolutely perfect as a smash and grab dinner for Cole and a lazy one for the two of us. The difference between the two versions is negligible and certainly one I can live with if it means I can have cauliflower cheese more frequently. It has even passed the Luke test who can be pretty severe in his judgment of gluten-free alternatives.

overhead shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish with a spoon on a wooden board

The secret to any decent cheese sauce I think is to use a mix of cheeses, here I’ve gone with mature cheddar for flavour and red Leicester for sweetness and colour, and then a dollop of Dijon mustard which really brings out the cheesiness. I’ve also begun adding roasted garlic into the mix which sounds like a bit of a faff but really all you need to do is pop the garlic cloves in the oven and they roast for 10 minutes as the cauliflower is put on to boil. However, I’m on a bit of a roasted garlic kick at the moment and so I’ve been roasting up whole heads at the weekend for use during my mid-week meals. They add a mellow flavour which gives the sauce depth. The final stir of the crème fraiche in at the end adds richness to the sauce and is completely optional but really why would you not?

Just the cornflour and the milk together is a little bland so the sauce does need these little extras to knock it up to the standard of a traditionally made sauce but it’s not any bother at all. There is no salt in this recipe as all my food is made with Cole in mind these days but you would probably like to add some to taste. It does make life easier when you find these gluten-free hacks that are actually just as delicious and the road back to my optimum self a little more straightforward to navigate.

Since posting this recipe in Autumn 2016, all my recipes going forward are gluten-free but I am still working on converting all the older recipes to gluten-free versions.

overhead shot of Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese in a serving dish with a spoon on a wooden board
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese doesn't have to be an inferior version. This cauliflower cheese is rich, creamy, cheesey and infused with roasted garlic, dijon mustard and plenty of white pepper.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: British
Keyword: cauliflower cheese, cauliflower cheese reecipep, gluten-free cauliflower cheese
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 326kcal
Author: Georgina Hartley

Ingredients

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 500 ml whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons cornflour
  • 100 g red Leicester grated (+25g for grating on top)
  • 50 g mature cheddar grated (+25g for grating on the top)
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves roasted and pureed
  • 1 tablespoon crème fraiche
  • 15 g ground almonds

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
  • Separate the florets of the cauliflower then place in a large pan of boiling water. Bring up to a gentle simmer, then cook for 10 minutes. Drain and place the florets in an ovenproof dish.
  • In a medium sized saucepan whisk the cornflour into the whole milk then once smooth switch on the heat and bring to a low boil.
  • Sprinkle in the cheese and stir in until melted in.
  • Add the mustard, pepper, garlic cloves and crème fraiche and stir in until it becomes a thick smooth sauce.
  • Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower florets then sprinkle on the extra cheese and the ground almonds.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes when the cheese should be bubbling and the almond breadcrumbs turning golden.

Nutrition

Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 316mg | Potassium: 631mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 8.8% | Vitamin C: 84.6% | Calcium: 43.4% | Iron: 4.9%

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