I welcomed a new salad to my work lunch rotation this week - Jessica Sepel's Roasted Cauliflower and Almond Salad with Tahini Cumin Dressing.
This is how my actual salad looked as I packed it up to take to work. It's not often I can get a salad in a lunch box looking this good so of course I had to share it to Instagram. If you were after the recipe, I linked to it up above the photograph.
I love roasted cauliflower and because it's so easy to prepare, it would be the perfect star ingredient for a brown bagged work lunch. Jessica's recipe just called for some olive oil and sea salt to be rubbed into the chopped florets amd cloves of garlic.
I baked the almonds in a separate tray because they took much less time to brown than the cauliflower and garlic. I also added some pepitas for extra crunch.
I'm so 2015 in the tahini stakes. Can you believe that I only bought my first jar of it to make the dressing for this salad? I used Mayver's hulled tahini which is available at Woolworths. Though hulled tahini contains less protein than the darker version which does contain sesame seed hulls, it does have a lighter taste which makes it easier to use in recipes.
Being a work lunch recipe, many shortcuts were taken. I used chopped parsley from a tube as well as a bag of pre washed rocket leaves. I draw the line at garlic paste though. It was proper cloves on the roasting tray with my cauliflower for this recipe and a freshly juiced lemon for the dressing.
As far as vegetarian salads go, I found this one very filling. I thought I'd miss having protein in this salad but there was so much bold flavour and texture going on I didn't miss my protein at all. I ate the salad cold and it was delicious and almost summery this way. The dressing worked out to be quite salty with a full teaspoon of salt so I will halve it the next time I make the dressing. The brand of tahini I used was also pretty thick and the warm water the recipe calls for really does help loosen up the texture.
In other almost summer food news...
I ate my first Kensington Pride of the season this week. The first of many, I think. Preschooler SSG loves mangoes too and I can see my parents buying a carton for the fridge when they visit next month.
I can't quite work out the logic of this but a mixed kebab and a bottle of Coke Zero just say summer to me as well. It's in my genes, I suppose. My forebears and their love of a curries and chilli studded hot meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner as the mercury hovers around 32C outside and the humidity around 99%.
Have you had a really hard time trying to find simple tank tops this year? I've been looking for plain stretchy ones with thin shoulder straps to wear under wrap dresses and it's been a challenge. And when I have found them, they've been in every colour but black and white. Then I went to Big W and found their Emerson tank tops. They're $5 each and have some stretch in them. They sit at the top of the hip on me and don't ride or roll up as the day progresses.
What foods mean summer to you?
Are you a fan of a cold roasted vegetable salad?