My regular readers must know by now that I have been on this binge of experimenting with Mediterranean flavors. Recently I have experimented with a few different kinds of tagines, olive tapenade and grilled vegetables with an herb gremolata. In any case, since the Mediterranean diet is supposed to be the healthiest kind of food, I suppose there is no harm in continuing with this obsession.
Today I oven roasted some cauliflower spears with Harissa powder sprinkled on top and then add fresh pomegranate seeds, feta cheese, lemon juice and fresh thyme to make a warm salad. I served it with some Za’tar flavored Pita chips on the side. It made for a beautiful looking salad that tasted as good as it looked!
1. 4 large loaves of whole wheat pita bread
2. 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
3. 1 tablespoon of Za’tar spice powder
4. 1 teaspoon of white sesame seeds
5. A pinch of dry thyme
6. 1 small head of fresh cauliflower or half a large cauliflower
7. One small pomegranate
8. Juice of half a lemon
9. 2-3 ounces of fresh feta cheese
10. Salt to taste
11. 1 teaspoon of Harissa powder
12. 4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme
1. Heat the oven at 250F
3. Sprinkle bout one tablespoon of olive oil over the cut pieces of pita bread and rub and the pieces together so that the oil gets evenly distributed on both surfaces of the pieces.
4. Place the cookie sheet in the oven for about 20-25 minutes.
5. Half way through the baking process, take the sheet out and turn the pita chips over.
6. The time taken to bake these chips may vary a little, depending on how hot your oven gets and how fresh the pita bread was etc…When the chips get crispy take them out of the oven and let them cool down.
8. Now place the bite-sized cauliflower spears on the cookie sheet and sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over them and using your hands toss the cauliflower pieces so that the oil gets evenly spread out.
9. Place the cookie sheet back in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
10. Half way through the baking time for the cauliflower spears, take them out of the oven and turn them over. Also sprinkle the Harissa powder all over the cauliflower pieces and spread it evenly. Place the cookie sheet back in the oven to roast the cauliflower pieces.
13. Take the roasted cauliflower out of the oven and sprinkle some salt and the juice of half a lemon over it. Mix everything evenly.
14. Add the pomegranate seeds to the roasted cauliflower and also the feta cheese cubes.
15. To serve the salad, place the Pita chips on the side of a dish, the cauliflower salad in the middle. Sprinkle some fresh thyme leaves on top of the salad to give the cauliflower an extra layer of flavor. Enjoy this vegetarian salad as a light lunch or as a side dish with an elaborate tagine dinner!