Charred cauliflower salad with lemony whipped feta and pine nuts

The lemony whipped feta works on its own as a dip, too.
The lemony whipped feta works on its own as a dip, too. Photo: William Meppem
Dietary
Gluten-free

This is a versatile, exciting dish to add to your Sunday dinner repertoire. Creamy, lively, fluffy whipped feta is full of salty charm, and is topped with irresistible smoky cauliflower and earthy pine nuts in a dish that will please the crowd. I love the sweetness of cauliflower, but you could also serve this with sauteed garlicky mushrooms, grilled eggplant or roasted broccoli. All you need is some crusty sourdough or flatbread to mop up all the punchy flavours.

Ingredients

500g cauliflower florets

olive oil, for drizzling

1 lemon, sliced

2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted

1-2 tbsp roughly chopped parsley

pinch of cayenne pepper

Lemony whipped feta

250g feta cheese, crumbled

120g (? cup) creme fraiche or sour cream

1 garlic clove, chopped

1-2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp water

Method

1. To make the lemony whipped feta, place the feta, creme fraiche and garlic in a blender or food processor and whiz until chunky. Add the lemon juice (start with 1 tablespoon, then add more to taste), olive oil and water and blend until smooth and whippy. If it's too thick, add a touch more water. Season with a few good turns of black pepper and a touch of salt, if needed (some brands of feta are saltier than others).

2. Place the cauliflower florets into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt
and pepper.

3. Heat a barbecue or chargrill pan until hot. Add the cauliflower to the barbecue or chargrill pan and cook for 8-10 minutes, turning often, until the cauliflower is tender and charred. Remove from heat and season well with more salt and pepper. To the same cooking surface, add the lemon slices and cook until they are nicely charred on both sides. Remove from heat and set aside.

4. To serve, spread the whipped feta onto a serving plate and top with cauliflower, charred lemon, pine nuts, parsley and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

Tips:

Don't miss out on smoky flavour – in lieu of a barbecue, a searing chargrill pan will do the trick.

You can use the lemony whipped feta on its own as a dip at parties – just add flatbread!

Pine nuts add a Middle Eastern touch, but almonds will also add good crunch.

Serving suggestion: Grilled zucchini, zaatar and pearl cous cous salad with cherry tomato confit

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