This delish salad recipe is inspired by a cauliflower and cranberry salad which I discovered in the Kepos Street Kitchen, cookbook my boys bought me for my birthday. Seeing that I love a salad, it was only natural that first thing I did on receiving this lovely gift was go to the salad section looking for something with that fresh, crispy, crunchy bite that makes me want to bite back. The one that seemed to hold the most promise was the cauliflower and cranberry salad. But while it appealed to me right away, there were a few changes that I made to suit my particular pallet.
I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this salad, I kept making appreciative (and apparently annoying) noises with every bite.
I used figs instead of pomegranate seeds. I felt that while the dressing totally makes this salad, even though it’s quiet tangy, coupled with the tanginess from the cranberries, I felt it needed a hint of natural sweetness and a fleshy texture too. I also used red rice instead of Barley and only used pistachios. I also used more cauliflower and a lot more mint leaves. I just polished off the last of it and I am ready to make it again.
1 cup red rice + 1 cube vegetable stock (optional)
2 cups water
2 ½ cups of baby cauliflower florets
200-250g figs cut into quarters (put two aside to decorate the salad)
½ cup of dried cranberry
½ cup shelled pistachios, whole
¼ cup shelled pistachios, crushed/roughly chopped
2-3 generous handfuls of continental parsley, finely chopped (I used 3)
2-4 tablespoons finely chopped mint leaves (I used 4)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons white balsamic or white wine vinegar (I used white wine)
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
Salt and pepper to taste (I didn’t use any, I didn’t think it needed any seasoning)
In a small bowl, add the salad-dressing ingredients and whisk to combine.
I used the instructions according to the packet and it turned out perfectly. I added vegetable stock to the water but that’s the only addition I made.
Rinse the red rice 2-3 times in cold water before cooking.
In a pot with the lid on, bring 2 cups of water/stock to the boil, add the cup of rice, stir.
Turn heat down to a simmer, for 30 minutes and cook with lid on.
Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.
When the rice has cooled down completely, use in salad.
In a salad bowl, put the cooked rice, cut figs, whole shelled pistachios, cranberries, baby florets, chopped parsley and mint, pour salad dressing, toss the salad,
Decorate with the two figs you set a side, ¼ cup of crushed/chopped pistachios.