With its creamy interior and crunchy outer, oven-roasted cauliflower is the perfect vessel for a dressing of champions: in this case, my miso and sesame vinaigrette. Gnarly, salty bacon boosts the savoury factor. Salad doesn’t get much better, if you ask me!
1 head cauliflower, trimmed, cut into florets
6 Asian red shallots, peeled, quartered
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt, to season
150g (5 oz) rindless bacon, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 spring onion (scallion), thinly sliced
shichimi togarashi*, to sprinkle
micro shiso leaves or pea shoots, to serve
Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F). Place the cauliflower and shallot in a large roasting pan. Drizzle over the oil and season with salt. Toss to combine. Roast, tossing halfway, for 35-40 minutes or until golden.
Meanwhile, place the bacon in a medium non-stick frying pan. Place over high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add the pepitas and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the bacon is crisp. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Set aside.
Transfer the roasted cauliflower and shallot to a bowl. Add the bacon mixture, spring onion and Miso & Sesame Vinaigrette. Toss to combine.
Transfer the salad to a serving platter and top with micro shiso leaves or pea shoots. Sprinkle with shichimi togarashi and serve.
– Shichimi togarashi is a Japanese spice blend that contains (among other things) sansho pepper, chilli powder, sesame seeds, nori and dried orange peel. It’s available from Asian supermarkets.