It’s not that often you use cauliflower as the base for a salad. Texturally this is a ripper, with the crunch of cauli, fennel and almonds, and is a terrific dish served in winter or summer. Watch me assembling this salad here on the site.
Step 1: Skordalia
Place the potatoes in a suitable sized saucepan and cover with cold salted water. Bring up to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, until soft. Strain off the water, and let the potato steam for 2 minutes. Mash the potatoes and add into a large mixing bowl. Stir through the toasted ground almonds, then add the milk, garlic and lemon juice. Finish by mixing through the olive oil to enrich the mix. The texture should resemble a smooth (ish) wet mashed potato. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until required.
Step 2: Cooking and Serving
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
Place a skillet on high heat.
Toss the cauliflower, olive oil and a little salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl to coat. Cook the cauliflower pieces, in batches, for 5 minutes each side until well caramelized. Remove the cauliflower from the skillet and place on an oven tray. Cook in the oven for a further 5 minutes until the cauliflower has begun to soften, but still remains slightly firm.
Remove the fennel bulb tops with a sharp knife, pick off the fronds and set aside. Slice the fennel wafer thin using a mandolin slicer or sharp knife.
Place the roasted cauliflower, sliced fennel, red onion, lemon zest, chilli, coriander, parsley, mint and fennel tips into a large mixing bowl. Squeeze with lemon juice and toss together gently. Season to taste.
Spread the Skordalia over the base of a large serving platter. Top with the roasted cauliflower and fennel salad, then toss over chopped toasted almonds, and finish with a light pour of lemon and fennel oil.
Photography by Sarah Grace