This recipe has its roots in the Middle East and Northern Africa. I can’t remember where I got the recipe but I found it written on a sheet of paper inside a recipe book I was sending to a charity shop. I have added the recipes for the chilli and sweet pepper pastes.
CHILLI ROAST CAULIFLOWER
SERVES 4 – 6
2 heaped tablespoons hot pepper paste
4 heaped tablespoons sweet pepper paste
50ml (2fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil
1 large handful flat leaf parsley leaves
½ red onion, sliced as thinly as possible and soaked in ice water
5 tablespoons pistachio nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1 quantity Sumac Dressing
1 teaspoon sumac
flaky sea salt
Preheat the oven to 210°C (400°F), Gas Mark 6 and line a baking tray with baking parchment.
Cut the cauliflower into 4–6 even wedges depending on its size, keeping a little of the stalk on to hold the wedges.
Rinse under cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper.
Mix the two pepper pastes with the olive oil and a little salt. Rub the mixture all over the cauliflower and put them on the prepared baking tray.
Bake for 10–13 minutes, or until just tender. Set aside.
Drain the red onions, pat dry with kitchen paper and set aside.
Heat a dry non-stick frying pan on the hob. Once hot, add the cauliflower wedges and cook for a minute or so on each side, or until slightly charred.
Put the wedges on a plate and top with the parsley, red onion and pistachios.
Drizzle with plenty of the sumac dressing and an extra sprinkling of sumac and flaky salt before serving.
This would also be great as a salad dressing.
MAKES 350ML (12FL OZ)
3 garlic cloves, finely grated
freshly squeezed juice of 2 lemons
300ml (10fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sumac
Put all the ingredients in a blender and wizz until smooth.
Stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
HOT PEPPER PASTE
3 long red peppers
3 long red chiles, seeded
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C
Roast the peppers and the seeded chiles for 20 minutes on a tray. Turn them once, until the skins blister and char. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
When cool enough to handle, peel the skins away from the peppers and remove seeds.
Roughly chop the peppers and put into a blender.
Use a sharp knife to scrape the flesh of the chiles away from the skins (this is easier than trying to peel them)
Wizz to a fine puree, then add the salt, pepper and the lemon juice.
Cover and keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
SWEET PEPPER PASTE
2 red peppers
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 small onion roughly chopped
85ml vegetable stock
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Place the peppers on a baking tray and roast in the oven for about 45 mins until the skins are blackened. Remove from the oven and put into a plastic bag – this makes them sweat and the skins slip off more easily. When cool enough to handle, peel off the skins with your fingers. Slice the peppers open, pick out and discard all the seeds and membrane, then roughly chop the red flesh.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. When hot, fry the garlic and shallot for a few mins. Add the chopped peppers and continue to fry for a few mins, stirring to combine everything. Add the vegetable stock, bring to the boil, then allow it to reduce.
Pour the contents of the pan into a blender and wizz until smooth. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
Serve hot or at room temperature or use in recipes.
Store in fridge for up to a week.