Recipe: Cauliflower Freekeh Salad

Recipe: Cauliflower Freekeh Salad

You can use the pilaf base of this salad with any vegetable combination. Sometimes I use roast carrots and red grapes instead of cauliflower or serve the base plain with currants and almonds stirred through. If you don’t have any stock, you can cook the freekeh in water – it just won’t be as rich.

Serves 6 as a side


  • 2 heads cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to finish
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups (400 g) freekeh
  • 2 cups (500 ml) hot vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 cup (40–60 g) chopped mixed parsley, mint, dill and spring onion (scallion)
  • 1⁄4 cup (35 g) chopped hazelnuts, roasted
  • flake salt, freshly ground black pepper and lemon to taste


  • 1⁄2 cup (130 g) Greek yoghurt
  • 1⁄2 lemon, juiced
  • 1⁄2 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • flake salt to taste


  • Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Toss the cauliflower in 3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for around 30 minutes or until golden brown, and set aside to cool.
  • Place the onion, butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large heavy-based pot and sauté on medium heat for 15–20 minutes, until the onion is golden brown.
  • Add the freekeh to the onion and fry out until it’s all coated in oil.
  • Add the hot stock and stir well. Be careful when you do this: sometimes the stock can spit.
  • Bring liquid to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and leave to simmer for 15 minutes with the lid on. I check on the pilaf a couple of times throughout this cooking process, to see if the mix has dried out.
  • Once the freekeh is cooked through, remove from the heat and aerate it by running a fork through it to fluff it up. Then leave to cool slightly.
  • Meanwhile, mix the yoghurt with lemon juice, garlic and tahini, and season.
  • Then stir the mixed greens and cauliflower into the pilaf and adjust seasoning. Add more olive oil if it’s a little dry.
  • Spoon into a serving dish and garnish with dressing and roast hazelnuts.
Market fish and karahi curry sauce

Images and text from Ela! Ela! By Ella Mittas, photography by Ella Mittas. Murdoch Books RRP $39.99.

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