Spiced Roast Cauliflower Salad with Labneh

Spiced Roast Cauli with Labneh-3

Spiced Roast Cauliflower Salad with Labneh

Inspired by the brilliant Mike McEarnehy formerly chef at Kitchen by Mike and now at No1. Bent St Sydney. Love his fresh produce-driven approach to food and am dying to eat at his new restaurant. In the mean time I’m making do with cooking from his book, ‘Kitchen by Mike’.

And I should mention I’ve made this 3 times in the last two weeks. Something unheard of around these parts. Definitely one for you to try!

enough for: 2 as a side or light lunch
takes: 30 minutes

1/2 cauliflower, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 onion, halved and finely sliced
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons rice or wine vinegar
1 bag baby spinach
2 handfuls labneh or thick yoghurt

1. Preheat your oven to 250C (480F). Toss cauli, onion, curry powder and about 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a roasting pan.

2. Roast spiced cauli for 15-20 minutes or until well browned and tender.

3. Allow cauli to cool a little while you make the dressing. Mix vinegar with another 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Season well.

4. Toss dressing and baby spinach in the pan with the cauli. Serve with dollops of labneh on top.


main meal / more substantial – toss in a drained can of chickpeas or lentils (or use home cooked) when the cauli comes out of the oven. Or serve as a side to BBQ lamb cutlets, roast chicken or pan fried fish.

different greens – replace baby spinach with cooked kale, flat leaf parsley, mint, coriander (cilantro), salad leaves or a combo of any of the above.

dairy-free / vegan – replace Labneh with roasted hazelnuts, almonds or chunks of avocado.

paleo – avocado + lime, roast brazil nuts, coconut yoghurt or poached eggs instead of labneh.

carnivore – serve as a side to BBQ lamb cutlets, pork chops, sausages or BBQ or roast chicken. Or toss some raw chopped chicken thighs to roast with the cauli (make sure it’s cooked through – might take a little longer).

vegetarian – serve salad with poached eggs.

more substantial / carb lovers – toss in cooked brown rice, quinoa or pasta. Might need a little more olive oil. You could also serve on warm flat bread.

more substantial (low carb) – serve as a side to some chicken and add some cashews.

different spices – try mixing it up with other spice blends. Garam masala is great or try a Moroccan spice blend like ras el hamout or the Lebanese blend baharat.

to make your own labneh – just line a sieve with clean cheesecloth or a tea towel. Place yoghurt in the lined sieve and leave it over a bowl or jug in the fridge for the water to drain off. As little as an hour can make a difference but some people leave it for two days. The longer the thicker. Use the whey (liquid) in smoothies or just drink it like I do.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

cauli (whole) – will keep in a plastic bag in the fridge for weeks. To keep for longer, chop into florettes and pop in the freezer. If you have time, grating the cauli before freezing will make life easier so you can just defrost and serve.

onion – will keep in the pantry for months. Best if in a dark corner in a brown paper bag.

curry powder / rice or wine vinegar – keep them in the pantry.

baby spinach – best to use for another meal. Can be frozen but will wilt when defrosted.

labneh or yoghurt – use for another meal like breakfast! Don’t freeze.

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  • Two questions for you! 1) I just bought a bag of cauliflower from Costco and it isn’t past the use by date, yet the tops of the florets have brownish spots. Should I just shave that bit off and use the cauli? 2) When I mix the rice vinegar and olive oil – and you say season well… what are some things that you would use to ‘season well?’ Sorry, I’m hopeless without more specific directions. To me, the obvious would be salt, pepper, garlic powder – and what else?

    • Great questions Jenny!

      Yes just chop the brown bits off and use the cauli.

      And season well I mean lots of salt (although you’re welcome to use pepper and garlic powder too if you like)


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