Roasted cauliflower with pomegranate, almonds and mint

I have my colleague Rachael to thank for planting the seed that became this recipe. She has been extolling the deliciousness of roasted cauliflower and brussel sprouts for some time, and although brussel sprouts are a bridge to far, I was attracted to the idea of roast cauliflower, and thought it might get a look-in, although previously only eaten with the accompaniment of cheese sauce at our place. I thought that a pairing of roasted cauliflower and pomegranate would be delicious. Little did I know that this is a classic combination in the cuisine of Israel. After looking at a simple host of recipes for roasted cauliflower and pomegranate salad I came up with my version, which has the seemingly always included cauliflower, pomegranate, mint and tahini, but some variations that suit my taste. I hope you enjoy!

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Serves 6 as an accompaniment

1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
60 ml olive oil
1 teaspoon each of dried mint, oregano and cumin seeds
sea salt and black pepper
3/4 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly torn
3/4 cup fresh mint, roughly torn
1/3 cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped
1 pomegranate
1/4 cup currants

2 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons greek yoghurt
1 tablespoon tahini

Preheat oven to 200 C. In a medium sized glass bowl gently toss the cauliflower with the olive oil and the spices, and season well with salt and pepper. Place in a single layer on a baking tray lined with silicon paper, and roast for about 40 minutes, until the cauliflower is well cooked and a little charred in places. While the cauliflower is cooking make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together until smooth, and season with a little salt, to taste. Cut the pomegranate in half and de-seed one of the halves. There are lots of methods to do this. I recommend turning the half upside down over a small bowl and squeezing it firmly to dislodge most of the seeds and juice, and then invert the skin and flick out the remaining seeds with your fingers. Messy but delicious. Cut the other half into wedges for serving with the salad. When cooked, take the cauliflower out of the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Combine and gently toss together the cauliflower, parsley, mint, almonds, pomegranate seeds and currants. Serve straight away with the dressing and the  pomegranate wedges passed separately. Great on its own or with grilled fish or lamb.

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