One of my favourite and most luxurious 5-2 fast day meals is salmon smothered in home made chermoula and slow baked in the oven. Vibrant, filling and satisfying, it’s a fast day feast on the plate. I’ve always loved the way chermoula adds freshness and zing to almost everything. In our house a jar never lasts long in the fridge, alternatively moonlighting as a marinade, stir through Moroccan style pesto sauce and even burger or sandwich relish. Combined with Greek yoghurt it even becomes a delicious dip.
In this recipe I’ve taken chermoula spiced yoghurt in a whole new direction. Slathered over a whole head of cauliflower, then baked in a hot oven to produce a gloriously golden crust. The process couldn’t be easier, the result no less stunning. Visually and flavourwise. Baked to perfection it’s guaranteed to elicit ooh’s and aah’s from appreciative diners, before being easily sliced into wedges and served with a simple salad of winter greens. With one delicious wedge of roasted chermoula yoghurt spiced cauliflower accounting for just 75 calories, this will easily become another of my fast day favourites.
Whole Roasted Cauliflower With A Chermoula Spiced Yoghurt Crust
Slice into 6 wedges (75 calories per wedge)
1 medium sized head cauliflower (144 calories)
3/4 cup low fat Greek yoghurt (135 calories)
1/4 cup chermoula paste (170 calories) (recipe follows)
TRIM outer cauliflower leaves. Trim away and discard stalk so the cauliflower can sit flat, then cut a cross into the base.
COMBINE chermoula paste with yoghurt in a large, shallow bowl. Dip cauliflower head into the chermoula yoghurt paste mixture, ensuring entire head is evenly coated with the marinade.
PLACE into an oven proof, heavy based Le Creuset style pot. Spoon over a little more marinade, cover with lid (or foil) and roast in hot oven for 30 minutes. Cooking time is for a medium sized head of cauliflower, if using a large cauliflower increase initial roasting time to 40 – 45 minutes.
REMOVE cover and bake for a further 20 minutes until cauliflower is tender and crust golden. To test if cauliflower is cooked, insert the tip of a paring knife through the base of the cauliflower, florets should be firm but tender.
ALLOW to cool for 10 minutes before slicing into 6 wedges, and serving with green salad leaves.
Chermoula Paste With Preserved Lemon (Fast Day Version)
Makes 1 cup /16 tablespoons per cup
680 calories per cup / 42.5 calories per tablespoon
1/2 cup coriander leaves and tender stems only, well washed (4 calories)
1/4 cup mint leaves, well washed (3 calories)
1/2 cup flat leaf Italian parsley leaves and tender stems only, well washed (11 calories)
4 long green spring onions,chopped (40 calories)
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped (16 calories)
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (4 calories)
1 long red chilli, roughly chopped (18 calories)
1 tablespoon sweet paprika (18 calories)
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric (12 calories)
2 teaspoons sea salt flakes (0 calories)
1/2 teaspoon white pepper (4 calories)
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly roasted (4 calories)
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly roasted (4 calories)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (480 calories)
1/2 preserved lemon, roughly chopped (50 calories)
juice of 1 lemon, freshly squeezed (12 calories)
COMBINE all ingredients in a food processor, spice grinder, or mortar and pestle. Process or pound to a rough paste.
IF MAKING the chermoula ahead of time, transfer it to an airtight container. Seal and place in the fridge.