Punchy green olives, medjool dates and spiced roasted cauliflower are the stars of this moghrabieh pasta salad. This recipe is equally good cold or warm and makes a great make-ahead packed lunch meal.
Preheat oven to 200°C.
In a small bowl, steep saffron with boiling water for 5 mins.
In a large mixing bowl, add cauli flower, paprika, curry powder, cumin seeds, onion, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the saffron ‘tea’. Season to taste and stir to coat. Spread mixture onto a large baking tray and roast in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 mins, or until slightly crisp and charred on the edges and al dente. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, fill a large saucepan with salted water and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Add the moghrabieh and cook for 7-10 mins, testing regularly for tenderness, until just al dente. Remove from heat and drain well using a sieve. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, stir to coat moghrabieh, so the grains do not to stick together, set aside to cool slightly.
Add cauliflower to fregola along with lemon juice, parsley, dates and olives and gently mix to combine. Drizzle over the remaining olive oil, adjust seasoning and mix again. Serve fregola salad in bowls and garnish with the extra chopped parsley.
1 pinch saffron
2 tablespoons boiling water
1 cauliflower, cut into 2cm florets
1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon mild curry powder
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 red onion, peeled, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
150g Moghrabieh (pearl couscous)
1⁄2 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons Italian parsley, leaves finely chopped, plus extra to garnish
4 medjool dates, stoned and finely chopped
70g pitted green olives