Roast cauliflower and bulgar wheat salad

For my work lunches I am a convert to home-made options,  overall I think they are tastier, healthier and a lot cheaper. I do batch cooking on a weekend and roast veg, if the oven is on for something else, I aim to try and fit it into my routine and make sure it doesn’t take up much extra time.

I find inspiration for soups and salads to make from cookbooks, magazine articles or leftovers, as well as what ingredients I have in that need using up. For this post I wanted to share a recent recipe I made which is a tweaked version of a roast cauliflower and orzo salad featured in the Guardian’s Feast supplement (24 February 2018).

Rosie Birkett’s recipe was concise and the method is uncomplicated as you only have to roast your veg, cook the pasta and then mix everything together. I didn’t have all of the ingredients and so I went slightly off-piste, which is ok in my book, as you can use ingredients you prefer or what you have in, if you don’t want to buy something specifically.

Bulgar wheat

In this case, I used bulgar wheat and not orzo, I left out the wine, added roast pepper, parsley and rocket to my salad and used sunflower seeds and walnuts, as I didn’t have any pine nuts.

Roast cauliflower is delicious and roasting makes it become a richer nuttier flavour which matches well with so many other ingredients like tangy capers, chilli, zesty lemon flavours, salty anchovies or feta. If you have any cauliflower leftover, try some experimenting with some of these flavour combinations.

There’s plenty of interesting articles and food ideas in the Guardian’s food pages and I’d recommend picking up the paper on a Saturday Guardian to get the Feast supplement, or follow then on Twitter.  

Roast cauliflower and bulgar wheat salad 

Ingredients (serves 2)

½ cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 red pepper, de-seeded and cut into strips
1 clove garlic
½ lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
1 tablespoon Greek yoghurt
1 tablespoon raisins
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
½ tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon walnuts, roughly chopped
A handful of rocket
1 handful of parsley, roughly chopped

For serving (optional)

½ teaspoon sumac
A scattering of feta


Preheat the oven to 180C. Chop the cauliflower into florets and place on a baking tray together with the red pepper, garlic clove and lemon. Drizzle over the olive oil, fennel seeds and chilli flakes. Roast for 12 minutes until the cauliflower is tender and crispy.

Meanwhile put the raisins in a bowl and add the white wine vinegar. Leave to soak for 15 minutes.

Cook the bulgur wheat as per instructions, drain. In a bowl, add the bulgar wheat, mix in the Greek yoghurt, rocket, parsley and the raisins together with the vinegar.

Roast cauliflower salad

Toss through the red pepper and cauliflower, seeds and nuts, squeeze in the roast garlic and lemon. Scatter over the sumac and add some crumbled feta too, if you want a bit more indulgence.

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