Monday, 18 February 2013

Roasted Cauliflower & Jerusalem Artichoke Pilaf

I do enjoy reading the odd recipe book of course and I have been known to pinch the occasional recipe from the doctor or dentist's waiting room while waiting for my appointment. I find a loud cough covers up the noise of the tearing paper. However, although I'm sure the inspiration registers somewhere in my little grey cells, I like to think most of the food I cook is conjured up by looking at the ingredients I have to hand and letting my imagination loose.
I had some tomato sauce click here for recipe left over from making my gnocchi the other day, that and a cauliflower and some Jerusalem artichokes I had in my pantry got me thinking along the lines of a pilaf. I guess pilaf, like biryani and kedgeree is another of those rice or grain dishes, packed with extra bits and pieces in order to make them more of a meal. In place of rice in this dish I wanted to use pearl barley, it was a toss up between that and bulgur, another favourite.

For this recipe you will need:
200g of pearl barley soaked overnight
100g of angle hair pasta or vermicelli
1 small cauliflower cut into florets
250g of Jerusalem artichokes
100g of tomato sauce plus 600ml of vegetable stock or water
2 shallots or small onions chopped
3 cloves of garlic chopped
100g of flaked almonds
4 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of curry powder
salt and pepper

Slice the artichokes up and toss along with the cauliflower, curry powder, cumin seeds and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Place the vegetables in a shallow oven proof dish, sprinkle on the salt and pepper, about half a teaspoon of each and place in a hot oven 200C for 10 minutes, take the dish out of the oven, stir the ingredients around a bit, add the flaked almonds on top and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes.

In a large saucepan, place the other 2 tablespoons of olive oil and on a medium heat gently fry the pasta until it has taken on a little colour, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and shallot and cook for a further 2 minutes until the shallot becomes translucent. Stir in the tomato sauce and add the soaked pearl barley and 600ml of vegetable stock or water. Cover and cook on a low heat until the liquid has been absorbed, around 20 to 30 minutes. If, as I did, you find the mixture has stuck to the bottom of the pan a little, simply leave covered for ten minutes and it should soften and be easy enough to stir in. Keeping an eye on the pearly barley and checking it every now and again of course is what I should really have done.

When the pearl barley is completely cooked stir in the roasted vegetables, adjust the seasoning and serve sprinkled with chopped chives, fresh coriander or parsley.

If you wish to use bulgur for this recipe, substitute 200g of bulgur for the pearl barley and add only 300ml of stock. The result is drier with more separate grains, but personally I enjoy the bite of the pearl barley more.
This dish makes a good accompaniment for grilled fish, providing both carbohydrate and vegetable but it is also delicious served at room temperature on its own.


  1. Now this looks interesting! I wouldn't sub bulgur because barley is so much more nutritious and interesting in texture but I am definately going to make this one :)

  2. I usually resort to my phone camera when faced with the waiting room magazine recipe dilemma.

  3. Hello, thanks for your comment, I must admit it's many years since I have purloined a recipe from a waiting room, about as long as it's been since I have had to sit for a long time in a waiting room and about the same length of time I have had a phone with a camera, so thank you for the tip, best wishes Tôbi.