Plate Expectations: Date and cauliflower salad

Plate Expectations: Date and cauliflower salad

Our in-house chef Denise Phillips cooks up her latest delicious dish!

Denise Phillips is a Jewish cook and author

The cauliflower cooked with saffron gives the most amazing aromatic flavour and colour.

If you are not a great fan of barley, substitute with cous cous, quinoa, pasta or freekeh.

Straightforward to make, this tasty salad has all the flavours of Israel to celebrate Yom Ha’atzma’ut.

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4


Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6

Mix the saffron with the boiling water in a large bowl. Toss with the cauliflower, 1 tbsp of the olive oil, the smoked paprika and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Add the onion and mix again.

Spread the cauliflower and onion out on a large baking tray and roast for 25–30 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden and slightly crispy around the edges.

Meanwhile cook the pearl barley in simmering vegetable stock for around 20 minutes or until soft. When ready, drain and set aside.

When the cauliflower is cooked add the barley, lemon juice, parsley, dates and olives to the roasting tray and mix well to combine. Drizzle over the remaining olive oil and mix well.

To serve, divide the barley salad between bowls and garnish with the extra chopped parsley. Serve immediately, or chill and eat cold – ideal for Shabbat lunch too.


1 cauliflower, broken into 1 inch pieces

2 tablespoons of boiling water

1 pinch of saffron

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 red onion, thinly sliced

150g pearl barley

300ml vegetable stock

1/2 lemon, juice only

3 tablespoons of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, plus extra to garnish

4 Medjool dates, stoned and finely chopped

70g green olives – pitted preferably with herbs and garlic

3 tablespoons of olive oil


Black pepper

read more: