Cauliflower and banana salad

    45 min

    This unusual salad uses both sweet and tart fruit with cashew nuts to add colour and interest to pretty cauliflower florets, blanched just for a moment to retain their crispness. Roasted cumin seeds and fresh thyme marry the ensemble with their full, delightfully savoury flavours. Serve with a green vegetable or salad and bread.

    3 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 300 g (10½ oz) tiny cauliflower florets
    • 55 g (2 oz) cashew nuts, roughly chopped
    • 1 tsp cumin seeds
    • 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
    • 2 bananas
    • juice of ½ lemon
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • 3 sharon fruit (persimmon), peeled and cut into small chunks
    • 4 tbsp snipped fresh chives
    • sprigs of fresh thyme to garnish

    Prep:45min  ›  Ready in:45min 

    1. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, add the cauliflower florets and bring back to a full rolling boil. Drain immediately in a colander and refresh under cold running water. Leave to drain thoroughly.
    2. Roast the cashews with the cumin seeds and thyme in a heavy-based frying pan for 30–60 seconds or until the nuts are lightly browned. Tip into a bowl and set aside to cool.
    3. Slice the bananas. Put into a mixing bowl, add the lemon juice and toss to coat. Add the cauliflower florets and the nut mixture, together with the olive oil. Toss gently to mix.
    4. Add the sharon fruit and chives to the salad and fold in. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to marinate for 15–30 minutes.
    5. Spoon the salad into a shallow serving dish and garnish with fresh thyme sprigs.

    Another idea

    For a cauliflower, banana and walnut salad, use walnuts instead of cashews and omit the cumin seeds and sharon fruit. Add ¼ tsp ground mace, 1 spring onion, finely chopped, 100 g (3½ oz) seedless green grapes, halved, and 100 g (3½ oz) ready-to-eat dried mango, diced, with the chives in step 4.

    Plus points

    In addition to the vitamins and minerals provided by this delicious combination of fruit and vegetables, the nuts provide some protein and essential fatty acids. * Although cashews and other nuts contain a lot of fat, most of this is of the unsaturated ‘healthy’ kind. * Bananas are a carbohydrate-rich fruit, popular with athletes who need to maintain muscle stores of glycogen. * The potassium bananas provide is important for the regulation of fluid balance in the body. Getting the balance right between sodium and potassium in the diet is important in preventing high blood pressure, stroke and coronary heart disease.

    Each serving provides

    B1, B6, copper * B2, E, niacin, potassium, zinc

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     -  08 Jan 2013