James Street South Cookery School: Two salads – of cauliflower and kale

Niall's cauliflower salad with radicchio

TIS the season of entertaining so we all need to have an arsenal of easy recipes in the back pocket that we can call upon when guests call round or when numbers keep multiplying for that casual get together.

This week's recipes are two really simple salads that can either be used for a light supper after a busy day's shopping, in big bowls for a buffet or as sides for a main meal.

It is always so important to use the best of what's in season which can be found in many of the markets and shops across the north at this time of year. I always get asked about introducing more veg to diets and the best way to create inventive dishes using vegetables so we have plenty of classes at the Cookery School that tick these boxes.


(Serves 4)

1 cauliflower

sea salt

ground black pepper

3 tblsp olive oil

1 head radicchio, separated into leaves

For the dressing:

5 tblsp olive oil

3 tblsp red wine vinegar

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 tblsp capers, rinsed if in brine

10 anchovies, finely diced

zest of ½ lemon

juice of ½ lemon

To start, you want to cook your cauliflower to make it tender. Turn your oven to its highest setting and cut the cauliflower into florets. Scatter over a roasting tin and season with salt and pepper and a splash of olive oil, making sure that all pieces are coated. Place in oven for 20 minutes until it begins to go golden. Remove from oven.

In a separate bowl or a clean jam jar, place the dressing ingredients in and shake vigorously. Place the cauliflower florets in a bowl and cover with the dressing. Leave to sit for up to 10 minutes.

Slice the radicchio and remove all the leave from the stalk and chop in half. Place the radicchio into the bowl with the cauliflower and again coat with the dressing and mix.

To serve, taste first for seasoning as you may want more salt or pepper.


(Serves 8)

400g kale leaves

3 pomegranates

For the dressing:

1 lime, juiced

3 tblsp olive oil


freshly ground pepper

Start by rinsing off the kale under cold water and squeeze, drying to remove any excess water. Using a sharp knife, shred the kale as finely as you would like it. I prefer my salads to have some texture so do not like things shredded too thinly – maybe roughly torn – but this is just a personal preference.

Halve the pomegranates and release the seeds and juice discarding the outer skin. Mix the juice and the seeds together.

Make the dressing by mixing the lime juice, olive oil and the salt and pepper, I tend to use an old jam jar to make this and place the lid back on and shake vigourously (this is how Jamie Oliver has taught millions to make dressings for salads).

Using your hands, pour over the dressing, making sure each leaf is coated with the dressing – this will help break down the harsh texture of the kale with the dressing rather than cooking it, while still leaving the leaves with great bite.

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