Harissa Roasted Cauliflower w Preserved-Lemon Dressing

PREP TIME: 15mins


The first of the autumn cauliflowers have arrived and this beauty was in my Good to Gather weekly box. The autumn weather is being lovely and hot and I wanted something spicy and crunchy! (and speedy!)

Lots of punchy flavours here from the harissa marinade, sweet preserved-lemon dressing and spicy toasted pumpkin seeds.

See notes below if you have never heard of harissa or preserved-lemons before ; )

I love the speed of couscous but you can add quinoa if you are looking for a gluten-free option. Just make sure the grain is well seasoned with olive oil, salt, pepper and maybe a squeeze of lemon.

You can leave the grains out all together and fill the spiced cauliflower in a pita with a good helping of tzatziki.

Many meals can be made from a jar of harissa  and you can jazz up almost any veggie so investing in a jar is so worth it.

Getting Ahead: The salad will taste better the next day! Just hold off on adding all the seasoning. Perfect picnic and lunchbox food.

Seasonal Swaps: Broccoli could also work as well as thinly sliced celeriac rounds  (it will take longer to roast). Pumpkin slices would also work well.

Serving Suggestion:

Some salty feta would be the cherry on the top! Pure flavour indulgence!

Serves 4

What you'll need:

2 baking trays, baking paper (opt) and plastic wrap to cover couscous (I use a biodegradable one)




  • 1 large cauliflower, broken into florets, stem cut into blocks and leaves cut into bite sizes.
  • 250g couscous
  • 400ml hot veggie stock or water
  • 2 handfuls coriander or parsley leaves finely chopped (or combination of both)
  • 3 large soft dates, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper


  • 3 teaspoons rose harissa or normal harissa
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pul Biber chilli flakes or 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • juice and zest of 1/2 small lemon
  • 1 teaspoon rose harissa paste
  • 1/4 quarter preserved lemon, skin only, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey/maple syrup
  • 2 pinches salt

Spice Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 pinches salt


  1. For the pumpkin seeds, preheat your oven to 180c, mix all the ingredients together and roast in the oven for 10minutes until golden. Keep aside.
  2. Turn the oven up to 250c (yip its high), line a large baking tray with baking paper.
  3. Mix the cauliflower and marinade ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well with your hands (keep the bowl unwashed and use it to make your dressing).
  4. Roast the cauliflower in the oven for 15-20minutes, turning halfway, until the cauliflower is gorgeously caramelised and golden. If the leaves look like they are catching, remove and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile for the couscous, drizzle half the olive oil in a flat rectangular dish (one that you can easily cover with plastic wrap) add the couscous and two pinches of salt and a good grind of pepper. Add the boiling veggie stock or water, stir & cover with the plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes. . The couscous will absorb the water while it sits. Fluff with a fork, add the rest of the oil and season with salt and pepper (maybe a squeeze of lemon juice and zest).
  6. For the preserved-lemon dressing, whisk ingredients in a bowl and season to taste, ultimately you want the right balance between sweet (honey), salty, tangy(preserved-lemon & lemons) and spicy (harissa).
  7. Stir the dates and most of the chopped herbs through the couscous and spoon into a pretty platter.
  8. Brush the cauliflower liberally with the dressing and place on top of the couscous, followed by the rest of the herbs and 1/2 of the toasted pumpkin seeds. Add a pinch of salt and pul biber flakes if using.
  9. Serve the salad alongside the punchy dressing and toasted seeds. Enjoy!

Kitchen Notes:

Ipek Pul Biber – is a turkish spice normally made from spicy red peppers (Aleppo Peppers), it can vary in heat but the heat tends to be fruity.

Harissa – is a North African spice paste normally made with spices, red peppers and chilli’s. I love the rose harissa variety to which they add rose petals.

Preserved-Lemons – are lemons that are preserved in a salty brine, they are lovely. We only eat the flesh although I like the flesh too! You should be able to find a good jar in a decent deli.

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