Lately I’ve been waking up in the early hours of the morning, needing to get a drink and go to the toilet. I love walking through the silent house. We leave the blinds and windows open at night so that the cool air and moon shadows drift through. The cold water from the fridge is like honey nectar to my parched mouth, and before crawling back into bed beside S, I always open up the mosquito net around W’s bed and check in on her, fast asleep, snoring ever so softly.
I suppose that moments alone are far and few between these days. Some people recharge through company, others through time spent alone, and I’ve always been someone drawn to solitude. I have also always been an early riser and used to love the quiet of the house before anyone else was awake, whether it was doing yoga with the morning sun, or drinking a cuppa and reading the news in the garden. These days W also wakes nice and early, which of course is its own kind of lovely.
At the moment, I often take my fifteen minutes of solitude in the middle of the day, when S is at work and W is asleep. I have my own work to do, plus a million other projects and things, but I always make sure to take a few minutes with my lunch on the front verandah – no phone, no emails, just something tasty to eat, something to read, and a view of the trees and city skyline to daydream in.
This salad is the perfect match for lunchtime daydreaming. It is quick to throw together, light enough for these hot summer days, and the flavour combinations are somewhat unusual enough to make it feel like you’re eating something special, rather than another standard lunchtime salad. I love fruit in my salad, especially during the hotter months, and the combination of the nuts and the nectarine here is sublime.
Nectarine, Pistachio & Cauliflower Couscous
½ a cauliflower
1 small apple
¾ cup pistachio nuts
1 cup fresh coriander
Approx. 2cm fresh ginger
1 tsp caraway seeds
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper, to taste
Cut the cauliflower into florets and pulse in a food processor until it resembles bread crumbs, or couscous. Depending on the speed of your food processor, it shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes. Set aside. Finely grate the lemon, setting aside the rind, then juice it. Finely grate the ginger.
Heat a glug of olive oil in a pan over a medium heat and add the cauliflower couscous, the lemon rind, the ginger, and the caraway seeds. Cook, stirring frequently, until the cauliflower starts to brown. You don’t want the cauliflower to get mushy, so as soon as it starts to brown remove from the heat (approx. 5 minutes). Transfer to a large serving bowl.
Roughly chop the coriander leaves and the pistachio nuts. Finely slice the nectarine and the apple. Add the whole lot to the cauliflower couscous, along with the lemon juice, another glug of olive oil, and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Mix to combine and serve.
Serves 2 – 3.
Notes: this will keep well for up to three days covered in the fridge, just make sure to fluff it with a fork and perhaps add a splash of olive oil each time before serving.