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Gee Cartwright’s roasted spiced cauliflower and black rice salad

Looking for some healthy cooking inspiration?  If you’ve been in lockdown binge mode now is the time to ditch the pizza and embrace the veg! It doesn’t need to be stressful, hard work or tasteless.

Gee is a married mother of three boys with a lifelong love and passion for cooking which she shares through her popular demonstrations run in Hampshire and London. Here she shares a recipe for Roasted Spiced Cauliflower and Black Rice Salad – tasty, nutritious and of course healthy!


  • 1 large head of cauliflower broken into florets
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp sumac if you don’t have it, zest of a lemon
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • 150 g black rice
  • Big handful coriander leaves roughly chopped
  • Big handful parsley leaves roughly chopped
  • 2 Spring Onions finely chopped
  • 1 small red chilli deseeded and finely chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 60 g pomegranate seeds
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F / gas 6
  1. Put the cauliflower into a mixing bowl and pour over 2 tbsp. of the olive oil. Mix the oregano, cumin, coriander, sumac, sesame seeds and chilli flakes together and add to the cauliflower with a good pinch of salt. Toss together and transfer to a roasting dish. Cook in the oven for 35-40 minutes until cooked through and brown around the edges.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the rice in a pan of boiling water for 25-30 minutes or until tender. Drain, rinse under cold water and drain again thoroughly.
  3. Put the rice in a large mixing bowl and add the chopped herbs, spring onion, red chilli, lemon juice and pomegranate molasses, the remaining olive oil and a good amount of seasoning. Toss together and transfer to a serving dish. Top with the cauliflower and pomegranate seeds. Serve immediately.


I am slightly obsessed with roasted cauliflower at the moment and this satisfies my craving and is a great summer salad to go with meat off the BBQ.  If you have Zaatar you can use this instead of the the spices.

With its striking black appearance, venere rice is the “rice of the emperors” with Chinese roots but now also grown in Italy.  From the Lombardy and Piedmont regions of Italy, venere nero rice is also known as black venus rice and is a hybrid grain that has a great texture which requires a slightly longer cooking time than traditional white rice.  Black rice undergoes little refining, so it is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre and is believed to be one of the most nutritious types of rice.  Compared to other rice it is higher in protein and lower in carbs so a good option for healthy eating.

 As a shortcut use a packet of precooked black rice or any wholegrain cooked rice that is available in supermarkets and delis.  Gallo sell precooked and bags of venere black rice.  Remember it is the whole grain venere black rice you are after NOT the Thai sticky black rice.  If you can’t find black rice make the salad with wholegrain brown or brown mixed with wild rice or even the red Camargue rice.  All good substitutes.

If you don’t have pomegranate molasses sub with a mixture of balsamic vinegar with a bit of sugar or honey or tamarind paste with honey, vinegar and some whizzed dates.  It is worth getting a bottle if you see it as it lasts for ages and you can use it in dressings, on roasted vegetables and salads.

Adapted from a John Gregory-Smith Recipe

Gee’s recipes are put together with the busy home cook in mind with top tips on how to get ahead, ingredient substitutions, freezing and how to make entertaining as relaxing as possible.


Gee runs demonstrations in May/June, November and Feb/ March.  She is hoping to demonstrate in November again and will shortly post her dates on her website.

WINTER FEASTING – Warming, seasonal recipes for friends and family over the Festive season.

Mayfield House, Hampshire, SO20 6LT


Trinity Road, London, SW18 3RQ



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