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Food and Drink

Tom's Cookbook Library: ‘Seriously Good Salads’ an eye-opener

In her first cookbook, food blogger Nicky Corbishley says it’s time to take a fresh look at salads.

Corbishley encourages readers of "Seriously Good Salads: Creative Flavor Combinations for Nutritious, Satisfying Meals" (Page Street) to think about salads as a meal rather than a supplement.

Her book includes 75 new salads that boldly depart from traditional recipes. In doing so, they achieve a new level of complex flavors and textures.

“Boiled cauliflower on its own can be boring, but it’s actually quite versatile,” Corbishley writes.

The accompanying recipe for Smoky Cauliflower Salad with Couscous and Sriracha Mayo provides a tasty example of what’s in store for home cooks.

Still other attention-grabbing recipes include Chimichurri Steak Salad inspired by Argentinean cuisine and Korean Bibimbap Salad with red rice.

Corbishley, who lives in Cheshire, England, nearly five years ago created, an award-winning food blog.

Journalist Tom Witom, who lives in Elgin, has written extensively about food and the food industry. Feedback on the column can be sent to


(Serves 4)

Smoky Cauliflower:

1 large head cauliflower, broken into florets

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 and 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Couscous Salad:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

1 cup dried couscous

1 and 2/3 cups hot vegetable stock

1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1 green bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped

10 grape tomatoes, quartered

5 scallions, chopped

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

Sriracha Mayo:

1/4 cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons sriracha

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the cauliflower florets on a large baking sheet and drizzle with the oil. Sprinkle with the salt, garlic salt, black pepper and smoked paprika. Toss everything together and bake for 20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is golden and tender.

Meanwhile, prepare the couscous salad. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until the onion softens. Add the garlic, salt, black pepper, cumin, paprika and celery salt and stir together. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until the spices release their fragrance.

Add the couscous and hot stock. Stir and bring to a boil, then cover. Turn off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, remove the lid and fluff the couscous with a fork. Add the red and green bell peppers, tomatoes, scallions and parsley to the couscous and toss together.

Transfer to a large plate and top with the roasted cauliflower.

In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise and sriracha and drizzle on top of the cauliflower before serving.

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