1 large head (2 pounds or 905 grams) of cauliflower
freshly ground black pepper
1 bundle (6 ounces or 170 grams) of scallions.
about 8 dried dates
1/2 cup shelled salted pistachios
juice of 1 medium lemon
Heat the oven to 450°F and coat a large baking sheet thoroughly with olive oil, then sprinkle the pan with kosher salt and pepper. Quarter your cauliflower, cut out the core, then tear the quarters into bite-size pieces. Cut the core into small pieces. Place on prepared baking sheet and toss to coat in oil, salt, and pepper.
Cut the greens from *half* of your crust and slice them thinly and keep aside. Cut remaining whole and white half of 1- to 2-inch sections. Clear a little space at the end of your cauliflower baking sheet and add the scallion segments to it. Season the pan with additional salt and pepper.
Roast for 10 minutes then remove the tray from the oven (leave the oven on) and use tongs to remove just the charred scallion segments, placing them in a large bowl. Turn the cauliflower pieces over to brown them evenly and return them to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until the cauliflower is deeply browned in places. Do not be afraid of Charak – it will taste good, will not burn.
Meanwhile, roughly chop the pistachios. Add your dates, if necessary, and chop roughly. Make a vinaigrette with 3 tablespoons olive oil, the juice of one lemon, plus enough salt and pepper to season it well. Whisk (or blend, if you’re as obsessed with your electric frother as I am). We want a sharp lemon dressing here, it will mellow as it coats the hot ingredient, but if it’s definitely too sharp for your taste, add 1 additional teaspoon of olive oil.
When cauliflower is done, add to bowl with poached scallions along with dates, pistachios, and reserved scallion greens. Toss with dressing to taste (I use almost all), seasoning further if necessary. The salad is good immediately but it also keeps well at room temperature for a few hours. [Leftovers are great warmed in the microwave for just 10 to 20 seconds, just to take the coldest chill off it it.]