COOL & SPICY CAULIFLOWER AND ROASTED CHICKPEA SALAD

 

When I was in high school, like many girls, I proclaimed myself a vegetarian.  While I ate many a black bean burger, or steamed veggies over rice, what I didn’t know then was the importance of balance in flavor and texture with vegetable-centric eating.  Times changed and today for me, it’s all about fabulous flavors and tantilizing textures with everything I eat!  This Cool & Spicy Cauliflower and Roasted Chickpea Salad features it all. It’s cauliflower and chickpeas roasted in the fruitiness of a slick of olive oil combined with the heat of Moroccan harissa, and tossed with golden raisins soaked in bright lemon juice and thick sweet honey settled over a creamy swath of  Greek yogurt warmed with smoky spices and topped with gently toasted almonds and slivers of fresh mint.

 

Cool & Spicy Cauliflower and Roasted Chickpea Salad

Adapted from a recipe seen in Fine Cooking, I love the textures and flavors of the recipe and gave it a little oomph. The original recipe calls for working with dried chickpeas, but for time sake, I went with canned. Served warm, cold or room temperature, I at the salad as a main, but could easily see it accompanying some grilled shrimp, steak or chicken.

 Course Main Course, Salad, Side Dish

 Keyword , Cauliflower Salad, Roasted Cauliflower, Chickepeas, Smokey Spices, Yogurt Dressing,

Ingredients

  • 1 can Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt, full fat
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 tbs lemon juice, fresh
  • 1 ½ tsp honey
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1 tsp curry powder (mild or hot)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1 head cauliflower (small -medium)
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1½ tbs harissa, mild
  • ¼ cup almonds, chopped and toasted
  • ½ cup fresh mint leaves

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°

    Make the Spiced Yogurt - into a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, cumin, corriander, salt and pepper. Cover and keep in the fridge until ready to use.

    Make the Dressing -- in a bowl, whisk the lemon juice and honey. Add the raisins and let them soak for 15-minutes then remove the raisins to a plate or cup and keep the liquid. To the raisin liquid add the curry powder and salt. While whisking, stream in the olive oil slowly. Cover and keep to the side until ready to use.

  2. Break up the cauliflower into florets on a rimmed baking sheet and add the chickpeas. Toss with the olive oil and harissa, salt and pepper.

    Roast until tender, and golden, up to 20-minutes. Toss with salad dressing.

  3. Spread the yougurt dressing on the a platter, then place the cauliflower and chickpeas over, including any browned bits. Top with toasted almonds and fresh mint,

Today,  I consider myself  a “flexetarian.” I do eat chicken or fish perhaps 2-3x a week and the rest is focused on vegetables.  The thing about being more vegetable-centric is that you can really play with texture and flavor and this recipe is a prime example.  I believe in any recipe, it’s important not to fear flavors or textures.  Sure, I get it, who’s going  to eat something slimy or overly viscuous, this, however, is about the balance .  Balance of smokiness and sweet, crunchy and soft, and hot and mild.  This salad is about learning to enjoy vegetables, making them simple, yet beyond delicious.  This sheetpan dish is the ideal jumping off point for you to expirement with both flavor and texture.