Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpea Salad

Serves 4

Roast Cauliflower is blitzed to create a super flavoursome base to this salad, with spiced chickpeas and a fresh hit of salad.

TIPS – This is a versatile salad formula. Use each element as a guide and alter them to suit. You could make it Middle Eastern inspired by topping with fresh mint and coriander, sprinkling with Zataar and dressing with a tahini yoghurt. You could make it Indian by spicing the chickpeas with garam masala and lemon, topping with a raita and red onion. I have offered more suggestions in the recipe.

WINE MATCH – Serve this salad with a smooth, dry white, such as a Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris or even a lightly oaked Chardonnay. Choose a zesty Riesling if using a hint of chilli or Indian spice. You could also serve this with a lighter style red such as a Pinot Noir.

Ingredients

Roasted Cauliflower Puree

1/2 large or 1 medium cauliflower

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and cracked black pepper

juice of 1 small lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

Roasted Chickpeas

1 cup dried chickpeas

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons Cajun spices

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp salt

cracked black pepper

To serve

Salad & herbs – such as rocket, fresh mint, coriander & parsley.

Dressing – Here I have used a simple lemon & olive oil, salt & pepper dressing over the home-grown rocket leaves

Extras- I have sprinkled over some pistachio dukkah that I had handy and we also drizzled over some pomegranate molasses at the table. Some other ideas could be cubes of roast pumpkin, a yoghurt & tahini dressing pomegrate seeds or kalonji (nigella) seeds for a middle Eastern vibe. For an Indian vibe add in some raita, fresh chilli, kuchumber (see recipe) or sliced red onion.

Method

Roasted Cauliflower Puree

  1. Break the cauliflower into florets and arrange in a single layer on a roasting tray. Roast at 180 degrees Celsius for about 45 minutes or until very golden and tender.
  2. Allow the cauliflower to cool, then place in a food processor along with the olive oil, lemon juice and extra salt and pepper. You’ll need to scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally and may need to add a little more olive oil if it needs to be thinned. The final consistency should be a smooth spreadable paste.
  3. Taste the final puree and adjust the seasoning. TIP: Add salt and pepper so that it is highly flavoured and matches the seasoning of the chickpeas. When food is served cold, it dulls the seasoning so it is important to season well if the cauli isn’t completely cold.

Roasted Chickpeas

  1. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and pour over a litre of freshly boiled water. Allow the chick peas to soak for 2-6 hours. TIP: Soaking chickpeas works to shorten the time they take to cook. The exact cooking time of the chickpeas will depend on the type of chickpea and how long you soaked them. Desi chickpeas are the smaller, more highly flavoured variety and from experience they can take a lot longer to cook than the bigger kabuli chickpeas.
  2. Drain the chickpeas and place in a large pot and fill with water. Bring to the boil, then allow them to simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until they are tender to bite, bot not falling apart. It can take up to 2 hours.
  3. Drain, then cover and allow to cool completely.
  4. Add in the spices and oil and mix thoroughly.
  5. Tip the coated chickpeas onto a roasting tray and spread out into a single layer.
  6. Roast at 180 degrees Celsius until golden. Allow to cool and store for up to a few days, covered, in the fridge.

To serve

  1. Spread the cauliflower puree onto a plate.
  2. Top with the chickpeas, salad greens, dressing and any extras. Here I have sprinkled on pistachio dukkah and a lemon and olive oil dressed baby rocket. We also drizzled over some pomegranate molasses at the table.