Cauliflower Chickpea Salad

November 24, 2013

This is one of those meatless meals that is hearty enough to make me consider becoming a vegetarian. Almost. Warm, wholesome, and filling. With a zesty kick.

One of our favorite simple meals on a chilly day is roasted vegetables. After years of attempting this and having them come out a little limp and unappetizing, we’ve discovered that the key is to have the patience to preheat. Preheat your oven fully, coat your baking sheet with a generous drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt, then spread your veggies across it in one layer. If I have it on hand, I use a spray can of olive oil to lightly spritz the top of the veggies, then sprinkle a bit more salt (not too much—you can always add more later). Quickly pop your tray in on a low oven rack.

Waiting for the oven to preheat is what gets your oil hot as soon as the pan hits the oven, which then basically fries the bottom layer of your veggies. That’s what gives them that irresistible golden brown crispy crunchiness. And hey, if you are eating a tray full of veggies, you can afford to splurge on a little extra olive oil, eh?

Cauliflower Chickpea Salad

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Roasted Cauliflower
Adapted slightly from Rachael Ray

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size florets
  • 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Coat a baking sheet with olive oil, then toss the cauliflower with a bit more olive oil and place in one layer on the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until tender and golden brown on the bottom, about 20 minutes.

Roasted Cauliflower Chickpea Salad
Adapted slightly from Rachael Ray

  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed
  • ¼ c. pine nuts
  • Juice of 1 lemon, divided
  • 1 ½ c. vegetable broth
  • 3 T. olive oil, divided
  • 10 oz. couscous
  • ¼ c. fresh dill, finely chopped
  • ¼ c. fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1 c. parsley, packed
  • Roasted cauliflower (above)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pita
  • Lemon Garlic Sauce

Preheat the oven to 425°F. On a baking sheet, spread the chickpeas and pine nuts in a single layer; roast until the nuts are golden and the chickpeas are warmed, 7–8 minutes. In a small saucepan, bring the vegetable broth and 1 tablespoon olive oil to a boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the couscous, dill and chives. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. In a serving bowl, combine the chickpeas, pine nuts, cauliflower and parsley and dress with lemon juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Fluff the couscous with a fork. Spoon onto four plates and top with the salad. Serve with the Lemon Garlic Sauce and bread.

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