Cauliflower & Chickpeas Salad

 

Cauliflower & Chickpeas Salad

Salads are not usually my cup of tea! But, once in a while a simple, clean salad is nourishing to the palate. The thing I love about salads is that we can make it our own….choose a favorite combo of healthy ingredients and season with a simple dressing – quick, easy to put together and totally guilt-free!

Cauliflower

Cauliflower is one vegetable we used to eat fairly regularly but I had to cut it out for several months due to health reasons. So, after a while we brought it again and shying away from my norm of preparing a flavorful and aromatic curry with it, I decided to keep it simple and make a laid-back salad!

Chickpeas

Beans are an essential part of diet in our home with Chickpeas, Kidney Beans, Cannelini Beans being in the repertoire. There is always plan-ahead-prep-work with beans – soaking them overnight or for a few hours and then boiling them until they are nice and soft. So, quite often I do this in bulk so as to suffice the beans for atleast a few days of the week. Once, they are ready I use it in a number of ways – either in a curry, or in soups or just for snacking. Super healthy and tasty!

Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas

For this salad, I paired cauliflower and chickpeas. I think the similar color tones drew me to this combo. Since, both of these by themselves are a little bland, I decided to up the taste with the ever so mighty ‘Sriracha’. I coated the cauliflower florets and chickpeas with sriracha, a good dash of salt, pepper and a generous drizzle of olive oil and roasted them in the oven. Cauliflower needs a whole lot of time to get nice and tender and since the chickpeas were already cooked, I added the chickpeas to the cauliflower tray only for the last 5 to 10 mins. At this time I also added some minced garlic for added flavor. Out of the oven, I used some chopped mint leaves and a fair amount of lime juice to bring everything together. The super minty aroma and the freshness of the citrus adds a lot to this salad.

Cauliflower-Chickpeas Salad

While serving, a dash of salt and pepper, a light touch of olive oil and may be a tiny drizzle of sriracha (for spice-fanatics like me) is all that’s needed to love this invigorating salad!

Recipe

Prep time + Cook time: 40 mins
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
– 1 head of cauliflower (cut into small florets)
– 1 cup boiled chickpeas
– 2 Tbsp sriracha
– 3 tsps of extra virgin olive oil
– 1 tsp salt or to taste
– 2 tsp pepper
– 3 or 4 cloves minced garlic
– handful of finely chopped mint
– juice of one lime ~ 4 tsps

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 deg F.
2. Rinse cauliflower well under running water. Pat dry and cut into small florets and take them in a mixing bowl. Drizzle 1Tbsp of sriracha, 2 tsps of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well to coat all the florets.
3. Arrange the florets on a lined baking sheet. Pop it into the oven and roast for around 30 mins.
4. In the same mixing bowl, take chickpeas. Add 1 Tbsp of sriacha and 1 tsp of olive oil. Mix well.
5. Add the boiled chickpeas to the same baking sheet. Also add minced garlic and roast for the remaining 10 mins.
6. Remove the roasted cauliflower and chickpeas into a serving/salad bowl. Add lime juice and finely chopped mint leaves.

Serve warm with a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper!

Prep work for chickpeas-
Soak 1 cup of dry chickpeas in 3 cups of water overnight or for at-least 5 to 6 hours. Drain all the water and boil the chickpeas with a pinch of salt until they are nice and tender. It usually takes around 25 to 30 mins.

Notes:
If you are making this salad leisurely, place the coated (sriracha, olive oil, salt, pepper) cauliflower florets in a flat bowl or a ziplock bag and leave it in the refrigerator for a few hours or may be even overnight. This marinates the cauliflower and develops added flavor!

 

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