This is one of my absolute favourites. Like, of all time. But then, I’m a sucker for all things roasted cauliflower.
I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for months, I’m not sure why I haven’t. Perhaps because when I’m eating it I don’t feel at all like sharing… Perhaps because it feels like sharing a favourite secret destination that you don’t want to share because then the secret will get out and your little slice of paradise will get overrun with visitors and it won’t be magical anymore… except this is about cauliflower. And cauliflower doesn’t really work that way, does it… So turn the oven on and get roasting!
Faff Factor: 2/5 * Flavour 5/5 * Fridge to Face: 35 mins
1 head of cauliflower
1 1/2 cups chickpeas (previously cooked & frozen OR canned)
Slug of grape-seed oil (or other vegetable oil suitable for roasting)
1-2 tbsp Mexican chili powder
1 large tart apple (Granny Smith or Braeburn)
3-4 green onions
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley
1 large avocado
zest & juice of 1 lime
s & p
1 clove of garlic
1 heaped tsp dijon
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
salt flakes & freshly ground pepper
• Works just as well without the Mexican chili powder, so don’t stress if you don’t have
• Add a handful of chopped mint to the mix
• To bulk up the salad, add a cup of cooked quinoa
• Any dressing vinegar (white wine, rice wine, apple cider etc) works with the dressing above. Sub in grainy mustard for dijon. Works with any tart salad dressing
• Sub in diced red onion or thinly sliced shallots for green onions
• Add grilled avocado 1/2, chicken, salmon or crumbled feta if desired
1. Preheat your oven to 450F
2. Roughly chop the cauliflower into florets and chuck into a large mixing bowl. Don’t be afraid to keep some of the leafy greens in the mix. Drain and rinse chickpeas if using canned and add to the bowl. Pour straight in if using previously cooked and frozen. Add a decent slug of oil (approx 3 tbsp), a solid few pinches of Mexican chili powder (approx 1-2 tbsp), a generous pinch of salt and a grind of black pepper. Toss the cauliflower and chickpeas in the bowl with the oil & spices. Pour out onto a baking sheet, shoogle to settle everything into 1 layer and chuck into the oven. Set a timer for 15 mins.
3. Slice or chop the apple into salad sized bits. Finely chop the green onions (thinly slice shallot / tiny dice red onion if using instead). Wash & shake dry the parsley, then finely chop. Chuck apple pieces, onion & parsley into a big salad bowl. Grate in the zest of the lime, squeeze in the juice. Toss gently. The lime juice will prevent the apple from turning brown while it’s waiting to be eaten.
4. Hopefully by now the oven timer has pinged. Remove the tray of roasting cauliflower and chickpeas and give it a good shoogle. Return to the oven and set a timer for a further 5-10 minutes. You want the cauliflower to be charred, but definitely not mushy.
5. To make the dressing, crush the garlic and add to a salad dressing container. Add the mustard, vinegar, oil, salt & pepper. Shake it like a polaroid picture. (Which I only just discovered, don’t in fact like to be shaken…)
6. 1/2 and pit your avocado and using a dull knife, slice into chunks, while still in its shells. Scoop out into the bowl of salad ingredients.
7. Remove the tray of roasted cauliflower and chickpeas from the oven, and add to the bowl of salad ingredients. Add a 1/4 cup of salad dressing and toss everything together gently. Add more dressing to taste. Sprinkle over some Maldon salt flakes and freshly ground pepper.
8. Serve and swoon.
• Once the cauliflower and chickpeas are roasting this is a pretty easy single board chop, add to single bowl recipe. Very few dishes which is always a bonus.
• I use any old recycled jar with a lid to make dressing. Chuck everything in, screw the lid on tight (because you really don’t want to spray salad dressing over your kitchen, I can personally attest to this…) and shake that sucker up. I find a jar keeps better on the kitchen counter than a glass because stuff (fluff / things / bugs) can’t gather on the surface. I prefer keeping dressing on the counter than in the fridge because the oil solidifies when you keep it in the fridge and I hate the panicked microwaving of dressing right before dinner, not to mention pouring warm dressing all over a nice fresh, crunchy salad. It’s just not a good scene.
• This salad is best served the second it’s all tossed together. If making in advance, follow along to the end of step 4. Remove the roasting tray once done and set aside. Make your dressing and set aside. Combine everything and toss through with dressing just before serving.
• I really like this salad with some residual warmth from the roasted cauliflower. Consider timing the roasting of the cauliflower and chickpeas so that you’re adding them right before serving.