Warm salad of roasted cauliflower and crispy chickpeas sautéed with sun-dried tomatoes and Kalamata olives, all tossed with a miso dressing.
Do you have certain ingredients you always go to? The Italians, IMHO, have this nailed. Tomatoes, pasta, garlic, basil, and Parmesan. Those five ingredients can make several days of meals for me.
Nothing against this winning combination, but I have my own favorites I often go to year-round.
Cauliflower. Sun-dried tomatoes. Kalamata olives. Spicy, crispy chickpeas. Feta cheese. Oregano/Marjoram/Basil.
You can’t go wrong with these ingredients no matter what you do. Case in point: this dish is a simple roast and sauté, but I also make a killer pasta dish with mashed chickpeas, and most of these ingredients (I’ll be posting it soon). This salad can be eaten by itself still warm from the stove, or stuffed into pita pockets. If you’re partial to flatbreads (and who isn’t??), serve it as a gourmet thin-crust pizza. It’s all good.
Besides featuring flavors that dance well together, I love this dish for its make-ahead aspects. Just roast the cauliflower and chickpeas over a relaxing weekend, and sauté them with the remaining ingredients just before dinner at the end of a busy day.
Wimpy vegetarian tips for the Carnivores at the table:
Add cooked shredded chicken into the sauté, and adjust seasonings as needed
Cauliflower and Crispy Chickpea Warm Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Olives
This salad is best served warm.
- 1 large head cauliflower
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic paste (I use Gourmet Garden's)
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes,
- 1/3 cup halved kalamata olives
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 teaspoon fresh marjoram, or more to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons yellow miso
- pinch cayenne pepper
- Pinch salt + pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400° F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or foil.
- Chop cauliflower into 1-2 bite pieces, toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and half of the salt and pepper, and arrange on one of the prepared baking sheets. Roast for about 30 minutes, flipping over once, halfway through roasting, until tender and starting to brown.
- Toss the cooked chickpeas with the remaining olive oil, salt, pepper, and all of the paprika. Spread on the other prepared baking sheet, and roast for about 20-25 minutes until lightly crispy. Don't worry if some of them begin to spit.
- These steps can be done up to 5 days ahead. Store the cauliflower and chickpeas in the refrigerator until needed.
- In a medium skillet over medium high heat, add the remaining tablespoon olive oil, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted chickpeas, and roasted cauliflower. Sauté until warmed. Top with the olives, feta cheese, and fresh marjoram, and toss with ⅔ of the Miso dressing (below). Serve the remaining dressing on the side.
- Whisk together all the of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. This can be made 2 weeks ahead and refrigerated.