Roasted cauliflower, broccoli, and chickpea salad
If a dinner party ends with a dark chocolate pretzel tart, it had better have a healthy element in the middle. Enter this glorious salad. This is not your typical salad – as a matter of fact, I used barely any actual lettuce leaves in it, just adding them as a finishing touch of sorts. It’s heavy on fresh parsley and roasted vegetables, and adding garnishes such as super thin slices of carrots and celery really dresses it up. This salad was amazing and I would eat it all by itself as a main course, but serve it alongside some nice roast chicken or pork or beef and some fresh bread (yup, that recipe is coming next), and you’ve got a whole dinner party menu!
Roasted cauliflower, broccoli, and chickpea salad (adapted from The Delicious Life)
Ingredients – this makes a lot, enough to serve about 8 people as a side dish
1 head cauliflower, washed, dried, and broken into small florets
1-2 heads broccoli, with the same treatment as the cauliflower
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
2-4 tablespoons high quality olive oil
salad mix to taste – I prefer rocket (arugula), but you could use other leaves as well – the star here is the roasted veggies so I didn’t think very much was necessary
salt and freshly ground pepper
juice of half a lemon
optional: paper-thin slices of celery and carrots, fresh pomegranate seeds (as if I could afford those in Sydney – hah), or diced avocado
Preheat oven to 200 C / 425 F. Spray a sheet/ pan with nonstick spray and dump in the broccoli and cauliflower florets. Roast for about 20 minutes, until they have started to brown (taste to make sure it’s still a bit crunchy as mushy roasted vegetables are the worst). Remove from the oven and put into a bowl.
Decrease the oven temperature to 190 C / 375 F. In the same pan, spread the chickpeas out (after re-spraying with non stick spray) and roast for about 15 minutes or until they start to look dry and have darkened (may take less time). Then remove and put into the same bowl.
Add the fresh parsley leaves and give everything a good stir. I then put in a couple tablespoons of my amazing lime infused super expensive olive oil and added a hefty squeeze of lemon. This is about as much dressing as I ever put on salads but feel free to use more oil or add some vinegar as well. You definitely should use high quality olive oil though and I love any citrus flavour over the vegetables. Add some lettuce leaves to taste, continue to stir, and add more olive oil as desired. Then make sure to sprinkle on the sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. The other thing I added at the very end over the top (not pictured, sorry – I was in dinner party prep mode and completely forgot to take lots of photos) was very thin slices of celery and carrot. I discovered with delight that you can use a carrot peeler on celery to make very thin celery slices that add some great texture. I highly recommend this, as I love the technique of using a vegetable peeler to make really thin slices of something (just make sure the carrot is peeled first as you don’t want carrot peelings on top of your salad).
If desired, add some avocado chunks or pomegranate seeds at the very end as a garnish.
Fresh parsley in a bowl over to the right and the veggies to the left. Ok so I cheated and added the chickpeas at the end of the roasting time of the other veggies. But honestly you should roast them separately to get the perfect level of crunchiness that you so desire.
I should also add this is great with chicken over it for lunch the next day and really makes quite a filling meal all by itself. Salad power!