Thursday, May 8, 2014

Cauliflower Chickpea Salad with Curry Yogurt Dressing

A large head of cauliflower goes a long way. I may have purchased my last head to take it for a spin in fried rice, but there was plenty left for additional culinary creativity. Cauliflower has become quite the popular crucifer lately, and although I've loved in since I was a kid, it was Dijon-Roasted Cauliflower that spurred my more recent obsession with it. I've found that cauliflower makes a fine soup, veggie burger, or addition to pasta, but when the weather gets steamy and you want a little cauliflower in your diet, this is the way to go.

This salad formula is yet another example of my workhorse salad template (greens + fresh or cooked veggies + nuts + fresh or dried fruit + cheese; add beans or meat for extra protein) put to good use. The flavors and ingredients here borrow a little bit from both Moroccon and Indian cuisine, absolutely delicious despite the lack of authenticity. A combination of cauliflower and chickpeas make up the most belly-filling portion of this salad, and although I greatly prefer the combination, you could certainly double either the cauliflower or chickpeas in lieu of using the pair. Leftover roasted cauliflower and chickpeas make this meal even quicker and easier, both well worth the effort of cooking up an extra-large batch. The combination of sweet and chewy raisins, crispy and toasty almonds, and salty feta cheese contrast provide varied accent in each bite and the spiced creamy dressing pulling it all together nicely.

Cauliflower Chickpea Salad with Curry Yogurt Dressing
serves 1

2 ounces cauliflower, cut into small to medium florets with at least one flat side (or leftover Dijon-Roasted Cauliflower)
Olive oil cooking spray
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons regular or Greek yogurt
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
2 cups (about 2 ounces) spinach, salad greens, or lettuce
1/2 ounce thinly sliced red onion (about 2 tablespoons)
1/4 cup canned chickpeas, thoroughly rinsed and drained, preferably roasted
1 tablespoon raisins
1 tablespoon toasted sliced almonds
1/2 ounce/2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
Salad dressing, for serving

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Toss the cauliflower and chickpeas with olive oil to coat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Roast until tender and browned, about 15 minutes, depending on floret size.

2. Meanwhile, combine yogurt and curry powder in a small bowl. Add water, about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon at a time, to achieve dressing consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Spread salad greens on a plate and top with red onion, cauliflower, chickpeas, raisins, almonds, and feta. Drizzle with salad dressing and enjoy!

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