Today’s post is all about yummy goodness: delicious oven-roasted cauliflower with chickpeas, sweet tangy cranberries and spicy arugula leaves all brought together with a zesty, harissa dressing! Did I mention it also had crumbly feta, fresh mint leaves and nutritious couscous? Believe me, this salad is so fresh and so tasty you can eat it as a main course and feel delightfully content! I was 🙂
I guess by now, you’ve realized that I have a thing for mediterranean, Moroccan flavors. This salad is all about mixing ingredients and flavors that go perfectly well together. It’s quite surprising how some people cannot eat cauliflower but simply love it when it is roasted. I was first inspired by this dish when I saw one of Yottam Ottolenghi’s recipes in The Guardian. Ottolenghi loves cooking cauliflower and not surprising he has a few of them on the The Guardian website.
Today, the base of this salad is couscous but you could make it with wild rice, red rice, quinoa, millet, Israeli couscous… I wanted the colors of the rub and the dressing to come out in the salad and add a touch of brightness and that’s why it’s couscous today. If you look closely at the salad, it actually looks a bit yellow.
A few things you should know before cooking:
- If you want your chickpeas to be a bit crunchy you can cook them longer. I usually add them towards the end so they warm up and don’t completely dry out. I’ve roasted them longer once and they were pretty crunchy. If you’re looking for texture, I recommend you try it.
- I’ve added cranberries for nutritional, colour and taste but you could add fresh pomegranate seeds, olives, dry-roasted tomatoes, seeds, hazelnuts, dry-roasted almonds, pistachio or pine kernels.The seeds and nuts add a nice crunch, great taste and some very healthy omega 3, 6!
- If you love mediterranean flavors, I’d recommend you buy a bottle of pomegranate molasses. It’s absolutely magic. It adds sweetness and tartness at the same time. A little bit goes a long way and you’ll find yourself adding it everywhere. If, however, you can’t find it, then simply drizzle a bit of balsamic vinegar instead.
- I’ve added feta cheese because I simply love it, but the salad is just as tasty without!
Don’t forget to tell me what you think of it! Perhaps you’ve added your own personal twist!
Oven-roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad with a Zesty Harissa dressing
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- Salt, Pepper
- Chili flakes
- Olive oil to drizzle, about 1 Tbsp
- 1 small to medium head of cauliflower, washed and cut into florets
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained
- 1 cup of dry couscous, to cook according to instructions on packet
- a handful of cranberries
- a big handful of arugula leaves
- 2-3 Tbsp of fresh mint leaves
- 5-6 small spring onions, chopped
- 1/2 -1 cup of cubed feta cheese
- 3 Tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tsp of harissa paste
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Salt and Pepper
- Pomegranate molasses to drizzle
- Preheat oven to 180˚C/ gas mark 4/350°F.
- Mix the rub spices with the oil and massage the cauliflower florets. Transfer to a lined tray and bake until the florets are cooked (20-30 minutes). 5-10 minutes before the end, add the drained chickpeas.
- While the cauliflower is cooking, prepare the couscous. I usually pour hot water over the dry grains to which I add the cranberries close tightly with a lid or plastic wrap until all the water is absorbed. Then with a fork, puff up the swollen grains et voilà!
- To make the dressing: add lemon juice, oil, harissa, salt and pepper in a container and mix well.
- Once everything is cooked and has cooled down, simply add all the ingredients in a big salad bowl, pour in the dressing and combine everything together. I love to this like Jamie Oliver, using my clean adds. I find it quite therapeutic! Drizzle a bit of pomegranate molasses and you have yourself a delicious, healthy and tasty salad!