This was a new one for me. Cauliflower and chickpeas are a common duo in Indian cuisine occurring often in rich stews and curries, but this is something else entirely. A salad loaded with Indian spices and ingredients, but it remains bright and light tasting. It was a pleasure to eat with its playful colours, different textures and vivid flavour. Bold yellow, turmeric scented cauliflower, crisp apple and fennel, flavourful cilantro and red onion, and chickpeas and little bits of naan bread to soak up the light curry-lime vinaigrette. It was a nice change, a great at-work lunch and it kept well in the fridge for a couple of days.
Curried Cauliflower & Chickpea Salad
Origin: BBC Food, Simon Rimmer
Notes: I loved the addition of the bits of naan bread. Next time I might toast it first so that the bread holds up better for the leftovers. I could not find watercress so I subbed baby arugula in its place.
1 cauliflower, cut into florets
4 cups vegetable stock, or water and vegetable stock cubes/powder
1 tablespoon turmeric powder
1 19 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 apple, thinly sliced
1/2 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped (I used at least 2 tablespoons)
1 handful watercress (or baby arugula leaves)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon red curry paste (I used 1 1/2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon malt vinegar
juice of 1 lime (about 3 tablespoons)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 naan bread, torn or cut into pieces
Bring the vegetable stock and turmeric to boil in a medium pot. Boil the cauliflower for one minute. Drain and set aside to cool.
For the dressing, mix the curry paste with 3 tablespoons of hot water until smooth then whisk in the vinegar, lime juice and vegetable oil in a steady stream until emulsified. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Mix the cauliflower, chickpeas, onion, apple, fennel, cilantro and watercress (or arugula) in a bowl, then stir in the dressing until well combined. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Mix the pieces of naan bread through the salad and serve.