Cauliflower florets coated in warming spices and roasted until golden and crisp at the ends is one of my favourite bases for all kinds of winter salads. I would generally serve these kinds of salads still warm, but they still translate well made ahead and served at room temperature.
This is just one method, you can change this salad up in infinite ways: swapping out spices, other root vegetables and adding fresh leafy things like rocket or shredded kale. Add some Greek yoghurt at the end, or add something a bit more protein-y too like grilled lamb, chicken, or salmon, falafel, feta, grilled haloumi to make this a whole meal.
See side recipe for the crisp chickpeas–these make a great snack on their own as well as adding texture to salads or pilafs.
Warming winter salad
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice 1 lime
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chilli powder or flakes
1 head cauliflower, woody part of stalk removed, cut into small florets and pieces (don’t waste the good bits of stalk, they go in the salad too)
1 large carrot, cut into chunks
1 large red onion, sliced
2 orange kumara, washed and cut into small chunks
6 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup crisp spiced chickpeas (see recipe)
Extra olive oil and lime juice to drizzle
-Preheat oven to 180°C.
-In a small bowl combine olive oil, lime juice and spices and season with salt and black pepper.
-Place cauliflower, carrot, red onion, kumara, garlic in a roasting dish and coat well with olive oil and spice mix. Cook for around 45 minutes, taking out and tossing once or twice during cooking, until the edges of the cauliflower are just starting to brown.
-Cool slightly, scatter over pine nuts and chickpeas and drizzle over extra virgin olive oil and lime juice to your taste.
Crisp spiced chickpeas
Drain and rinse well 1 can cooked chickpeas, then pat as dry as possible with a tea towel. Toss with plenty of olive oil and and roast in oven for around 30 minutes, shaking roasting dish periodically. Once they’ve crisped up, remove from oven and stir through spices of your choice (eg turmeric, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, chilli, allspice) plus salt and pepper to taste. Chickpeas will be crisp while warm but will soften as they cool so they’re best eaten fresh from the oven.