Roast cauliflower, chorizo & chickpea salad

roast cauliflower chorizo chickpea salad

Like a lot of people, my childhood experience of eating cauliflower is a negative one with cooked-to-death florets smothered in a heavy cheese sauce or, in my case, a basic white sauce. Sorry mum! In some restaurants I also have memories of it being served as a side dish in a medley of boiled vegetables, such as carrots and broccoli, to accompany meat or fish. Poor cauliflower was reserved to the sidelines and it’s no wonder I gave it a wide berth for many years.

There are not many ingredients I dislike and I struggled with olives for years, which I found overly bitter, but my perseverance eventually paid off. I have to admit, I’m still a bit scared by the huge green ones as they can be so strong tasting but generally I love them now. So I thought I’d try the same dogged approach with cauliflower. Since I have started to eat cauliflower again I have tried it in a spicy curry, a creamy velvety soup and pureed with scallops and black pudding but I had never had roasted cauliflower. Boy, have I been missing out! As with most ingredients that are roasted, it really enhances the flavour, but it was an absolute revelation. Delicious!

So I arrived home today with a perfect looking cauliflower flower and decide to team it up with some oak-smoked chorizo that I have been meaning to use. This warm salad made a really satisfying lunch on a cold, wet day (in May!) and once I had cleared my plate I scoffed the remaining roast cauliflower as it was just too good to waste. I confess that I found slicing the cauliflower looked good in the finished photo but it was quite crumbly and wasted too much, so I would recommend cutting small florets instead.

Serves 4 for lunch or 2 for dinner
15 minutes, plus 40 minutes (is using dried chick peas)

Ingredients
1 cauliflower
75g chickpeas (soaked overnight)
125g pearl barley
150g chorizo, sliced
50g Manchego or Parmesan, grated
2-3 fat garlic cloves
Generous handful of chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp of olive oil, and extra for drizzling
1 lemon
Salt and pepper

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180C / gas 4 / 350F.
  2. Put the chickpeas and pearl barley in two separate saucepans and cover with lots of cold water. Simmer the chickpeas for 40-45 minutes until tender and the pearl barley for about 20 minutes. The pearl barley should still retain a slight bite. Add them both into the same saucepan. Finely chop the parsley, add a drizzle of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile trim the root from the cauliflower and chop into small florets. Coarsely chop the garlic and add to a large bowl with the olive oil, juice of half a lemon and some salt and pepper. Add the cauliflower to the bowl and coat completely. Spread out on a non-stick baking tray and roast for 20-25 minutes, turning once half way through. Check the cauliflower with a fork and when it’s nearly cooked add the cheese and the juice of the remaining half a lemon.  Stir in the pearl barley and chickpeas and time for about another 5 minutes, until the cauliflower is cooked through.
  4. Slice the chorizo and cook for a minute each side in a frying pan.
  5. Spoon the cauliflower mixture onto plates, add the chorizo and a further sprinkling of chopped parsley, if you like.

roast cauliflower, chorizo and chickpea salad

One thought on “Roast cauliflower, chorizo & chickpea salad

  1. Erna

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