Last updated on August 20th, 2021 at 04:03 pm
With nutty roasted chickpeas, cauliflower, mint and preserved lemon Chickpea Salad is simple to make with just enough spice to make it a little special and exotic.
"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are," ( E.E. Cummings).
Since our beautiful friend visited us for a week and left to continue her solo journey around the country in a campervan, her dogs in tow, my mind has been filled with notions of courage.
Of course I think my friend is brave for embarking on such a huge solo journey, but her inner journey is the one I most admire. Armed with just enough self-love to give herself permission, she is taking a time-out from her regular life to get to know herself better, to make friends with herself. She's pushing the pause button on the din and making an investment in herself on her own terms.
My friend is in a position to take a time-out while some of us are not, but I don't think that means each of us can't find our little piece of brave and let it breath.
Being brave means something different for each of us. For me, it means owning what I really want and putting it out in to the universe for all to see. I have a neat trick of saying something meaningful but then watermarking the statement with a disclaimer. It goes something like, " I want a castle...but I would be more than happy with a shed."
To be clear, I don't actually want a castle, too much cleaning, but if I was exercising my brave muscles I would lay claim to the castle and see what the universe provides.
[su_note note_color="#212121" text_color="#ffffff" radius="0"]UPDATE! After putting it out to the universe I signed a book deal and my cookbook Great Vegan Meals for the Carnivorous Family was published in 2018! [/su_note]
I made this chickpea salad with roasted cauliflower, preserved lemons and mint at Christmas and it was a hit. The many times I have made it since, I have made little tweaks to the spice balance to get it just right. Just right for me, that is.
The beauty of this salad is that the measures can be tweaked to suit your taste. I love preserved lemon and would add it by spoonful if left unchecked but not everyone loves its sour, saltiness - if that's the case you could simply add a little lemon zest to the salad and perhaps a scattering of capers.
Clean and simple, this chickpea salad contains only chickpeas, cauliflower, mint and red onion (again if you don't like the onion, leave it out) but those ingredients are brought together with a beautifully balanced, slightly spiced cumin and sumac vinaigrette. I am not going to lie, I eat this salad straight from the mixing bowl, sometimes it makes it to the table, sometimes not.
While you can use canned chickpeas, I have to say it does make a noticeable difference to the taste compared with prepared dried chickpeas. In a pinch, canned chickpeas will do to save time but if you get a chance to prepare them from scratch, I totally recommend it. It's super easy and the result is so good. I have instructions on how to cook chickpeas from scratch in this recipe for my walk -away chickpea tomato and spinach curry.
And finally, a word on mint. This salad loves mint so forget the less is more mantra; go hard with the mint, you won't regret it.
This chickpea salad makes my tastebuds sing. When I create dishes that make me smile or have the family going back for more I feel a little brave flame fluttering. People eat my food and...sometimes they really like it. Maybe enough to buy the book. If I don't put it out there, it has no chance of ever happening. So, it's out there.
If you love chickpeas as much as I do try these recipes:
Vegan Chickpea Salad
For the Salad
- 400 grams / 14oz can canned chickpeas or home-cooked chickpeas
- 2 cups cauliflower chopped
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground all-spice
- pinch of salt
- ½ red onion finely diced
- ½ cup fresh mint finely chopped
- ½ cup fresh coriander finely chopped
- 2 Lebanese cucumbers small cucumbers, finely diced
For the Dressing
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 ½ tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon raw caster sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup / 60ml good quality olive oil
- 1 wedge preserved lemon approx ⅛ of a whole presereved lemon
For the Chickpeas and Cauliflower
For the Dressing
- In a bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, red wine vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. Continue whisking while adding the olive oil in a stream.
- Finely chop one wedge of preserved lemon and add to the dressing. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
To Assemble the Salad
- Combine the roast chickpeas, cauliflower, onion, mint, coriander and cucumber in a large bowl and drizzle with the dressing.