When it comes to lunchtime inspiration, I’ve found myself recently turning to something both comforting and light: vegetables. I decided to try out chickpeas, which are packed with protein and fiber, and so I searched for ways to incorporate them into a salad. I came across Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipe for roasted cauliflower with chickpeas and mustard from her cookbook, It’s All Good. In an effort to create a more complete meal and complement the chickpeas in Paltrow’s salad, I also made some of Ina Garten’s hummus. The combination of cauliflower, chickpeas and hummus over a bed of lightly dressed arugula with extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground pepper, and salt makes for the perfect summertime lunch or dinner.
Roasted Cauliflower with Chickpeas and Mustard
Difficulty Level: Easy
1 14 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and dried
1 head of cauliflower, outer leaves removed and discarded, cut into bite-sized florets
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for roasting, plus 1/4 cup for dressing
Kosher sea salt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon seeded mustard (i.e., grainy mustard)
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss together the bite-sized cauliflower florets and chickpeas with three tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and a big pinch of salt in a large roasting pan. Set the pan in the middle rack of the oven. Roast for 45 minutes until the cauliflower and chickpeas have browned, mixing every so often to ensure even cooking.
2. In the meantime, whisk together the Dijon and seeded mustard, vinegar and ¼ cup of olive oil with a big pinch of salt and a few turns of freshly ground pepper.
3. While the chickpeas and cauliflower are still warm, toss them in a bowl with the mustard dressing and parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*Note: I found the mustard dressing to be too strong when consuming the salad alone, but when paired with the hummus and arugula, the flavors settled.
Difficulty Level: Easy
Yield: 2 Cups
2 cups canned chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
⅓ cup tahini (sesame paste)
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
2 tablespoons water or liquid from the chickpeas
Place all the ingredients in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until the hummus is smooth. The pulse time will vary depending on whether you prefer thick or thin hummus.
1. Make a bed of prewashed arugula on a plate or bowl
2. Top with full scoop of the cauliflower and chickpea mixture
3. Scoop out dollops of hummus and place around the dish’s border