I have been eating subtle variations of this warm Roasted Cauliflower Salad for weeks, oftentimes three or four days in a row. I tell myself that the repetition is one of the inevitable hazards of "group foods" in the context of single girl cooking...
Group foods—not to be confused with "food groups"—are those foods that are, as a single unit, large enough to feed an entire group in one sitting. Watermelon. Lettuce. Butternut squash. Cauliflower. The ideal situation is always sharing a group food with your family or a dinner party because shredding an entire head of lettuce and serving a salad to 10 people all at once significantly reduces the risk of waste that comes with storing leftovers. At worst, someone will have to eat a slightly less fresh version for lunch the second day.
But if you're single, you also have to face wilting lettuce with pink and brown edges the third day, slime the fourth day, and the guilt of possibly throwing away half a head of lettuce if you get as far as the fifth day.
I tell myself this about eating cauliflower every day, but there are two problems with the group food justification.
Though a head of cauliflower is heavy and appears substantial enough to be a "group food," a single head, no matter how large, seems to only feed two people, three max, and since this is the Delicious Kitchen, one head really only feeds one Sarah J. Gim, so essentially, cauliflower is less a group food and more a hand fruit. A head of cauliflower is like an apple.
The other problem is that I'm not single.
Which all really just means that I'm a greedy, selfish pig.
So it may not be a group food, but cauliflower is part of an increasingly important food group for me, Anti-Aging Foods. Tossed with plant-based protein-source chickpeas and "super" anti-aging foods walnuts and parsley, I'd be shocked if this salad didn't make me look 23 years old in a few weeks. Especially at the rate at which I'm shoveling it into my wrinkle-reduced face.
This recipe for Roasted Cauliflower Salad is inspired by the Roasted Cauliflower, Hazelnuts and Pomegranate Salad from the Jerusalem cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamini, but has neither hazelnuts (because I'm allergic) nor any of the spices, so basically it is nothing like that recipe except for the roasted cauliflower.
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Chickpeas, Walnuts, and Parsley Recipe
- 1 head cauliflower, washed, dried, and broken into small florets Save the leaves and stalk/stems. I throw them into my morning juice!
- 2-3 tablespoons avocado oil
- sea salt
- ½ cup walnuts lightly toasted and roughly chopped
- ½ cup cooked chickpeas if you're using canned chickpeas, you can just eyeball and use half the can
- 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves from about half a bunch of parsley sprigs, save the stems and again, throw into a green juice!
- 1-2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or pomegranate vinegar
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- optional: paper-thin slices celery and leaves and/or fresh pomegranate seeds a la Jersulaem, diced avocado, diced tofu or flaked canned tuna (to make it a one-bowl meal)
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet or large roasting pan with parchment paper.
- Toss cauliflower florets with 2-3 tablespoons of canola oil, about ¼ teaspoon salt, and a few strong turns on a pepper mill. Spread out the cauliflower on the parchment paper on the baking sheet. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until the cauliflower florets are have started to crisp and turn golden brown at edges and places where they're touching the parchment. Remove pan from oven and scrape the cauliflower into a bowl so you can re-use the pan.
- Decrease the oven temperature to 325°F. Line baking sheet with new parchment paper.
- If your walnuts aren't already toasted, spread them out the parchment paper and toast for about 10 minutes, or until they start to darken and you can smell nuttiness in the air. Remove from oven, scrape the toasted nuts into a bowl. You can put them in the same bowl with the cauliflower.
- Spread the chickpeas out on the same parchment paper. Roast in oven for about 15 minutes or until the chickpeas start to darken and look slightly dry. Remove from oven and pour into bowl.
- Add fresh parsley leaves to bowl with roasted cauliflower, toasted walnuts, and roasted chickpeas. Drizzle olive oil and sherry or pomegranate vinegar. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add celery, pomegranate, avocado, tofu or tuna at the very end, toss gently (especially with avocado). Adjust salt and pepper accordingly.
- Serve at room temperature.