In June, my favorite farm stand at the Farmers Market has had the most beautiful cauliflower. It is lace and purple in places, almost as if someone watercolored it with lilac color. And the taste is out-of-the-world, so sweet and concentrated. I wanted to make a summery, picnic- or bbq-worthy salad that really highlights the cauliflower, the same way that potato salad features potatoes. I went with a creamy miso-tahini dressing, which I’ve always loved on cauliflower, and added chickpeas to make the dish more hearty. For bursts of complementary sweetness and acidity, I added some vinegar-soaked raisins, as well as toasted almonds for crunch and scallions for a hit of green. I really loved the result and wanted to share it here. Hope you try sometime this summer!
Cauliflower Chickpea Salad with Golden Raisins and Miso Tahini Dressing
- 2 medium-sized cauliflowers (approx. 1.13 kg), cut into florets
- 4 scallions, white tops separated and cut into bite-sized pieces, green tops thinly sliced
- olive oil
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup golden (or regular) raisins
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tbsp white miso
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- juice from 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 dl boiled chickpeas
- ¼ cup toasted almonds
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the cauliflower and the white ends of the scallions on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Drizzle over oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, mix to coat. Roast for 35-40 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until the cauliflower is cooked through and golden.
- Place the raisins in a small bowl and add the red wine vinegar. Mix to coat and let the raisins sit until you’re ready to assemble the salad.
- Make the dressing. Prepare a small bowl or glass of ice water. In another small bowl, combine the tahini, miso, maple syrup, lemon juice, and hot sauce. Blend until smooth. Start adding ice water, a little at a time, whisking it in until you have a creamy but pourable dressing. Taste the dressing for salt and add a pinch of salt if needed.
- In a large bowl, combine the roasted cauliflower and scallions, chickpeas, almonds, raisins (including the soaking liquid) and fresh sliced scallions. Pour the dressing over the top and toss to coat. Preferably let the salad sit for a few hours or overnight, for the flavors to meld. Enjoy the salad at room temperature or cold. Store refrigerated in an airtight glass container.