This recipe is a wonderful reminder of why cooking is so fun. Taking an ordinary ingredient and flipping it on its head is kind of awesome—I mean, who would have thought a giant head of cauliflower could become the grain-like base to a tasty vegetarian dish? This is the first recipe I've used this technique with, and I can't wait to keep trying out new ways to work with it.
Cauliflower on its own doesn't have much flavor, but the wonderful variety of fresh herbs and ingredients in this recipe makes it far from flavorless. A light dressing of honey, Dijon mustard, olive oil, and lime juice brings all the components together, and the lime-roasted chickpeas (roasted with a bit of chili powder!) add a crunchy, spicy component. The avocado adds a delightful creaminess — and because you're only using half, I suggest using the other half tomorrow to make avocado toast.
Cauliflower "Rice" with Lime-Roasted Chickpeas
- 3/4 cup chickpeas
- zest and juice of 1 lime
- pinch of chili powder
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 head cauliflower, core removed
- 1/2 tablespoon grainy Dijon mustard
- 3/4 teaspoon honey
- 2-3 radishes, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup flat parsley leaves
- 1-2 sprigs fresh mint
- 1/2 apple, thinly sliced
- 1/2 avocado, peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, toasted in a dry skillet until golden brown
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and pour the chickpeas onto the baking sheet. Sprinkle them with the lime zest, chili powder, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Toss to coat and roast until crispy and golden, about 15-20 minutes.
Break up the cauliflower into smaller florets and place in the food processor. Pulse until you have small bits of cauliflower that resemble pieces of rice. Pour into a large bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, a splash of water, a pinch of salt and pepper, mustard, honey, and 1-2 tablespoons olive oil. Pour it over the cauliflower rice a little at a time, tasting as you go. You may not need the whole mixture. Toss to coat.
Add the radishes, parsley, mint, apple and chickpeas to the bowl. Toss to combine. Top the entire mixture with avocado and sunflower seeds, then generously season with salt and pepper (more than you think!)
Recipe adapted from The First Mess.