Moroccan Cauliflower Salad with Saffron Yoghurt, Pine Nuts & Currants
For a little more spice, use the Crispy Fried Chickpeas (recipe below) instead of tinned chickpeas. This salad also makes a lovely light vegetarian lunch.
Serves 4 as a side
2 tsp Moroccan spice mix
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ small cauliflower
150g cooked chickpeas (drained and rinsed, if using tinned)
50g pine nuts
½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
½ bunch coriander, leaves only
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
For the port-soaked currants
For the saffron yoghurt
100ml warm white wine
1 tsp saffron threads
130g plain yoghurt
juice of 1 lemon
½ tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the cauliflower Preheat the oven to 200ºC/gas mark 6. In a small bowl, combine the Moroccan spice mix and olive oil.
Wash and dry the cauliflower, then place on a chopping board, stem down, and cut into 1cm slices – some will break into little bits, others will stay whole. Place the cauliflower in a large bowl, add the spicy oil mixture and season with salt and pepper. Mix well, using your hands, until everything is well coated.
Tip into a large roasting dish and bake for about 8-10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and crispy. Set aside to cool slightly.
For the saffron yoghurt Pour the wine into a bowl, add the saffron and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and mix to combine, then set aside.
For the port-soaked currants Pour the port into a small saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Add the currants, remove from the heat and leave to cool.
To serve Toss the cooled currants in a bowl with the chickpeas, pine nuts, parsley and coriander. Dollop the saffron yoghurt onto a serving plate. Top with the roasted cauliflower, then the chickpea mixture. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve.
Crispy fried chickpeas
300g dried chickpeas
3 bay leaves
2 tsp sea salt
200ml buttermilk, approximately
55g arborio rice, ground to a powder using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder
vegetable oil, for deep-frying
For the garlic chilli oil
125ml extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
½ tsp chilli flakes
8 sage leaves
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange
To soften the chickpeas Place the chickpeas in a large bowl; pick out and discard any stones or debris. Cover the chickpeas with water and discard any that float.
Thoroughly rinse and drain, then place the chickpeas in a large saucepan. Pour in enough cold water to cover by 5-7.5cm. Add the bay leaves and salt and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1-1½ hours, until softened.
Drain the chickpeas and place on a tray. Refrigerate until cool.
Once cool, place in a bowl and add enough buttermilk to cover. Refrigerate, covered, for 2 hours. Drain off any remaining buttermilk.
To cook the chickpeas Preheat the oven to 90°C/gas mark 2. Line a baking tray with kitchen towel.
Toss the chickpeas with the arborio rice powder and shake off any excess.
Two-thirds fill a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan with vegetable oil. Heat to 170°C/gas mark 3, or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns golden brown in 20 seconds.
Deep-fry the chickpeas in batches for about 3 minutes, until they begin to colour; they should be a very light brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on the lined baking tray. Keep warm in the oven.
To serve Prepare the garlic chilli oil by heating the olive oil in a large frying pan over low heat. Add the garlic, chilli, sage leaves and citrus zests and allow to sizzle for 1-2 minutes without colouring.
Add the chickpeas, tossing to coat in the oil. Season with sea salt and serve warm.
Extracted from Sharing Plates by Luke Mangan (Murdoch Books, approx €22). Photography by Nikki To.