What to Make: Moroccan Cauliflower Salad

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

Ingredients
2 tsp Moroccan spice mix
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
? small cauliflower
150g cooked chickpeas (drained and rinsed, if using tinned)
50g pine nuts
? bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves only
? bunch coriander, leaves only
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

For the port-soaked currants
200ml port
55g currants

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For the saffron yoghurt
100ml warm white wine
1 tsp saffron threads
130g plain yoghurt
juice of 1 lemon
? tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Method

For the cauliflower Preheat the oven to 200?C/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.

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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

Ingredients
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
? tsp chilli flakes
8 sage leaves
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange

Method

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 1-1? hours, until softened.

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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.

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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.

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