The beauty about this cauliflower, aubergine and chickpeas salad is that it can make an amazing apetizer or starter, a great lunch or dinner or just imagine it as a side to some beautifully cooked lamb chops cooked to perfection oozing out with so much flavour, sorry but when I talk lamb, my mouth starts flooding ;-))
I am sure you will agree with me that a quick meal can come in very handy most times; something not only that you do not have to spend too long to cook/prepare but it is super healthy too ❤️
Well, this is exactly what this cauliflower, aubergine and chickpeas salad is all about.
A very rapid one to put together and if you happen to have some leftover grilled veggies and some canned or pre-cooked chickpeas or any beans, bring it on!! This could only take 15 minutes or less to put on the table. Sounds pretty easy, doesn't it?! ????
You can have it warm, cod, however, you fancy really. It could be the perfect lunch for work for the next day (if any left from previous day …. make more as the next day will be a real winner too. Just needs a little refreshing with a drizzle more of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of salt and here you have it!
I really enjoy mixing ingredients and I love it even more when you have fun and you get outcomes like this. It is really amazing what you can do with just a few ingredients.
This truly beautiful, light, nutritious salad has plenty of room for customization according to taste and likings.
Do you want this dish vegan?
Simply skip the cheese and it's kept a beautiful vegan and gluten free option.
Alternatively, if you fancy a little more added to this cauliflower salad, like more protein or more just add any favourite meat to it. I suppose it really depends on whether it will be a main or just a starter but you could simply add one or two poached eggs on top and few more vegetables.
As I said this can be served as a side dish or a starter, but it can very well be a nice and truly nutritious, yet light dinner, just like we have had it last night, just this! With some desert of course after.
Variations and tips:
- The aubergine slices could be sprinkled some salt on and left aside for at least 20 minutes to half an hour to release the juice but this is entirely optional and you don't have to do this if you don't have the time.
- The aubergine can be replaced by any other vegetable that you may like such as courgettes, butternut squash, pumpkin, carrots, peppers and so on.
- I normally buy the organic dry chickpeas and boil them but occasionally I used the organic canned chickpeas and if you do not like or don’t happen to have any chickpeas around your kitchen, feel free to substitute these with any canned or home-cooked beans or lentils.
Here are some more salad recipes you will LOVE to make:
- Eggs, spicy lamb koftas and salad boats
- Four-Potato salad recipe with egg and swede
- All seasons orzo, halloumi and olive salad
- Salmon and crudités salad with coconut blossom nectar and umami salt vinaigrette
- Seriously good chunky roasted cauliflower with capers and raisins dressing
However and whenever you wish to have it, just enjoy it! It is really delicious!
Cauliflower, aubergine and chickpeas salad
- chopping board
- ovenproof dish
- 2 meduim aubergines (cut length wise)
- 1 small cauliflower head
- 400 g chickpeas (cooked)
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp coconut oil
- 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 handful pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp paprika powder (smoked)
- 1/4 tsp cumin powder (optional)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt (coarsed) or Himalayan pink salt
- 250 g mixed salad (spinach, watercress, rocket)
- 4 mushrooms (white or chestnut)
- 30 g parmesan shavings (to serve)
- Wash the aubergine and slice lengthwise.
- Trim, wash the cauliflower and make into small florets.
- Prepare a large oven tray, sprinkle some Olive Oil and arrange the aubergines slices. Sprinkle some salt but if you have done the resting time with the salted aubergines * (see recipe notes) don't add any more salt, just squeeze the juice out and place in the tray.
- Scatter the cauliflower florets all over the tray, filling all gaps between the aubergines and drizzle or brush on the remaining olive oil. Sprinkle some of the cayenne pepper, cumin and paprika powder.
- Place in the oven (no need to preheat) under the grill at 180-190 C and cook for 10-12 minutes until they are beginning to get some colour. Keep an eye on them as they can burn very fast so adjust temperature or distance between the grill and them accordingly. When you are happy and think they are ready, take out of the oven, let cool for 2-3 min. Then cut in little crossway strips.
- Take the chickpeas out of the can, drain and rinse. Put them in the frying pan on medium fire with the coconut oil and the mushrooms. Sprinkle some cayenne pepper (careful it is pretty spicy in case you have not used it before), paprika and/or cumin powder if you like. Cook them for about 4 minutes tossing them around a couple of times until they get a bit of colour. I have added some spring greens and cooked along with the chickpeas and the mushrooms too.
- Prepare the pomegranate seeds by taking them out nicely from the fruit.
- Take out the serving plates, lay in the mixed salad leaves and start arranging your ingredients, the cauliflower, the aubergines, scatter the chickpeas and pomegranate seeds and finish by crumbling some feta cheese and adding some Parmesan cheese shavings.
- Drizzle over one tablespoon or two of balsamic vinegar.