Friday, April 8, 2011

Warm Chickpea and Roasted Cauliflower Salad: Stockpile this

I’m not ready for “the Big One.”

You know, the one geologists keep saying is long overdue in California. The one that I know I should be worrying about because living in my American bubble doesn’t make me personally immune to disaster. And the one that has likely inspired this month’s Earthquake Preparedness campaign in Los Angeles that has adopted the unfortunate slogan, “When it rocks, are you ready to roll?”

No, Earthquake Preparedness People Who Are Trying to Frighten Me, I’m not ready to roll. Ever. Not with the homies that Ty and Cher sang about in Clueless and certainly not with the ground.

I don’t have extra water, I don’t have a surplus of dehydrated food tucked underneath my mattress, and I don’t even have batteries for the gargantuan flashlight my dad gave me for Christmas three years ago, “just in case.”

What I do have is an excessive amount of dried cranberries, quinoa and garlic – all of which I can’t go to the store without buying lest I suddenly find myself without one of my pantry staples. This is what frightens me, people – not probable impending disasters that I need to take more seriously, but the possibility that I might, gasp, run… out…. of… quinoa!

Oh yes, the horror.

But I also – quite unintentionally – have been stockpiling something a bit more practical these past few months. The top shelf of my cabinet is now almost entirely devoted to the 15-ounce cans of chickpeas that I’ve been buying from Whole Foods on a weekly basis to have on hand for quick lunches and healthy vegetarian dinners. It’s become somewhat of a fetish lately – an obsession that I was growing slightly concerned about until I read Molly Wizenberg’s article in this month’s Bon Appetít about chickpeas and the man, her husband, who she considers a “Chick Magnet” because of his well-stocked pantry.

Of chickpeas.

It was like she had read my mind. Which I’m sure she is completely capable of doing because I’m fairly certain Ms. Orangette possesses other super powers. How else can one explain her ability to make 20 chocolate cakes for her own wedding without losing her mind? I can’t even make one chocolate cake without partially losing my mind and/or calling my mother thirteen times to ask if it’s okay if I use regular flour instead of cake flour.

So, of course, seeing as Molly was going to all the trouble of reading my mind and addressing all my concerns about housing a miniature canned goods department in my pantry, I had to make the article’s accompanying recipe for a chickpea salad with lemon, parmesan, and fresh herbs.

With a few of my own modifications and nips and tucks.

I need to find some use for all that quinoa I have lying around don’t I?

Warm Chickpea and Roated Cauliflower Salad with Lemon, Parmesan and Fresh Herbs

Inspired by Molly Wizenberg’s recipe in the April 2011 issue of Bon Appetít

Serves 2

1 15-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed, drained

¼ cup fresh basil, chopped

¼ cup fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

2-4 garlic gloves, minced (I use 4, feel free to use only 2 if you have a low tolerance for garlic breath)

1 small cauliflower, sliced into flat, ½ inch florets

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

½ teaspoon sea salt

Quinoa for serving, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place cauliflower florets in a large glass baking dish and toss with two teaspoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon of sea salt. Roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring once, or until florets are lightly browned and can be easily pierced with a fork.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium high heat. When hot, add the remaining teaspoon of oil, tilting the pan so it coats the entire surface. Add the chickpeas and garlic, reduce the heat to medium, and sauté together until the chickpeas are lightly browned. Lower the heat, toss in the cauliflower, and then add the lemon juice, lemon zest, basil, and parsley. Stir until just combined. Serve immediately, topped with grated Parmesan, and, if so inclined, next to a fluffy bed of quinoa.


Nick said...

I've been on a roasted cauliflower kick lately, so I'll have to try out this recipe. I always have chickpeas on hand for the same reasons as you.

Daily Gluttony said...

Ooooh, I've been meaning to make Molly Wizenberg's recipe, but I LOOOOVE your addition of roasted cauliflower (one of my favorite things to eat lately) Bookmarking this now & will be making this weekend. Thanks for posting! :)

Anna A. said...

loving this salad combo TALF. I'm all about the 15 oz chick pea cans. Yes!

cyberHag said...

OMG yes, chickpeas are always in my pantry. I love them raw, roasted, tossed, salted or sauced! Great recipe. Thank you!

Gastronomer said...

I am also obsessed with cauliflower! What is it about them that's got all the foodies jumpin' for joy?! Maybe it's their wart-like appearance ;-)

Big one, shmig one.

Alessandra said...

I made this dish for dinner tonight, and I can vouch for the fact that it's absolutely delicious!!

Diana said...

Nick - I can't go to Trader Joe's without picking up at least one head of cauliflower lately! I can easily eat half a head in a sitting too.

Pam - Hope you like it - definitely let me know how it turns out for you! :)

Anna - I knew you'd understand. ;)

CyberHag - They are so good - and so versatile! I think all my favorite recipes lately involve chickpeas... this could quickly go the way of quinoa!

Cathy - Haha, maybe! I think you need to make this version for Vern - it's got lots of basil! But sadly, no cinnamon. ;)

Ali - Yay! So glad you liked it! :)

Katherine Josh said...

i've been drinking bird nest soup every night (i only get the homemade kind back at home). the only reason why i drink it is because it's supposed to be good for complexion.

i’ve been taking the store-bought kind online (e.g. of famous branded only of course) which is directly mailed from Hong Kong. this would be at a more affordable price.