Vegan Cauliflower, Chickpeas, and Couscous
With warming spices like turmeric and smoked paprika, Vegan Cauliflower, Chickpeas, and Couscous brings Mediterranean flavor to your meal. Vegans and non-vegans will appreciate the healthy dose of veggies and plant-based protein.
Plus, it includes tiny toasted pasta balls!
What is Israeli couscous? I learned it is a relatively new invention from the 1950s. Invented in Israel, it's Hebrew name is p’titim.
The prime minister in 1953, David Ben-Gurion, needed a way to feed the many people moving to the newly re-established state of Israel. There was a shortage of rice, so a wheat-based product was invented and manufactured in the Osem food company factory. These tiny toasted pasta bits were at first shaped like grains of rice but later made into balls resembling couscous.
Israeli couscous appears in both savory and sweet dishes, but I most often serve it alongside chicken, other meats, and veggies. It is a fast and easy-to-prepare side dish that subs in for any grain or rice. Sometimes it is labeled pearl couscous.
In this dish, it is the perfect backdrop for the spiced cauliflower, creamy garbanzo beans, and zesty dressing. Fresh herbs top everything.
Turmeric gives it a unique flavor and color.
Popular in some Mediterranean, North African, and Indian cuisines, turmeric is a ground spice easily recognized by its intense yellow orange color. The color is so intense that it is sometimes used as a fabric dye.
When used in food, turmeric brings an earthy and peppery flavor profile. Its taste, like its color, is bold. So, a little goes a long way!
In this dish, turmeric is used in a quick marinade for the cauliflower before roasting.
Looking for other cauliflower recipes? This one is delicious!
- Cut the cauliflower florets into bite-sized pieces. As you break up a head of cauliflower, florets will vary in size. Cut them all into roughly the same size.
- It keeps well for two or three days in the fridge, so it is a perfect make-ahead dish.
- Serve warm or at room temperature. It even tastes good cold. This flexibility makes it a great buffet addition.
Many thanks to Dishing Out Health for the Moroccan cauliflower and couscous salad recipe.Print
- 6 cups cauliflower florets
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 cup uncooked Israeli couscous
- 1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ⅓ cup raisins
- ¼ cup chopped mint leaves
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ⅓ cup sliced almonds, toasted
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 425F/218C. Move the oven rack to the middle position and place a rimmed baking sheet on it.
- Throw the cauliflower florets into a large bowl. Tip in the olive oil, turmeric, smoked paprika, ½ of the salt, and pepper. Toss everything together to coat, then pour out onto the hot baking sheet into a single layer. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until crisp-tender.
- While the cauliflower is baking, boil 1 ½ cups water in a medium saucepan. Pour in the couscous and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Return to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer. Cook for 10-ish minutes or until water is absorbed and couscous is tender.
- Combine the cauliflower and couscous in a large bowl. Add the chickpeas, raisins, mint, and parsley.
- Make the dressing by pouring all dressing ingredients into a jar. Screw the top on and shake the dressing until combined. Pour dressing over the cauliflower mixture and toss to coat.
- Sprinkle with toasted almond slices just before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers in the fridge.
Keywords: vegan cauliflower, chickpeas, and couscous