Roasted Cauliflower & Za’atar Salad

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As the cauliflower was roasting in the oven and I was busy preparing the other vegetables, the smell of burnt plastic started oozing through the kitchen. I could hear our pyromanic son laughing as he ran from the crime scene into the next room. All the dials for the stove top were switched on to full heat and our poor old spatula was melting away on the stove. I had barely scraped it clean before I could hear him giggling again, this time from our bedroom. In less than a minute, he had managed to pull out every pair of clothing he could possibly reach from our wardrobe and was currently bathing in a sea of trousers. “No harm in that” I thought and left him for a minute to check on the cauliflower and continue preparing the vegetables and chickpeas. All of a sudden it went quiet in the bedroom and then … “squeeeeak” the sound of pebbles scraping against glass, cut through the apartment. Isac had just figured out that he could use our iPad as a skateboard and was skating away in the hallway.

He’s an awesome little guy but sometimes he is simply a hooligan with more energy than the sun. This cauliflower salad, however, turned out perfectly regardless of how much he tried to disrupt it.

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Anyone following us on instagram must have noticed our love for the Middle-Eastern spice blend Za’atar. We always keep it within reach and use it on avocado toasts, salads, soups and omelets. The slight tartness from the dried and ground sumac berries is well balanced with nuttiness from toasted sesame seeds and herbiness from thyme.

We have been collaborating and creating recipes with spice company Santa Maria and when they asked what spice blend we thought was missing from their product range, the obvious answer was za’atar. So now we have created a Green Kitchen Stories special edition Za’atar blend for them and it’s available through this competition on their site (only in Sweden, sorry!).

This recipe is however available for everyone, regardless if you are using our za’atar blend or another one (often available in spice shops, delis and Middle-Eastern food stores). You can also make your own by combining 4 tbsp sumac, 4 tbsp toasted sesame seeds, 2 tbsp dried thyme, 1 tbsp dried oregano and 2 tsp cumin.

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In this recipe, roasted cauliflower florets are sprinkled with za’atar and mixed into a fresh salad with avocado, spinach, parsley and cucumber slices and topped with small pomegranate jewels. It is served with creamy chickpeas drenched in yogurt and tahini and also sprinkled with za’atar. If pomegranate isn’t in season, it can be replaced with raisins (preferably yellow).

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Roasted Cauliflower with Za’atar & Yogurty Chickpeas
Serves 2 very hungry persons or 4 normal

1 head of cauliflower
1 good drizzle of olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 large cucumber, seeded
1 avocado
1 x 400 g /14 oz tin chickpeas (or 200 g cooked)
50 ml / ¼ cup natural yogurt
1 tbsp tahini
1-2 tbsp za’atar spice blend
1 handful parsley
1 handful spinach
seeds from ½ pomegranate

Preheat the oven to 220°C / 450°F. Divide the cauliflower into florets and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and toss until all is combined. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until soft and golden and with slightly crispy edges.
Meanwhile, prepare the other vegetables. Divide the cucumber in half. Use a teaspoon to scrape out the seeds and cut into 1 cm / 1/3 inch slices. Cut the avocado in half, remove the stone and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh. Cut into large chunks. Rinse the chickpeas thoroughly. Pour them into a bowl and mix with yogurt and tahini until all is mixed.
Remove the cauliflower from the oven and sprinkle generously with za’atar.
Add all salad ingredients to a large bowl and toss carefully to combine. Make space in the side and add the yogurt chickpeas. Top with pomegranate seeds and a sprinkle of za’atar. Enjoy!

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Thank you Santa Maria for the fun opportunity to create this spice blend and for sponsoring this post. All words and opinions are our own.

33 Comments

  • I tried it, but i try adding oyster sauce, I was suprised how it was tasted,,my husband loved it.
  • This looks so delicious and great for a party or barbecue to feed a crowd. I imagine you need quite good chickpeas for this as some of the canned chickpeas can be a bit chalky and I don't think that would be nice with yoghurt. Great recipe, well done!
  • This is great. I would love to see some options for quick healthy meals that I can either make at work or make in the morning and bring to work with me. I always end up stoping by the vending machine but I talked to my boss and we finally ditched the crud vending machine and got one of those healthy vending machines. Its great because now I at least have the option of getting healthier choices. The brand of the machine is Grow Healthy Vending. Their website is http://growhealthyvending.com But in addition to better snacking options I would love some quick healthy meal options to bring to work.
  • Ah, Isaac is adorable XD hope he didn't injure himself along the way! This roasted cauliflower salad probably marries so many delicious textures and flavors too! Amazing!
  • Jette Kristiansen
    Do you remember that old movie Like Water for Chocolate, where the girl cries while she is baking the wedding cake and all the wedding guests start crying when they eat her cake? I think you have now made people all over the world eat roasted cauliflower salad with a giggle. Thank you!
  • Gorgeous salad. Za'atar is a staple spice in my kitchen too. I can never get enough of it or roasted cauliflower. And what a great idea to add the yogurt chickpeas to make a meal of the salad.
  • Esmeralda Mochino
    Hey guys!!!I'm from italy, and I just love your recepies!!! I would like to send you a privat e-mail, but I can not find Yours!!!! where can I send you things!?!?
    • Hi, you can reach us at david@gkitchenstories.com and luise@gkitchenstories.com /David
  • Anne
    Wow. Your son sounds awful. Good luck with that.
    • Katrina
      What a rude thing to say. You sound like a miserable person.
  • John
    Love the look of this salad. Haven't tried za'atar before but will definitely do so now!
  • Isac sounds like my feisty 6-year-old. All boy and full of life. It's hard work, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Thanks for sharing a glimpse into your real life and thanks too for this gorgeous recipe.
  • Edith Marie Pasquier
    Isac sounds more of a creative trickster (!) than a hooligan (rather strong use, but then I'm British and have a rather different picture of the word - though of course you were joking :-)). Lovely recipe, gave it a go with sumac, but will source out Za'atar. The North of Sweden has many beautiful days with blue, blue skies and warm sun and the light is returning ... I was given your books for Easter, THANK YOU!
  • I just love Za'atar - and Sumac! They are both also excellent on feta cheese or thick yoghurt. All the best, with food loving regards from Katinkas Kitchen!
  • This sounds absolutely beautiful. I love za'atar! I was introduced to it when I studied abroad in Jordan and took a cooking class. Definitely going to try this!
  • I got a huge laugh imagining Isac skateboarding on an iPad!! He sounds like such a mischief-maker ;) Its seems that you handle it with wonderful parental aplomb, though. I don't know if I would be that understanding if someone went skateboarding on MY iPad!! ;) But it looks like this salad turned out wonderful even with all the interruptions.
  • Oh, I love za'atar. I tend to use it most brushed onto a flatbread, or sprinkled over hummus, which is to say I don't use it enough. I love the idea of roasting it with cauliflower. What a bright, beautiful salad.
  • Emily
    Where is the recipe for the za'tar mixture posted?
    • Frida
      You can find a recipe for the za'atar mixture in the post "Chickpea Za'atar Salad"! :)
  • The salad sounds delicious. I'm also a sumac fan, it's perfect to brighten up so many recipes. I'm sure your mix is just perfect. Oh boy and good luck with Isaac ;)
  • This recipe is so beautiful! Ahh your son sounds (adorably) like a handful, I don't know how you get any work done. I sometimes feel like my cat drives me crazy trying to get into things when I'm working on a recipe, but I guess kids will at least eat the food instead of just knocking it over. I love the yogurt sauce for the chickpeas, it seems like it adds some nice richness to the dish.
  • I love how colourful this salad is. And my kids only eat cauliflower when it's nicely roasted, so this is the perfect recipe. Thanks! I personally wouldn't mix chickpeas with yogurt though. I would rather drizzle it with some more olive oil and add herbs and spices.
  • I LOVE the way that cauliflower looks! This sounds like a truly amazing salad, there's a bit of everything. Perfect to take care of my cravings!

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