Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpea Salad with Herbaceous Farro, Jalapenos & Lime

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While eating this salad for the first time, I knew it was something that would stick around. It’d become one of those recipes whose ingredients don’t belong on the grocery list, nor would you see it on the weekly menu; it’d become second nature to blindly reach into the fridge and grab a serving, or eat it straight from the bowl. In the short 3 or 4 months since its discovery, it’s rare to go a few days without eating this salad. It’s equally good hot as it is cold, making it versatile and hard to tire of.

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I encourage you to use quality, dry beans whenever possible. Not only do they have better flavor and texture, they also roast faster, contain no sodium, preservatives or BPA, and they’re generally 1/6th the price of their canned brothers. A lot of people have an irrational fear of dried beans, and while they take time, they’re not time consuming. There are even ways around soaking them the night before (because who can remember to do that?) I do the “quick soak method” in which you bring your beans (covered in 3+ inches of water) to a boil, then immediately turn it down to a simmer for 10 minutes. Once the 10 minutes is up, remove the pot from the heat and put a lid on it. Let it sit for 1 hour and then your beans are ready to get cooked!

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No two batches are identical; today’s was made with parsley and dill in the dressing. We do any combination of parsley, cilantro, dill or mint (while sticking to just two, for our brain’s sake) and any type of vinegar we feel like, often adding extra to make up for particularly stingy limes. With just enough left before being topped off this afternoon, our plain black tea kombucha was at the ideal spot (a perfect balance of bitter and sweet) to round out the dressing perfectly. For ease of use, I just went with white wine vinegar in the recipe below.

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ingredients

1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets

2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 14 oz can)

3-4 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 cup uncooked farro (if you avoid gluten, quinoa works equally well)

dressing:

2 jalapenos, seeded and diced

zest + juice of 2 limes

2 tbsp white wine vinegar (more if limes provided little juice)

3 tbsp olive oil

2 green onions, chopped

1/2 cup parsley, mint, cilantro or dill..chopped

1/2 cup of a different selection of parsley, mint, cilantro or dill..chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread cauliflower over a large baking sheet with 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp of cumin and salt and pepper. Do the same, on a separate baking sheet, with the chickpeas. Roast in the oven 30 minutes, flipping half way.

Meanwhile, prepare the farro. Combine 1 cup of farro with 2 cups of vegetable broth in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for ~15-20 minutes. Check often to make sure it doesn’t overcook.

For the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a jar and shake well.

Toss everything together (farro, cauliflower, chickpeas and dressing), serve warm or cold. I like to garnish mine with slivered almonds, bamboo smoked sesame seeds and toasted caraway seeds.

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