I invented this on the weekend. It's a bit of a weird salad, and I wasn't sure if I should post it. It's not often one sees cauliflower in a salad, and I think there's a good reason for that — if you cook it too long, it's going to be mushy, and you don't want anything mushy in a salad! (Except avocado, perhaps.)
In any case, this wasn't the most amazing salad I've ever had, but it wasn't bad. It wasn't bad at all. I think the combination of olives and cauliflower is highly underrated. And croutons are just great in any salad.
What do you think? Does this seem appetising, or a bit ... meh?
Don't hold back. I can handle the truth.
Chickpea and cauliflower salad with olive-anchovy dressing
1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
Half a loaf of ciabatta (sourdough/bread made with olive oil), crust removed and torn into chunks
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
3 anchovy fillets
1 clove garlic
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup black olives, drained and finely chopped
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 handfuls rocket
1. Lightly steam the cauliflower until just cooked (but still very firm), then plunge into icy water to prevent further cooking.
2. Arrange the bread chunks on a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Roast until golden.
3. In a pestle and mortar, mash the anchovy and garlic until you have a paste. Add the lemon juice, zest and a good glug olive oil, and whisk to create a dressing. Season to taste.
4. In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower, chickpeas, olives and dressing, and stir so everything's nicely coated.
5. Arrange the rocket on a platter and top with the cauliflower and chickpeas. Sprinkle with the croutons, drizzle over any remaining dressing and serve.