Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Roasted Cauliflower with Chickpeas and Olives

I’ve been branching out in the world of vegetables lately.  I have always eaten and enjoyed my veggies (with the exception of brussel sprouts), but I am uninspired when it comes to cooking vegetables.  My instinct is to smoother vegetables in cheese sauce or mayonnaise (Thanks, Mom!).  My health conscience mind shies away from these treatments.  So, I struggle to get tasty vegetables on the table.  I usually resort to serving salad.

I want my kids to grow up loving vegetables.  I have high hopes for my daughter.  She tried brussel sprouts at a recent dinner party we attended, and she liked them!  Les and I shook our heads in awe and confusion (he feels the same way about brussel sprouts as I do).  I have also been able to get my son to eat cabbage and swiss chard, but I still need to offer more variety.

When I saw this recipe for Roasted Cauliflower with Chickpeas and Olives in Cooking Light, I thought I had it made!  My son loves anything with olives, and I thought my daughter would enjoy the flavors.  I couldn’t wait to try this vegetable recipe.

I love the tart and spicy flavors of the red pepper, olives and lemon juice.  The flavors paired well with the cauliflower adding a brightness that was delicious.  I didn’t love the chickpeas in this dish.  After roasting in the oven for 20 minutes, the chickpeas were rubbery and dry.  I love chickpeas for their plump texture and nutty flavor, but that was lost in the roasting.  That being said, I will still make Roasted Cauliflower again, but I will wait to add the chickpeas until the end, so they can heat up without drying out.

Roasted Cauliflower with Chickpeas and Olives
Adapted from Cooking Light
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
24 Spanish olive, sliced in half
8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Juice from one lemon
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 450°.  Combine the cauliflower, olives and garlic on a sheet pan.  Sprinkle with crushed red pepper and salt, and drizzle with the olive oil.  Toss well to coat.  Bake the cauliflower mixture for 18 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes.  Add the chickpeas and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes, or until the cauliflower is browned and crisp tender and the chickpeas are warm.  Sprinkle with lemon juice and parsley and serve.  Serves 6.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

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