We’re now in the deep depths of fall and I’ve felt incredibly unprepared for this shift in season. What with the wet, windy and dark grey overcast days; it feels like it has rained every day for the past month. It’s been a tad difficult adjusting to this dreary weather.
I haven’t cooked much lately because I lack motivation, which is weird, because you’d think dark rainy days would inspire comforting soups, rich bubbly stews and fragrant pastries to fill the house with warmth. Nope, we’ve been subsisting on meals we put together hastily and take-out. Take last weekend for example, under the dark wet afternoon sky, we gave up and ordered from a (vegan) pizza joint for our little book club gathering. When I make it to the market, I look for nourishing veggies that come together in a flash like this roasted cauliflower, chickpea and kale with harissa.
This is one heck of a fall meal to have in your repertoire. It’s become a mainstay these past few weeks. I love it for its simplicity and also how wonderful it is. Of course, the hero here is harissa. Made with chili pepper and aromatic and savoury herbs and spices, this nifty North African condiment adds tanginess, warmth and buoyant flavours to dishes. I use it in everything, from enhancing butter to spicing up stews.
For this dish, we start off by roasting cauliflower and chickpea until caramelized and browned, then sauté some onions, stir in our harissa and kale and then toss with the cauliflower and chickpea when it’s done. That’s it. It’s so simple, I almost didn’t share the recipe. On the other hand, it’s too good not to share.
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas (or 1 16oz can chickpeas, drained)
- 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 2 – 3 tablespoons harissa paste
- 1 bunch of kale, stemmed and chopped roughly
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Splash of lemon, optional
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil (oil lightly if using foil)
- In a large bowl, toss cauliflower and chickpeas with caraway seeds, olive oil and salt
- Spread cauliflower and chickpea in a single layer on baking sheet
- Roast in oven for 20 – 25 minutes until cauliflower is tender and browned
- While the cauliflower and kale roasts, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan or skillet
- Stir in mustard seeds and cook for about a minute until seeds start popping
- Add onions and saute, stirring often for about 2 minutes until they soften and become fragrant
- Stir in harissa paste let mixture cook for another minute or so
- Add kale, stir occasionally until kale starts to wilt
- Add in roasted cauliflower and chickpea, toss gently to mix and let cook for 1 – 2 minutes under low heat
- Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired
- Serve warm with a squeeze of lemon