Saturday, January 22, 2011

Spicy Cauliflower and Chickpeas

Cauliflower has to be one of my favorite vegetables. It’s not only low in fat but also high in fiber, folate, vitamin C and vitamin B6.

When I was young, the only way I could eat it was raw with a little ketchup and mayo. Now, I adore it cooked.

I also love it’s colors - green, orange, and purple – and have created a lot of appetizing recipes using these varieties.

The Spicy Cauliflower recipe below has a little kick to it with the red chilies. The combination of the cumin, mustard seeds and ginger really gave it a superb taste.

I also used cauliflower this week to make a healthy pizza. I piled on a mix of cauliflower, red peppers, celery, capers, golden raisins, olives, garlic, and parsley. I added a little bit of orange juice and olive oil to the mix and put it on the pizza crust with roma tomatoes and parmesan about 5 minutes before it was due to come out of a really hot oven.

Bon Appetit!

Spicy Cauliflower

3 tablespoons oil

3/4 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

1 1/2 teaspoons whole mustard seeds

1 large onion, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)

1/4 cup finely shredded peeled ginger

5 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 medium head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into large florets

3/4 cup water

1 cup cooked chickpeas

1-2 small red chilies, thinly sliced, seeds removed for less heat

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over high heat in a large skillet. Add spices and cook until fragrant and golden, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in the onion, 3 tablespoons ginger, 3 tablespoons garlic, and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Cook until onions are tender and golden at the edges, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

Wash and dry pan and return to medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil; heat until shimmering. Add half the cauliflower and brown on one side, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from pan, and repeat with remaining oil, cauliflower, ginger, and garlic.

Combine batches of cauliflower in pan. Stir in chickpeas and chilies; cook uncovered until chickpeas are heated through and liquid is gone, about 3 minutes.

Stir in onions and serve.

With the leftover chickpeas, you can make a crunchy, low calorie snack

Spicy Toasted Chickpeas

One 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground hot paprika

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss chickpeas with oil and spices until evenly coated.

Spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, shaking pan occasionally, until chickpeas are golden and crunchy, about 30 minutes.

Let cool completely.

Store in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.