I have a slight obsession with all things middle eastern and I've been known to sprinkle za'atar on just about everything. It's a beautiful spice and one I recommend you try when you've over your standard Italian herb mix. I put together this salad for a catering event I was working on - the brief was 'fresh summer appropriate (and healthy) salads that filled peoples tummy's'. I received many compliments on it - so I think I did all right. The trick with adding bulk to a salad is the generous sprinkling of nuts and seeds (good fats = satiation) and plenty of extra virgin olive oil.
Za'atar Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpea and Kale Salad with Minty Yoghurt Dressing
Serves 8 as a side dish or 6 as a main meal
1 head cauliflower, cut into small 2cm florets
1 tin BPA free organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2-3 tbs olive oil
2 tbs za'atar spice
1 tbs sumac
1 1/2 cups quinoa (I like to use the red/brown varieties as visually it looks better and they have a nice earthy flavour)
1 cube organic vegetable stock
1 cup almonds (roasted and unsalted are even better), roughly chopped
1 small bunch kale, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
Minty Yoghurt Dressing
1 cup full-fat natural Greek yoghurt
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 handful mint, roughly chopped
1 handful parsley, roughly chopped
1/2 glove garlic, crushed
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan-forced. Place the cauliflower and chickpeas on a baking paper lined oven tray (you may need two trays). Generously drizzle in olive oil. Sprinkle over the za'atar spice blend and then sumac. Toss the vegetables and chickpeas to coat them in the spices. Season generously with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes, or until golden and lightly charred. Remove from the oven and set aside. Squeeze over the juice of 1/2 lemon.
Meanwhile, place the quinoa, vegetable stock and 3 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed. Take off the heat but leave the lid on until your ready to assemble the salad.
Right before assembling, lightly cook the kale in olive oil and salt and pepper for 1-2 minutes, or until just wilted slightly. Tip: cooking your kale in fat enables your body to absorb the fat-soluble nutrients (vitamins A,E,D and K) more efficiently.
To prepare the Minty yoghurt Dressing combine all of the ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
To assemble the salad combine the cooked quinoa (lightly fluffed with a fork), roasted cauliflower, chickpeas and sautéed kale. Toss together and drizzle with a little extra olive oil. Sprinkle over the chopped almonds. To serve, divide the salads between plates or bowls and dollop with the Minty Yoghurt Dressing. BLISS.