Spiced Roast Chicken & Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Maple Dressing
This is one of my all-time favourite salads. And I don’t take such things lightly.
It was inspired by a recipe in one of my favourite cookbooks Dishing Up The Dirt by farmer and fellow vegetable lover, Andrea Bemis.
It’s wonderful as a simple one-tray weeknight oven supper dinner. It also doubles as a show-stopping side salad that’s perfect when you need to ‘bring a plate’. I just skip the chicken if I’m using it as a side and keep the parsley, almond and dressing separate if it needs to travel. Then toss it all together just before serving.
If you’re not a cauliflower fan, I dare you to try this. It just may be the recipe that converts you to the joys of one of my favourite favourite vegetables.
This time I’m making an exception from my usual 6-ingredients rule – but it’s totally worth it!
enough for: 2
takes: 30 minutes
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 head cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized trees
4 chicken thigh fillets, sliced
1/3 cup tahini
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup water
2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey (optional)
bunch flat leaf parsley leaves
handful roast almonds (optional)
1. Preheat your oven to 250C (480F). mix paprika, coriander, olive oil and a good pinch of salt in a medium bowl.
2. Place cauli in a large baking tray and drizzle over half the spiced oil. Toss cauli to evenly coat then roast for 10 minutes.
3. Toss chicken in the remaining spiced oil and allow to marinate while the cauli cooks.
4. After 10 minutes, stir the cauli then add the chicken to the roasting pan. Roast for another 10-15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Until cauli and chicken are cooked through.
5. While the cauli is cooking, make the dressing by combining tahini, lemon, water, maple syrup / honey (if using), and 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a jug or bowl. Whisk or blend with a stick blender until you have a creamy sauce. Taste and salt as needed.
6. When the cauli and chicken are cooked, transfer to a serving platter. Toss in parsley leaves. Drizzle over dressing. And top with roast almonds (if using). And get ready for the compliments ;)
WINE MATCH: A nice crisp dry Riesling or Gruner Veltliner.
Variations & Substitutions
garlicky – add a small clove of garlic smashed with a little salt to the dressing before blending.
vegetarian – skip the chicken and increase the almonds. For more protein serve with a fried egg each.
no tahini – use greek yoghurt spiked with lashings of salt and pepper instead of the tahini dressing. Labneh, goats cheese or other creamy soft cheese will also work.
different veg – you could use diced root veg like sweet potato, parsnip, turnip or rutabaga (swede). Kohlrabi or broccoli will also work.
carb-lovers – toss in some cooked grains like barley, quinoa or brown rice.
more substantial – increase the nuts or toss in some cooked chickpeas.
different spices – replace paprika and coriander with 2-3 teaspoons ral el hanout or baharat.
The chicken and cauli can be roasted then kept in the fridge for up to a week or frozen. Allow to come to room temp before serving with the dressing, parsley and almonds. Or warm in the oven if you’re in the mood for a hot meal.
Have fun in the kitchen!
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