Spiced Roast Chicken & Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Dressing

Spiced Roast Chicken & Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Maple Dressing

Spiced Roast Chicken & Cauliflower Salad with Tahini 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 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.

The almonds in the photo are optional, but they do add lovely crunch. And I don’t include the oil and water in my 6 ingredient count.

enough for: 2
takes: 30 minutes

3 teaspoons baharat or ground coriander
6 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
bunch flat leaf parsley leaves

1. Preheat your oven to 250C (480F). mix spices and 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 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 get ready for the compliments 😉

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WINE MATCH: A nice crisp dry Riesling or Gruner Veltliner.

Variations & Substitutions

fancy – add 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup to the dressing. And serve with a handful of roast almonds as per the photo.

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, farro, quinoa or brown rice. You could also serve with flat bread.

more substantial – increase the nuts or toss in some cooked chickpeas.

different spices – replace with 2-3 teaspoons ral el hanout or baharat. Smoked paprika can be lovely as well. Or a combo of paprika and ground coriander.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

spices / olive oil – keep them in the pantry.

cauliflower – ungrated cauli will keep for weeks in a plastic bag in the fridge. Can be frozen but the texture isn’t as good when defrosted.

chicken thigh fillets – freeze them.

tahini – I keep mine in the pantry but will keep longer in the fridge if open.

lemon – whole lemon will keep wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge for months.

parsley – will keep in the fridge wrapped in a plastic bag for a few weeks. Can be frozen or make a parsley oil by packing the leaves into a clean jar and covering with extra virgin olive oil.

Prepare Ahead

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.

Spiced Roast Chicken & Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Maple Dressing-2

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