Spice-roasted cauliflower, golden Halloumi cheese, and quinoa are paired with a bright chive dressing to make a salad that can stand alone as a meal. Add your favorite salad toppers to make it your own!
Donata and I are on a bit of a health kick this month, or should I say, we’re thinking a lot about being on a health kick and our foodie inner spirits are struggling! We check in with one another to admit our wins, as well as our croissant & chocolate missteps. We’re trying though, and we are of the belief that life’s too short not to have a cookie when you really need one ; )
The good news is, only 11 days left until this month is over and then we are going to TOWN, and I mean T-O-W-N with some really good bakes & delights for Valentine’s & the Super Bowl - watch this space!
Back to healthy & delicious eats… Here’s a salad that I can happily eat in the winter. I need a robust salad with warm things in it, during the colder months. If it’s too leafy and light, I’ll be scouring the pantry within the hour, and we all know that usually doesn’t end well. This delightful bowl was very satisfying and ticked all the boxes I require for a salad to be considered a meal - it has roasted cauliflower, warm halloumi, and some quinoa to bulk it up. The dressing has an aquafaba mayo base which I gave a green makeover with chives.
This is barely a recipe, it’s a list of ingredients that lends itself to switching what you have in-house and experimenting. At the bottom of the recipe you’ll find plenty of substitution suggestions, including another dressing if you’re not into aquafaba. Now go scour the fridge, dig up those leftovers and make yourself a bowl of this! xoxo Kirsty
Ingredients Serves 4
1 head of cauliflower, torn into florets
2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil
2 teaspoons za’atar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
1 cup (about 200g) quinoa, cooked according to package instructions
1 block of halloumi (approx. 200g/ 7 ounces)
1 bag of arugula (rucola), baby kale or other tender leafy greens (a few handfuls)
1 avocado, cubed
pickled red onion (recipe here) or thin slices of raw red onion
sunflower seeds or other seeds or nuts
fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro and/or chives
Chive Aquafaba Dressing:
1/4 cup (60ml) aquafaba, the liquid drained from 1 can of chickpeas. You can roast the chickpeas and add them to the salad for a delicious crunch!
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon (15ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (180ml) neutral tasting oil such as sunflower oil
Preheat the oven to 400F (200C). On a large baking sheet, toss the cauliflower florets with the olive oil, za’atar, salt and pepper.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes until browned, flip the florets halfway through the cooking time. Set aside.
Meanwhile, prepare the aquafaba dressing. Combine the aquafaba, mustard, lemon juice and salt in a tall vessel, one that an immersion blender will fit into*. Blend until well combined. Drizzle the olive oil into the mixture whilst blending (this step is important, I’ve tried this by dumping the oil in from the start and it doesn’t work!). To stop the vessel from slipping, put a kitchen towel underneath it. Keep blending, as you drizzle, bit by bit, stopping the drizzle from time to time to make sure everything is incorporated. It will take about 2 minutes to thicken. Once thick, add in two tablespoons of chopped chives and blend until the dressing has a lovely green color. Taste for seasoning and chill until ready to use.
Next, prepare the halloumi. You definitely want to do this last as the halloumi tastes best when warm. Slice the halloumi into 4 even slices and pat dry. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the halloumi cubes and dry fry them for about 2 minutes per side, until nicely browned. If the pan isn’t hot enough, the cheese will release some moisture, but don’t worry, it will evaporate and the cheese will eventually brown! Remove from the heat and chop into dice-sized cubes.
To assemble the salad, divide the arugula, roasted cauliflower, quinoa, halloumi cubes and avocado between 4 plates. Add the other toppings if desired: pickled red onion, seeds, herbs and a sprinkling of lemon zest. Dot with the aquafaba chive dressing and serve plenty on the side.
* You could also use a small food processor or blender, but I’ve found the immersion blender to work best as there’s not enough liquid for most blenders to work with.
Try feta instead of halloumi for a quicker version, which requires less stove-top time.
Substitute other herbs such as parsley or cilantro for the chives in the dressing.
Experiment with spices, instead of za’atar, try curry powder or a mix of onion & garlic powders.
Instead of quinoa, use couscous, wild rice or farro. This is a great way to use up leftovers!
If you don’t feel like making aquafaba, shake together another dressing in a jar. Find one of our personal favourites here.