Sometimes you just need a big ol’ plate of colorful vegetables. This Spiced Chickpea and Cauliflower Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette delivers the goods with the perfect balance of fresh, light, and filling.
There’s a general pattern we follow when coming home from vacation.
Step 1: unpack.
Why is unpacking 1000 times less fun than packing? Because laundry, that’s why. Nothing says, “Welcome back to the real world!” like doing so much laundry you trip a breaker (yes, that actually happened).
Step 2 is the email inbox. Seeing the bold, black number beside your inbox when you return from vacation is almost enough to make you never want to take a day off again. Go ahead and resign yourself to spending the next few hours deleting promotion emails from stores you can’t even remember shopping at. Don’t worry, you can take breaks. After all, there’s laundry that needs to be folded.
Step 3 is to restock the fridge and get back to the kitchen. This part I actually don’t hate. After a week of serious restaurant eating, I’m usually ready to get back to my cutting board. The Mr. and I take our vacation eating seriously, and by that I mean, we eat with total and complete abandon. For one week, we don’t worry about how balanced our meals are, how many calories are in a hushpuppy, or how much ice cream consumption is socially acceptable within a 48 hour period.
It is a positively glorious time (and I’ll be doing a write-up of our favorites soon!), but by the end of the week, I’m craving simple home cooking that’s heavy on the vegetables.
This Warm Chickpea and Cauliflower Salad is just what I need after a week of indulgence. The base of the salad is loaded with fresh tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, and onion. Drenched in a zesty lemon cilantro vinaigrette, it’s refreshing, light, and sings with summer flavor.
This salad would make a great side dish all by itself, but I wanted something a little more substantial. The answer came in warm sauteed chickpeas and cauliflower coated in tingly allspice, cardamom, and cumin. The combination is perfect for these May days that hang somewhere in the balance between spring and summer. Cold and hot, light but filling, this is a satisfying salad that’s absolutely vacation detox worthy. Add it to your Memorial Day menu and you’ll have a great vegetarian and gluten free option to feed the masses!
Fried Chickpea and Cauliflower Salad
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 lemon, zested + 2 Tablespoons juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 cucumber, halved and sliced
- 1 sweet orange bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine
Here are a few more great salads for Memorial Day!
Greek Pasta Salad with Crab and Feta
Strawberry Spinach Salad with Sweet Lemon Dressing
Confetti Crunch Chickpea Salad from Healthy Delicious
Cilantro Lime Cucumber Salad from The Food Charlatan
Chicken Bacon Ranch Potato Salad from One Sweet Mess
We just got back from vacation too Courtney!! Just a 2 day getaway, but hey, i’ll take what I can get. I’ve been avoiding my email like a champ. and my suitcase is not unpacked at all, so you win. haha. Wishing I had this salad for dinner! Yum.
Hey a 2 day getaway is always better than no getaway! 🙂 I have been known to live out of a vacation suitcase for weeks after getting back so no judgment here!