Fresh Za’atar Fried Chickpea, Chilli Beet, and Purple Cauliflower Salad

Preparation 55 minutes // Serves: 6

What You'll Need

  • 1 bunch fresh thyme sprigs (Za'atar)
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (Za'atar)
  • 1 tbsp ground sumac (Za'atar)
  • ½ tsp sea salt (Za'atar)
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar (dressing)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (dressing)
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced (dressing)
  • 2 tsp honey (dressing)
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (dressing)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste (dressing)
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1½ cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 head purple cauliflower, stemmed and cut into 1-inch florets
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 6 cups baby spinach
  • 1 package chilli love beets
  • ½ cup goat cheese

What to Do

  1. Make the Za’atar:
    Preheat the oven to 160ºC and place the thyme sprigs on a baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes until the herbs are dry. Slide the leaves off the sprigs and finely chop into almost a finely ground powder. Using the back of your knife scoop the dried thyme powder into a small bowl and add the toasted sesame seeds, sumac, and salt and stir to combine the za’atar.
  2. Make the Dressing:
    In a small bowl whisk to combine the vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, and honey. Whisk in the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. There should be a noticeable sweetness that balances the acidity of the vinegar and lemon.
  3. Heat 3 tablespoon of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Once the oil is shimmering in the pan, add the chickpeas, 2 tbsp of the fresh za’atar, and season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes until chickpeas are aromatic, lightly golden, and fried on the outsides.
  4. Add the spinach to the bottom of a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  5. 5. Return to the oven, increase heat to 190ºC, and line two sheet pans with parchment paper. Spread out the cauliflower florets and chopped onion in single layers divided over sheet pans, one with cauliflower and one with onions. Drizzle over one tablespoon of olive oil between the pans and toss to coat all sides.
  6. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes until cooked through and lightly caramelized. Transfer the roasted veggies immediately to top the bowl of spinach. Add in the chickpeas, sweet chili beets, and pour over the dressing. Gently toss salad, taste to adjust for seasonings, and transfer to a large serving dish. Top with goat cheese and sprinkle over extra fresh za’atar if desired and serve!