Roasted Cauliflower and chickpeas makes for a delicious side dish or even light lunch. The cauliflower is roasted with cumin as well as nigella and sesame seeds, plus a drizzle of maple syrup, but that’s not it! There are roasted chickpeas tossed in cayenne and smoked paprika, which in the end are served together topped with fresh herbs, pine nuts and a tahini-lemon dressing. Plant-based, delicious goodness.
You could of course enjoy this side dish as part of a light meal or serve it up with some steamed quinoa, or as a side it with zucchini pancakes or part of a mezze with your favourite Levante sides like hummus, roasted eggplant, tabouleh, even lamb…shall I go on?
How to adapt this recipe
Nigella seeds are something everyone has on hand but highly recommended, they add a slightly toasted oniony flavour to dishes, which is what makes them a terrific garnish. So if you don’t have them, they can of course be omitted. Actually you could simply trade out my recommendation for Za’atar. It’s also terrific with roasted cauliflower.
As for the chickpeas, I love the bit of heat from the cayenne and the smokiness from the cayenne and paprika. In fact, if you are also a fan, you could increase the amount here.
The herbs add freshness, something I love with any roasted vegetables. If you aren’t a fan of cilantro, then trade it out with parsley. Same goes with the dressing. And if you like a tarter flavour add more lemon juice OR add a pop of color and citrus by garnishing this dish with pomegranate seeds.
- Za’atar Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon-Parsley Dressing
- Roasted Vegetable and Chickpeas with Za’atar, Mint and Feta
- Moroccan-Spiced Roast Vegetables and Chickpeas with Bulgur
Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas with Tahini Dressing
For the roasted cauliflower:
- 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds (black cumin seeds)
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 small cauliflower (1kg), trimmed and cut into florets
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the roasted chickpeas:
- 1 x 400 g can organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 2 tablespoon lightly toasted pine nuts
For the tahini dressing:
- 4 tablespoons tahini, stirred
- 2,5 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- cold water, to thin (about 4 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
Preheat oven to 430°F / 220°C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the oil, cumin, seeds and maple syrup; season with salt and pepper. Add cauliflower and toss until evenly coated. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Spread out in an even layer, careful not crowd.
Transfer the preheated oven and and roast on the middle rack for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss the chickpeas in the oil, cayenne and smoked paprika.
After the cauliflower has roasted for 10 minutes, move the tray to the top third position in the oven, and place the tray with the chickpeas on the bottom third rack. Bake another 10-12 minutes, then switch places while also rotating the trays (front to back). Bake another 10-12 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
Meanwhile, make tahini dressing: Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl; season to taste.
Serve the roasted cauliflower and chickpeas topped with herbs, pine nuts and a drizzle of the tahini dressing (plus extra on the side). Enjoy!
- For a little extra color and freshness feel free to garnish with pomegranate seeds.
- Leftovers also taste great cold!
For a relaxing atmosphere in the kitchen I recommend my personal Elle Republic: Chilled Out Kitchen Tunes Playlist on Spotify.
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