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Roasted Cauliflower ‘Couscous’ Salad with Pickled Apricots and Carrot Top Salsa Verde

Chickpeas for protein and pickled apricots for tang
Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune; Shannon Kinsella/food styling

In this recipe, carrot tops make a bright salsa verde, a sauce that can dress a variety of hearty salads as well as pastas or grilled meats and fish.

This recipe by Lisa Futterman was originally published in the Chicago Tribune

Ready in
55 m
40 m
(prepare time)
10-15 m
(cook time)
8
Servings

Ingredients

For the cauliflower:

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 Cup cooked (or canned) chickpeas, drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 Cup pickled apricots, diced, see recipe
  • 1 Cup olives, pitted and chopped
  • Carrot top salsa verde, see recipe

For the carrot top salsa verde:

  • 1 large shallot, peeled
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 Cups carrot leaves from 1 bunch carrots, no stems
  • 1/2 Cup fresh herb leaves (parsley, oregano, basil, tarragon, mint or a combination)
  • 3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the pickled apricots:

  • 1/2 Cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • 1.2 Teaspoons salt
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 4 Ounces dried apricots

Directions

For the cauliflower:

Toss the cauliflower florets with the olive oil and spread on a baking sheet or roasting pan.

Season lightly with salt and pepper, then roast in a 450-degree oven until brown but still firm, 10-15 minutes.

Allow to cool, then pulse in the food processor with the chopping blade (you can use the same bowl you made the carrot top salsa verde in) until crumbly. Do not overprocess.

Toss the cauliflower couscous with the chickpeas, bell pepper, apricots and olives.

Drizzle with the salsa verde; toss to coat evenly.

Taste for seasoning.

Serve at once or refrigerate and serve within 24 hours.

Bring to room temperature before serving.

For the carrot top salsa verde:

Set up a food processor with the chopping blade. With the motor running, drop shallot and garlic into the feed tube and whiz.

Remove the lid; scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add carrot leaves and fresh herb leaves; chop finely.

With the machine running, add red wine vinegar vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil to achieve a smooth salsa.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the pickled apricots:

Place cider vinegar,  water, salt and brown sugar in a small saucepan; heat to a boil.

Add dried apricots; bring back to a boil.

Turn off heat and allow to cool.

Store in a jar in the refrigerator.