From Erica Reid, Author of Shut Up and Cook
While my kids were away at summer camp one year, I decided it was time for what I called “Camp Erica.” I wanted (and desperately needed!) some time to focus on myself, including my physical health, my diet, and my sleep. I also wanted to focus on eating healthfully, which meant experimenting with new recipes. That’s what inspired this recipe. I pay close attention to my meals when I dine out, and I look carefully at how a dish is prepared; I know that if I love it, I’ll run home to create my own healthier version. This salad is one of those. In fact, I discovered this dish while in another country and was anxious to get home to my own kitchen to give this recipe a try. What makes this healthy recipe even better? Healthy tastes delicious! The nutrients in this salad do not take away from how fantastic it tastes. Cauliflower, although bland in color, gives this recipe a unique twist and a tremendous amount of flavor.
Cauliflower Rice Salad with Green Beans and Chickpeas
Serves 4 to 6
1½ cups dried chickpeas
1 strip kombu
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
¼ pound green beans, ends trimmed
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt or Sea veg
Prep the chickpeas by pouring them in a medium bowl and covering them with about an inch of water; cover with plastic wrap and allow them to soak overnight. Drain and wash the chickpeas and add them to a medium saucepan, along with a strip of kombu, covering them once more with 2 inches of water. Boil, covered, until tender, about 45 minutes. Drain and set aside.
I like using a knife to chop the cauliflower florets until they are very small, with a fine consistency. Alternatively, you can use a food processor/blender and pulse until the cauliflower resembles the texture of rice. Transfer the “cauliflower rice” to a steam basket and set over a saucepan filled with about ½ inch of simmering water. Cover and steam for about 5 minutes, until just softened. Set aside.
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Blanch the green beans for 30 seconds to 1 minute until their color turns bright green. Remove immediately and run under cold water; then transfer to a medium bowl.
To the bowl with the green beans, add the reserved chickpeas, cauliflower rice, juice from 1 lemon, and olive oil. Toss until thoroughly coated. Add salt according to your liking. Garnish with the zest of the lemon.