I use spelt couscous for this salad which makes a substantial meal.  Ajvar paste from red peppers gives it a great flavour and colour and if you do not like spicy food you can find a non-spicy variety.  Cauliflower is still abundant in the market and I like to make the most of it while it is so cheap. 

You will need:
500g fresh cauliflower, cut into florets
100g dried chickpeas
150g spelt couscous
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dical House Ajvar Paste by Liakada
1 tablespoon fresh herbs, finely chopped
Pinch of Provence Herbs
Grated zest of half an orange

For the dressing:
1 tablespoon orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dical House Maple Syrup by Bio Rinatura
1 teaspoon Dical House tahini paste by Al Amier
1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped to garnish dish
Salt and pepper

If you are using dried chickpeas, soak them overnight.  Otherwise cook them when you need them and add 1/4 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda to speed up the cooking process.  When they are cooked, drain the water well. 

In the meantime, steam the cauliflower florets.  Then transfer them to an oven proof dish lightly brushed with olive oil.  Brush the florets lightly with olive oil and bake in a hot oven at 220C for 10 minutes until the tips of the florets start to crust.

Prepare the couscous following the instructions on the pack.  Add the ajvar paste and mix.

Prepare the dressing by whisking together the olive oil, orange juice, maple syrup, tahini paste, salt and pepper. 

Begin to arrange the salad by adding half the chickpeas to the cauliflower to the couscous and mixing gently.  Be careful not to break up the ingredients.  Add the fresh and dry herbs, the grated citrus zest and mix.  Add the half the dressing and mix.  Allow the mixture to rest for 15 minutes for the vegetables to absorb all the juices and flavours. 

Pile up the couscous mixture onto the serving dish.  Add the dressing. Top the salad with the remainder of the cauliflower and chickpeas.

Garnish with chopped parsley and grated citrus zest.

You can follow Lea’s blog on www.goodfoodeveryday.wordpress.com and watch her cook on TVM2.  More of her recipes can be found on www.timesofmalta.com.

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