Recipe: Chickpea Cauliflower Salad with Basil Dijon Dressing

A summer salad worthy of our attention.

To live is to love. There is no life without love.

~ Anonymous

On any given day our lives can change. They can change for the better, and they can also change in a way that forces growth (aka something not so wonderful happens).

Many of us are here in the blog world because we seek something extra in this life. When I started IPOM I can honestly tell you I didn’t realize the sheer depth of the people & passion I would find here (but I surely did suspect & believe it existed). Friends from all over the world who are sharing tidbits of their lives with others.

Whether it is food, art, adventure, or just a few thoughts here and there, I’ve been so pleased to find such endless inspiration as a result of sharing my own passions. With friends, life is always made easier. And with passion, life becomes rich. When there is love and passion in life, there is nothing that can’t be overcome (IMO, of course).

Where there is love there is life.

~ Mahatma Gandhi

This gorgeous salad is as simple as simple can be. Combine chickpeas with a few chopped fresh veggies and drown them in what is possibly the most delicious dressing on the planet.

This basil dressing is a variation on the dressing I shared at the Healthy Diva here, and features a little more basil this time to honor the bountiful basil plants that are gracing many a patio garden and planter at this time of year.

Basil makes everything it touches taste utterly sophisticated, and once you try this dressing, you’ll want to try it on everything from pasta salad to fresh greens to simple garden tomato salads. I highly encourage this, as we’ve been at it all week.

If you judge people, you have no time to love them.

~ Mother Teresa

The Less:

Less heavy grain-based foods in summer means meals are as light as the summer nights. Less canned prepared bean salad means less preservatives and calories. Less bottled and preserved salad dressings means more flavor and real nutrition, without the added bottles, empty calories, and added cost.

The More:

More tasty veggie salads means more tasty easy meals. More homemade dressings means more inspiring reasons to eat salads. More high fiber vegetables and beans more movement in general, so lightness and health are yours all summer long.

Chickpea Cauliflower Salad with Basil Dijon Dressing:

  • (2) cups cooked chickpeas (one 398ml can)
  • (1) red pepper, diced
  • (1) head cauliflower
  • (1) bunch green onions, chopped (greens only)
  • (1) clove garlic, minced
  • (1) 398ml can artichoke hearts, quartered

Basil Vinaigrette:

  • (1) entire bunch basil
  • (1) cup good olive oil
  • (1/2) cup red wine vinegar
  • (4) tbsp Dijon mustard
  • (3) tbsp sugar (brown or white)
  • (1) tbsp salt
  • (1) clove garlic
  • (1/2) cup water

Start by cleaning and chopping the cauliflower into medium florets. Put up to steam in a little water, and cook 3-4 minutes until just soft. Remove from heat and rinse with cold water or in an ice water bath to cool. Set aside to drain in a colander until ready to use.

Combine all ingredients for the dressing in a blender (or in a large bowl with a hand blender) and blend until very well combined. Transfer to a clean jar.

Combine chickpeas, chopped red pepper, green onions, and minced garlic in a bowl. Add the cauliflower by hand, breaking into small pieces as you go with your hands.*

*When using cauliflower in smaller one inch pieces I prefer to break them organically with my hands versus cutting them with a knife. The presentation is more beautiful and natural, and it gives me a chance to connect with it – corny, yes, but awesome? YES.

Pour (1/3) to (1/2) cup of the vinaigrette into the bowl and mix gently with a large spoon to combine. If you are too vigorous with the mixing you can break the cauliflower pieces. Add more dressing as desired and save the remainder for later – there are so many uses for it – and this recipe makes a generous amount.

Serve in a lovely clean bowl garnished with quartered artichoke hearts. Set aside as many or as few artichoke hearts as you like and add to each serving on top or to the bowl. This fiber and flavor filled salad will keep in the fridge for up to a week and will get better with age. We enjoyed it several days later with some hot whole wheat pasta added. Amazing!

I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.

~ Mother Teresa

We love the things we love for what they are.

~ Robert Frost

This salad made us very happy this week. The green onions were given to me by a good friend, picked just for me from his small patio garden which (I think) is making both him and his wife very happy this summer. Thanks Charlie and Becky for the gift of home-grown green onions!

  • What salads are you loving right now?
  • Got a favorite way with basil or chickpeas?

Feel free to let us know below!

Beautiful things bring happiness. I hope you find happiness in (just a little) beauty today, and with any luck, everyday.

Update: this recipe has been shared on Healthy Vegan Fridays hosted by Gabby at the Veggie Nook and 2 other fabulous bloggers πŸ™‚

Yours in Less,


Filed under Cooking, Dressings, Food, Gluten Free, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Salads, Savory, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

73 responses to “Recipe: Chickpea Cauliflower Salad with Basil Dijon Dressing

  1. How come your red peppers looks so gorgeous? Mine never look that good.

    Pea & Ham soup weather down here, my friend.

    How many sleeps to go?

    • Hi J!! Would you believe we are in the 13 sleeps to go area? Honestly! The excitement is getting ‘pinch me’ worthy every day….it’s so close!
      Aren’t those peppers gorgeous? Must be summer! πŸ™‚ xox

      • Somer

        Are you going to Australia!?! Sorry, eavesdropping, couldn’t resist!

      • Well since you ask (I would!), though I’d LOVE to visit my new Australian pals one day (seriously) – we are off to France as a family in less than 3 weeks! Pinch me, right?!

  2. This looks amazing!!! Fresh produce seriously cannot be beat. It’s kind of the best ever. And your peppers look gorgeous!

    I love how versatile garbanzo beans can be. YUM!

  3. Already been to the store….rats..this looks like a refreshing summer lunch…Next week with organic chick peas. I have been enjoying a Quinoa Kale (with chick peas) dish. This will be a nice change of pace…Thanks..

  4. Yum – Healthy and Refreshing:) Thanks for sharing – Enjoy Your Week!

  5. Aloha, definitely will be giving this one a try with a sub-out of apple cider vinegar for red wine. Much Yumminess to you!

  6. May I ask, please? Is it really 3 table spoons of sugar????? … and 1 table spoon of salt?????? … 4 table spoons of Dijon????? ,, I agree with the mustard… I love Dijon but sugar and salt…. isn’t it a lot?

    • Of course you can ask! This dressing makes a generous amount to last all week – the proportions are all right, and though it might look hefty, it gets spread quite thin. Feel free to adjust amounts and sub the sugar for any sweetener you like. Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by!

  7. Such a beautiful simple summer salad, the basil dressing sounds amazing – i too have an over abundance of Basil bursting from the Garden, it gets tossed into everything – I never thought of making a dressing with fresh basil, so inspiring – lpve the quote “if you judge people you have no time to love them” thank you for sharing a little bot of yourself with us Shira!

    • Thanks Heather – isn’t that quote amazing?! I so enjoy such simple words – happy you do too! Your basil sounds divine – you are so lucky, it is so good blended like this, enjoy!

  8. This looks amazing!! I love that it is vegan friendly too!! YUM!

  9. I’m so excited to try this dressing out! Thank you.

  10. Wow, looks delicious! Gotta try that soon.

  11. This looks unique and tasty. I can tell my the dressing ingredients, this is a flavor I’ll really enjoy. Excited to try it soon. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Looks amazing Shira! I love that dressing you shared with my readers, so no doubt this one will be fab too!!! I froze a whole bunch of basil during summer so I can dress things up during our winter time. Right now I’m loving warm salads like roast pumpkin and kale, with this yummy pomegranate dressing

  13. athletescook

    Reblogged this on athletescook and commented:
    Heading back to the USA in three weeks and this is recipe is definitely on my list!

  14. Have a wonderful week my friend, stuffed on beautiful fresh produce and lots of love πŸ™‚

    Choc Chip Uru

  15. So colorful and summery! I’ll take your word on the dressing, because I completely agree that basil transforms taste. Lovely post!

  16. Alexia @ NamasteYoga

    what a wonderful salad recipe! I had all the ingredients for it in the fridge until last evening when i decided to shape some falafel balls and stick them in the dehydrator until this morningn so i would have an easy and delicious lunch. definitely have to buy another can of chickpeas and make this salad tomorrow!!!

    • Perfect Alexia, thanks!! I always love the sound of what you are making – those falafels sound yumm-ay! πŸ™‚

      • Alexia @ NamasteYoga

        i am just trying to make my comments more interesting so you actualy enjoy reading them πŸ™‚ another way of letting you know that you inspire my cooking creativity πŸ™‚

    • Would you believe your second comment went to spam? Trust me friend – seeing your gorgeous gravatar always makes me smile wide! Love each and every time you pop in, and that makes me really happy to hear! xxox

      • Alexia @ NamasteYoga

        oh shira thanks for saving my comment! in love with your blog, thanks for being so sweet ❀

  17. saralelayec

    I really love your blog and recipes πŸ™‚ thats why I wanted you to know I nominated you for the One lovely Blog and Versatile Blogger award! For further info please check my post : where I link you back πŸ™‚
    Well deserved!

  18. Looks amazing, Shira! I made a basil dressing a few days ago, it works very well, doesn’t it? I’m not the biggest fan of basil to be honest… but it does have a very nice taste for dressings etc. Lovely. I’ve still got cauliflower envy. A recipe truly is brewing now πŸ˜€

    • Thanks Nick! I know, lots of cauli over here these days, it’s been great fun to re-discover this fave from my childhood – can’t wait to see what you come up with! πŸ™‚

  19. S.

    Yum! You always know how to create fun and new recipes with familiar ingredients, impressive! X

  20. Printing this one, ASAP, Shira. It’s so frigging hot here that all I really want are salads right now. Perfect timing.

  21. The most delicious dressing on the planet eh? With that amount of basil I may even believe you! Bookmarked.

  22. Ah-ha!! Jotting down recipe now. I think I have all the needed ingredients! I plan to give it a shot tomorrow. The colors are so pretty. Shira, have you tried it with raw cauliflower? Just curious. I’ll report back later on this week. Again, thanks!! T. (I love the Robert Frost quote. I also love chickpeas. Confession: I could eat them straight out of can!!)

    • I think raw would be delicious T! I’d love to hear how that turns out! Do keep me posted…we are on the countdown now to France..less than 2 weeks! PS – out of the can is one of my little secrets too πŸ™‚

  23. So happy to have met you in the blogworld Shira! love all the love in your quotes. πŸ™‚

  24. Sarah

    hey Shira – this looks so awesome. Maybe it will convince John (and the boys) that he likes cauliflower. Question for you: how long will the dressing last? Can I save it in the fridge for 2 or 3 days?

    • I know, right? I think this could be the ticket – they just don’t know it yet, and hey – if my guy can eat kale, your boys could be all about the cauliflower and surprise all of us! πŸ™‚ And yes, glad you asked, the dressing keeps for up to a week in the fridge (I should really add this to the post)! It’s good on so many things!

  25. Somer

    Shira, that dressing looks so good I want to drink it, and the salad is right up my alley! I can understand why you’ve been into it all week! I haven’t bought a store bought dressing in nearly a year and can’t say I ever will again unless emergency strikes! Homemade is infinitely better!

    • Honestly Somer, this dressing is good on everything – I’m on the 3rd batch already and have already racked up 3-4 uses for it that are almost blog worthy πŸ™‚ Knowing you and your energy, I am not surprised you are committed to the good stuff one little bit… πŸ˜‰ xo

  26. megan

    Oh WOW! THAT was super fresh! I didn’t havw cauliflower so I sub’d w/ broccoli and it was delicious. I brought it to a cook out & it was a huge hit. I also make a black bean salad w/ lime, green or red onions, cucumber and a little sea salt & Cholula hot sauce….Mmmmm! Love the freshness of summer!

    • Your black bean salad sounds fabulous Megan – and oddly enough almost to a tee an upcoming post (enjoyed it tonight actually!) – I’m with you, summer is incredible! I’m so happy to hear it was a hit, and impressed you made it so soon! Broccoli sounds just as good as cauli – YUM! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  27. Looks wonderful! Can’t wait to try it!

  28. Wow Shira, that looks gorgeous! and lucky you that you have homegrown basil!! you’re right — it ups the sophistication level of any meal:) and i agree, if you’ve got love and passion in your life, you’re very blessed. Thanks for a wonderful post! have a great afternoon!

  29. Such a delightful combination of good good things! (But of course you didn’t need me to tell you that! You’re forever coming up with good good things! Including some of the most inspiring, delicious quotes!) Who is it who said, “A life without salad, is a life void of meaning”? (mm, that might have been me.) We’re eating every kind of salad we can dig our forks or chopsticks into lately! Soon it’ll be this one! πŸ™‚

    • I love your saying Spree! “A life without salad….” would be very difficult for me! I am so grateful to enjoy them everyday, I hope you and the loved ones enjoy this one! xox

  30. MMmmm…..I love this salad. Bookmarked!

  31. This looks fantastic Shira! I am absolutely loving basil and salads right now. I have been having salads daily, usually with a tahini, nutritional yeast and lemon juice dressing and basil has been featured prominently in my smoothies- just makes every one feel all fancy. You are very right about basil making everything sophisticated.

    Definitely bookmarking this- I would smother everything in that sauce!

    • I’ve heard of basil added to smoothies too Gabby – sounds yummy! I might just give that a go as I have really enjoyed blending mint with my fruit lately (watermelon? yum!). πŸ™‚

  32. I just posted about my goal to increase fresh fruits & veggies for my family. This is perfect! I am definitely going to give it a try this week.

  33. This salad seems yummy! I was looking for something like that, I’m getting bored of the classic green leaves-tomatoes-balsamic-olive oil so thank you!

    • It’s fabulous – enjoy! Too funny – I’m just about to post a greens-leaves-tomatoes-balsamic-olive oil – we are on the same page! Thanks for stopping by!

  34. profoundraincloud

    Reblogged this on Natural_Beauty and commented:
    Substitute the red peppers with a colourful non-nightshade like purple cabbage! Yum!

  35. Pingback: fΓΌr Loadtage und andere Tage – Rezepte, die ich unbedingt testen muß « weekswithout

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