Cauliflower, Chickpeas & Thyme

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Cauliflower, Chickpeas & Thyme

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This one-pot meal is great for those busy nights. It is super easy and tasty, and it incorporates vegetables that you may already have on hand. It is a delicious gluten-free option for guests. You can serve this very versatile dish all year round. One of my favorites!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • ½ large cauliflower or 1 medium, core out the stem
  • ½ red onion or 1 shallot, diced
  • ¼ white onion, diced
  • 5 stems (white and light green parts) scallion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Fresh thyme, 5 sprigs
  • Fresh basil, 5 leaves (optional)
  • Sea salt
  • A good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 (29 ounce) can chickpeas, drained
  • ¼ cup of Pecorino Romano or freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

You’ll need a large frying pan. Start by adding a few drizzles of extra virgin olive oil to the pan. Dice the yellow onion and red onion, and scallions. Sauté this on low heat with a few sprinkles of ground sea salt. Let these cook about 5 minutes.

In the meantime, rinse the cauliflower, core out the stem, and chop the cauliflower into bite-size chunks. After the onions have cooked for 5 minutes and they are translucent, add the garlic and then toss in the cauliflower chunks. Keep the heat on low. Add roughly ¼ cup olive oil and about ½ cup water, a little at a time. Let this cook for 15–20 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender. Taste it! Once it is tender, add about a ¼ cup (or more) freshly grated Parmesan cheese or *Pecorino Romano cheese.

In the meantime, drain and rinse the can of chickpeas (I like GOYA®), and add it to the pan with the cauliflower. Stir and add in a few more sprinkles of sea salt. Add the fresh thyme leaves. Take them off the stem and toss in the pan. Save a few sprigs for garnish. Stack the basil leaves one on top of the other, roll them together, cut into very thin ribbons and add them to the pan. Reserve some ribbons for garnish.

Let the vegetables simmer on low heat just until the chickpeas are warm. If you cook it too long, the chickpeas will get very mushy. This can be prepared as a side dish or as a main meal. You can even add orecchiette pasta (or whatever pasta you have on hand) to make it even heartier. Garnish with fresh basil ribbons, and thyme sprigs and serve in a white bowl so all the colors pop. Remember we eat with our eyes too. This will be a big hit!

Fun Fact: Pecorino Romano cheese – is one of my favorites for its salty taste. Did you know that it is also one of the world’s oldest cheeses, and was developed during the Roman Empire. It’s made from pure sheep’s milk, unlike Parmesan which is made from cow’s milk.

This recipe is from my cookbook Mariooch’s Kitchen Food That Will Gather Your Family which is available on Amazon. My blog is marioochskitchen.com where you can find other creative and healthy recipes for the family

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