Chef's Recipes

Warm cauliflower, chickpea and beetroot salad

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for warm cauliflower, chickpea and beetroot salad by Sydney restaurant Cru 54.

  • Serves 6
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 15 mins cooking plus soaking
Warm cauliflower, chickpea and beetroot salad
Warm cauliflower, chickpea and beetroot salad

“The salad of chickpeas, cauliflower and roast beetroot at Cru 54 in Sydney’s Surry Hills makes the vegetarian in me jump for joy. Would you please publish the recipe?”
Jason Grant, Dulwich Hill, NSW

To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, , GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email us. All requests should include the restaurant’s name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.

You’ll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.


  • 300 gm dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water overnight, drained
  • ½ onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 beetroot (about 300gm)
  • 100 ml (1/3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 100 gm coarse sourdough breadcrumbs
  • 15 (20gm) seedless raisins, coarsely chopped
  • For deep-frying: vegetable oil
  • 200 gm cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 Spanish onion, thinly sliced
  • 300 gm silverbeet, leaves coarsely torn, stems coarsely chopped
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • 5 (10gm) blanched almonds, finely chopped or grated
Cauliflower purée
  • 300 gm cauliflower, broken into florets, stem coarsely chopped
  • 75 ml milk
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
Wholegrain mustard dressing
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • 50 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp muscatel vinegar (see note)


  • 1
    Heat oven to 180C. Combine chickpeas in a saucepan with onion, bay leaf and a chopped garlic clove, cover with water, bring to a simmer over medium heat, simmer until tender (at least 1 hour), drain, keep warm.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, chop remaining garlic, combine with beetroot, 40ml oil and half the thyme in a small roasting tray, cover with foil and roast until tender (50 minutes-1 hour). Peel, cut into wedges, set aside.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, for cauliflower purée, combine cauliflower and milk in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer over medium heat, simmer until tender (10-15 minutes). Cool slightly, process in a blender with oil until smooth, season to taste, set aside, keep warm.
  • 4
    Combine breadcrumbs, raisins, remaining thyme and 40ml oil in a bowl, season to taste, spread in an even layer on a tray lined with baking paper and bake, stirring occasionally, until golden (5-7 minutes). Set aside.
  • 5
    Meanwhile, heat oil in a deep-fryer or deep-sided saucepan to 180C. Fry cauliflower florets in batches until golden (1-2 minutes; be careful, oil may spit). Drain on absorbent paper, season to taste, keep warm.
  • 6
    For wholegrain mustard dressing, whisk ingredients in a bowl to combine and set aside.
  • 7
    Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, add remaining oil, Spanish onion, silverbeet stems and fennel seeds and sauté until onion is tender (5-7 minutes). Add chickpeas, beetroot and dressing, season to taste, add silverbeet leaves and toss until just wilted (2-3 minutes). Add lemon juice, scatter with cauliflower florets, almonds and breadcrumb mixture and serve warm with purée on the side.


Muscatel vinegar is a mild, slightly sweet vinegar, available from select delicatessens. If unavailable, substitute sherry vinegar.
This recipe is from the October 2009 issue of