This is a delicious dish for vegetarians, but if you enjoy eating meat, you can always use it as a side, as I did for my husband and young boy, who like a piece of chicken every now and then. You can see it served with meat in the picture below, but you can always serve it on its own, as a main. Chickpeas are more than filling.
For this recipe I used canned chickpeas, although generally I tend to prefer dried, soaked over night and then boiled chickpeas. But I was in a rush, and I cut corners: this is a 30 minutes meal, and if you want to have a blast, teach your kids how to do the cauliflower mash, while you prepare everything else.
For fried chicken, use your favorite recipe. I like fried chicken crispy, so I use a very light batter with some “secret” ingredients for added flavor (I will follow up on this). The cauliflower mash and pan fried chickpeas are my original recipes.
- 1 cauliflower, separated into florets
- water to boil
- 200 ml cream
- 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 200 grams canned chickpeas
- pinch of pepper
- salt to taste
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- pinch of chili flakes
- 50 grams Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
- 50 grams feta cheese, grated
- In a large pot, bring water to boil with a pinch of salt, then tip in the cauliflower florets, and cook for 10-15 minutes. The florets should be easy to penetrate with the tip of a knife, but firm enough to "crunch" when you bite. You will use a hand blender to "puree" them later. When the florets are ready, remove from heat, but let rest in the broth (do not discard the broth, if you are frugal: it can always be used as stock, to boil in pasta, to prepare risotto, or to cook other dishes).
- In a frying pan, preheat 1 tablespoon olive oil, then tip in chickpeas, ad oregano, chili flakes and salt, and pan fry at medium heat for about 10 minutes, tossing from time to time. When you are almost done, season with 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
- With a spatula, take out the cauliflower florets, and place them into a deep bowl. Add cream, 1 tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, and cheeses, and blend coarsely, till you get a creamy, yet chunky, mash.
- Serve topped with pan fried chickpeas.