Roasted Cauliflower and Pea Shoots Mediterranean Salad

After the extremely harsh winter, my vegetable patch is just about starting to come to life. I am so happy to see little sapling making their way out of the ground. This year I have had mixed luck – my eggplant seeds, squash seeds, and watermelon seeds just seem to have been lost in the dirt (haven’t sprouted or they’ve been eaten by the ubiquitous rabbits, squirrels and birds in my yard). But the pea shoots, radishes, cucumbers, tomato and Romanesco seem to be doing well. As soon as I see the fresh green vegetables come above the ground, I feel inspired to make some new recipes so I can use fresh greens available to me.
Today I tried to use the pea shoots in a warm salad that had very classic Mediterranean flavors. I roasted the Cauliflower florets in the oven and then added Za’atar powder, freshly ground coriander seeds, lemon juice, lemon zest, capers and dill weed. Since the pea shoots are so delicate, I didn’t cook them at all but they got wilted by the heat of the roasted cauliflower. I added some boiled chickpeas to give the salad some body and also a bit of a protein kick. This way, the salad is a complete nutritionally balanced and flavorful meal in itself. For those trying to follow a low-carb or low sugar diet, this would be an ideal lunch dish. Although I didn’t follow any of Yottam Ottolenghi’s recipes here, as my daughter and I were eating this salad for lunch, we realized that it could well have been inspired by the flavor profiles that Ottolenghi favors.


1. One small head of cauliflower
2. A cup of fresh pea shoots (or any other young green leaves)
3. 2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
4. 1 fresh lemon
5. Salt and pepper to taste
6. 1.5 tablespoons of freshly ground coriander powder
7. A cup of boiled chickpeas (or one can)
8. A handful of fresh dill weed
9. 2 teaspoons of Za’atar powder
10. 2 tablespoons of small sized capers


1. Wash the head of cauliflower and cut it into small bite-sized florets. Using a few paper towels dry out all the florets and spread them on a large cookie sheet.

2. When the florets are completely dry, sprinkle about one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil over them and mix everything with your hands so that the oil gets spread all over florets.
3. Heat the oven at 350 Fahrenheit.
4. Place the cookie sheet with the florets in the oven and let the cauliflower roast. Set the timer at 7-8 minutes.

5. While the cauliflower is getting roasted, zest one lemon using a microplane and place the zest in a bowl.
6. After 7-8 minutes, take the cookie sheet out of the oven and turn the florets over and then roast for another 5-6 minutes.

7. Combine the following ingredients in a large mixing bowl: The zest of the lemon, Za’atar powder, salt, pepper, coriander powder, juice of the lemon, 1.5-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, chopped up dill weed and the capers (take the liquid out of them)

8. Add the chickpeas, and the pea shoots to the bowl.

9. Add the warm roasted cauliflower shoots to the bowl and toss everything together. Enjoy the salad as a light lunch in itself or serve it as side dish with some grilled meat.



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  1. Permalink Submitted by Terra on Sat, 17/05/2014 - 18:52

    I don’t think I have worked with pea shoots before, will have to try them! Your recipe sounds healthy and delicious! Hugs, Terra

    • Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Sun, 18/05/2014 - 14:03

      Hey Terra 🙂 Good to see you here!!! Yes, I do love Pea Shoots but they are hard to find in a supermarket or traditional vegetable stores…sometimes you can find them at Farmer’s markets. I grow my own in the spring each year – they are easy to grow. They taste very mellow and sort-of sweet (a grassy flavor like sweet peas) but if you can’t find them anywhere, you can use baby spinach or any mellow flavored green leafy vegetable. Let me know how you like this recipe. xoxoxo – Shabnam

  2. Permalink Submitted by Mary Jo on Mon, 26/05/2014 - 13:06

    I must try this with my pea shoots! It looks wonderful.

    • Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Tue, 27/05/2014 - 21:33

      OH YESSSS!!! I do love pea shoots 🙂 let me know how your experiment turns out…

  3. Permalink Submitted by Mary Jo on Sun, 15/06/2014 - 01:51

    I saw this when you posted, ti and have been wanting to make it. I made it for lunch today. Wonderful!

    • Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Sun, 15/06/2014 - 10:53

      YAYYYYY!!! Thanks for the feedback Mary-Jo 🙂 I am so happy you liked it! I love pea-shoots but their flavor is so delicate and that is why I barely cook them. I seem to have a good crop this year because the weather has been cooler than normal. By now even the peas are starting to come in. How is your veggie-patch doing?

  4. Permalink Submitted by Julie on Sun, 29/06/2014 - 04:16

    Shabnam, I just took this salad to a pot luck of several really wonderful cooks. I got such appreciative comments from my friends asking how I made it.. I told them about you and your website.

    • Permalink Submitted by Shabnam on Sun, 29/06/2014 - 14:38

      HEYYYYYY Welcome to my blog Julie – so good to see you here! And your comment on my recipe totally made my day!!!!! THANK YOU!!! I hope we get to see each other some day soon – Shakeb is planning a trip to Denver sometime at the end of summer and I am so looking forward to seeing all of you. And may I add – Poulami looks absolutely breathtakingly beautiful in her profile pic on fb (with the flowers at the back) – xoxoxo

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