roasted cauliflower & chickpeas on toast

sicilian cauliflower & chickpeas on toast | two red bowls

sicilian cauliflower & chickpeas on toast | two red bowls

I never thought late-night office Seamless would prove to be as inspiring as it has (and, all right, a lot of the time it’s a little far from it), but I don’t think I would have ever come across this revelatory Sicilian cauliflower and chickpea dish if it wasn’t for a Seamless order on a random work night last winter, placed while hunting for something reasonably healthy in frigid temps that wasn’t a bone-chilling salad or an equally chilly wrap.  Tucked into an unassuming plastic cup, this warm salad-y side was an afterthought when I ordered it but the highlight of my desk-side dinner when I got it — creamy chickpeas playing off of crisp, caramelized roasted cauliflower, tossed with briny, pungent capers, nose-clearing honey mustard, and a little vinegar, finished off with teeny-tiny currants for touch of jammy sweetness (which is, as always, the way to my heart) and bright, fresh parsley. 

Being about as far from a Sicilian culinary expert as you could find, I was a little skeptical I could recreate this at home, but when I found that the restaurant had actually posted an at-home version of their dish online, I thought it was only fair to try.  And after tweaking the recipe based on a few comments from folks who sound like they’re just as devoted to the restaurant version as I am, this is, much to my total delight, exactly like I remember it — a playful, salty-but-sweet-but-tart combination of hearty yet bright flavors.  We enjoyed it over toast for an easy portable version, but it’s just as good on its own for a vibrant, but still light and nourishing, winter lunch or dinner.

Happy Tuesday, friends!  I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

sicilian cauliflower & chickpeas on toast | two red bowls

sicilian cauliflower & chickpeas on toast | two red bowls

sicilian cauliflower & chickpeas on toast | two red bowls

sicilian cauliflower & chickpeas on toast | two red bowls

sicilian cauliflower & chickpeas on toast | two red bowls

sicilian cauliflower & chickpeas on toast | two red bowls

sicilian cauliflower & chickpeas on toast | two red bowls

Roasted cauliflower & chickpeas with capers & raisins


  • for roasting:
  • 2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • for the breadcrumbs (optional):
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup coarse breadcrumbs (I used Panko)
  • 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • for the dressing:
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp grainy Dijon mustard (if using a completely whole grain variety, like Maille old-fashioned Dijon, use 2 tsp whole grain and 1 tsp regular mustard)
  • 1/3 cup raisins or currants (can substitute chopped dates; see Notes below)
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • for serving:
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • squeeze lemon juice
  • toast, for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss cauliflower florets and chickpeas with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large bowl. Season generously with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer onto one or two large, rimmed baking sheets. Roast in the oven, tossing occasionally, for about 45 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a skillet on medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two, or until just golden. Add the breadcrumbs, thyme, salt and pepper to taste, and red pepper flakes, then reduce heat to low and continue to cook slowly until the breadcrumbs are golden brown, another 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  3. Add the chicken broth to the same saucepan and bring it to a boil over high heat. Add the vinegar, honey, and mustard, and whisk to combine. Add the dried fruit of your choice, then cook until liquid reduces by about half, about 5 minutes or so. (See Notes if using dates.)
  4. By this time, the cauliflower and chickpeas should be about done. Remove from oven and let cool briefly, then transfer to the same large bowl you used earlier. Toss with the chicken broth mixture, the capers, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and fresh chopped parsley, then enjoy over toast or on its own. Enjoy!


If using chopped dates, you may not need as much chicken broth depending on how soft and fresh they are. If they're particularly sticky and soft, use 1/4 cup chicken broth instead of 1/2 cup, and add the dates at the same time you add the capers, rather than adding them to the chicken broth.

If you like, you can puree 1/2 cup or so of the cauliflower and chickpeas to use as a spread on the toast, which I thought helped keep the rest from rolling off, as things tend to do when I eat them. 🙂


  1. Ksenia @ At the Immigrant's Table says:

    January 19, 2016 at 7:31 am

    This is EXACTLY the kind of dish that I see myself falling in love with, and then recreating repeatedly to my heart’s content in the kitchen (I think that cauliflower and capers are a flavour combination made in heaven, and something I’ve already played with on my blog). I love that your late-night ordering unearthed this.

    • tworedbowls says:

      January 28, 2016 at 6:41 pm

      I totally agree with you, cauliflower and capers are so so good together! Thank you so much for the kind words, Ksenia.

  2. danielle is rooting the sun says:

    January 19, 2016 at 9:40 am

    cynthia, i feel instant kinship to this dish. every note here sings sweetly (creamy chickpeas, caramelized cauliflower, swoon) perched perfectly atop the cold weather of winter. hearty and bright is exactly what defines winter food for me. beautiful. xo

    • tworedbowls says:

      January 28, 2016 at 6:42 pm

      This is such a beautiful, kind comment, Danielle! You made my day with this. Thank you. And I’m so with you, hearty and bright all the way to spring, please 🙂

  3. says:

    January 19, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Hellooooo lovely toast! (And yay for something healthy that’s not salad…I’m with you salad in winter is too cold!) Love the combo of cauliflower and chickpeas here. (And raisins!) I’m laughing because I’ve been on a total chickpea kick lately. In hummus, on wilted greens, in pasta…you get the point. Basically, you’ve just added to my hummus addiction that’s apparently happening this January. Not that I’m complaining 😉

  4. says:

    January 19, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    i love when humble dishes sneak up and surprise you with their tastiness! this dish sounds like the perfect thing to eat on these chilly days – warm toasty bread, topped with hearty goods! i hope you’re keeping warm out there, friend! xo’s

  5. says:

    January 19, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    cynthia! i’ve been going cauli-wild for a while now from a recipe from Gwyneth and Julia Turshen’s “It’s All Good” … roasted cauli, chickpeas with a white wine vinegar, dijon and olive oil dressing – had no idea it was a Sicilian thing! awesome. love the idea of it over toast, and with capers and raisins! yum yum! xo

  6. says:

    January 20, 2016 at 8:44 am

    I’m liking this on toast.. Chickpeas and cauliflower don’t get much love in my house.. I’m thinking we should try this… Love the ingredients in that dressing.

  7. says:

    January 21, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    I love it when you recreate something from a restaurant and it tastes exactly like- or even better than- the dish you ordered. I feel like a superhero every time it happens!!! This sounds delicious, I want to have this for breakfast this weekend 😀

  8. says:

    January 22, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    I just got my Seamless order (yes after 10p on a blizzard Fri) and I remembered that I wanted to ask your thoughts after I read this (beautiful, oh so yummy, soon to be recreated in my kitchen) post. While I love Seamless, did you ever see their campaigns in the subway basically insinuating that cooking old school and passe? It shows ovens being used as clothes storage and talking about saving time. Cooking isn’t your enemy, Seamless, maybe the telephone is. We cooks can coexist with Seamless. I don’t see why we can’t we all just be friends : )

    • tworedbowls says:

      February 16, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      Oh gosh, I’m so sorry about that! The recipe should be back now. Hope you love it if you try it, and thank you so much for catching that!

  9. says:

    March 20, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Made this for dinner last night (sans breadcrumbs) and it was delicious! I’m only disappointed that it didn’t yield more! I’m going to have to double the recipe next time. Yum!

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