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The confident cook

Recipe: Use the prep-as-you-go method for this one-pan dish of cauliflower, chickpeas, and greens

Cauliflower, chickpeas, and greensSally Pasley Vargas for The Boston Globe

Many dishes require a time-consuming mise en place, the French term that describes all ingredients prepped and ready before you start cooking. Not this one. Ideal for a weeknight, this filling one-pan vegetarian dish with cauliflower, chickpeas, and greens, seasoned with turmeric, ginger, and coriander comes together quickly, and you can use the prep-as-you-go method. While onions are softening, cut up the cauliflower, and while it simmers, drain chickpeas, cut tomatoes, and slice greens.

To prepare a head of cauliflower, cut a deep cross into the base and pull the head apart to quarter it. Then slide your knife along the core to remove it. Use a paring knife to cut between the little branches, so you have bite-size pieces ready to add to the pan. As for the greens, cut up any that appeal to you — mustard greens, Swiss chard, spinach — and stir them into the pot at the last minute. Serve with your favorite grain and don’t let the last bit of leftovers go to waste. The next day, top them off with a fried egg and serve yourself a fine lunch.



Cauliflower, chickpeas, and greens

Serves 4

2tablespoons olive oil
1onion, finely chopped
1tablespoon ground turmeric
1teaspoon ground ginger
1teaspoon ground coriander
½small head yellow or white cauliflower, cut into small florets
¾cup water or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper, to taste
1can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained
2plum tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1bunch leafy greens such as mustard greens, Swiss chard, or spinach, stemmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1tablespoon lime juice
1lime, cut into wedges (for serving)
Handful fresh cilantro leaves (for serving)
½cup plain yogurt (for serving)

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until the onion starts to soften. Stir in the turmeric, ginger, and coriander. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds to toast the spices.

2. Add the cauliflower, water or stock, salt, and pepper. Cover the pan and simmer for 6 to 7 minutes, or until the cauliflower is barely tender.

3. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes to the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until all the vegetables are hot.

4. Stir in the greens and lime juice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more, or until the greens wilt. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper, if you like. Serve with lime, cilantro, yogurt, and rice or your favorite grain. Sally Pasley Vargas


Sally Pasley Vargas can be reached at sally.p.vargas@gmail.com.