Monday, April 20, 2015

Roasted Caulflower and Chickpeas on Homemade Flatbread with Avocado Sauce

This is one of those "happy accident" recipes -- I spotted it online and thought it looked amazing, but didn't quite manage to read all the way through the instructions before getting started!  By the time I realized the flatbread/pita dough was supposed to rise for an hour, I had a bunch of other components going and we were starving.  So, I decided to just go ahead with the recipe and see how it went.  This was a great decision -- the flatbread turned out super soft and delicious, despite my mistake.  If you have the extra time, feel free to let the dough rise at the end of step 3; if not, it will still be really tasty.

On top of the homemade flatbread is a super-flavorful vegetarian topping.  The base is a tangy, lime-spiked avocado sauce.  On top are crispy roasted cauliflower and chickpeas spiced with garam masala, Aleppo chiles, and chile powder. You could absolutely change up the spices here based on what you have on hand and what you like.  This flatbread kind of has it all -- soft, tender bread, a rich sauce with a kick of acid, protein-filled and hearty chickpeas, and crispy cauliflower.  Definitely a winner!


Roasted Caulflower and Chickpeas on Homemade Flatbread with Avocado Sauce (adapted from Pinch of Yum and Mel's Kitchen Cafe)
Serves 4 as a light meal, or 2 as a heartier meal

For the vegetables:
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
14-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garam masala
Generous pinch Aleppo chili flakes (or other chili flakes)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

For the flatbread:
1 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
1/3 cup warm (but not hot) water
1/4 cup warm (but not hot) milk
1/2 T olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

For the avocado sauce:
2 medium avocados
1 clove garlic
1 T olive oil
A small handful fresh parsley
1/2 tsp cumin
Juice of 1 lime
A tablespoon or two of water, as needed

To serve:
Sour cream

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Line a large baking sheet with foil, and place a cast iron skillet on the stovetop.
2. Pat the cauliflower and chickpeas dry, and then toss them with the chili powder, garam masala, and chili flakes.  Drizzle generously with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, and toss again until everything is well combined.  Arrange on the prepared baking sheet in an even layer.  Bake 30-40 minutes, stirring halfway through.
3. Make the pitas.  Combine the yeast, sugar, water, milk, olive oil, salt, and 1/2 cup of the flour in a large bowl. Stir with a rubber spatula until well combined. Add more flour gradually, switching to kneading with your hands when the dough becomes too stiff for the spatula.  Add enough flour to get a tacky but not sticky dough that forms a ball.  Knead for about 5 minutes.  Form the dough into a ball, and cover the bowl with a dish towl.  Let rest for about 10-15 minutes.
4. Make the avocado sauce.  Place all the ingredients in a mini chopper, a food processor fitted with a small bowl, or a blender. (Note: I found that using a larger food processor just didn't work -- there wasn't enough of the sauce for the processor to effectively blend it.)  Blend the sauce until it is smooth, adding a little water if things seem to thick. Taste and adjust seasoning.  Cover and set aside.
5. Cook the pitas. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Meanwhile, cut the dough into four pieces.  Roll out one piece between two pieces of parchment paper as thinly as possible without ripping the dough.  Carefully transfer to the skillet, and cook for a couple of minutes on each side, until nicely browned.  Roll out the next pita while first one is cooking.  Continue until all the pitas are cooked, keeping them on a warm plate covered with a dish towel to keep warm.
6. Assemble the dish.  Spread a quarter of the avocado sauce on a pita. Top with a large scoop of roasted veggies.  Finally, dollop on a little sour cream.  Enjoy!

Happy Patriot's Day to those celebrating -- here we are viewing the reenactment of the Battle of Lexington!

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