This earthy quinoa pilaf is topped with a rich, tangy miso citrus dressing. Made with a few simple ingredients, it comes together quickly and makes an addictive lunch or a memorable side dish.
Lately I haven't been able to get enough of Buddha bowls. And this bowl is my newest addiction!
Earthy cauliflower and nutty chickpeas roasted in garlic pair up with sweet carrots and peppery parsley. Top it all off with an umami miso dressing. The flavor combination is truly an enveloping sensory experience, just like a great Buddha bowl should be.
Quinoa Pilaf With Miso Dressing Ingredients:
- Chickpeas: This bowl calls for garlic roasted chickpeas. Pat them dry before you put them in the oven and they'll come out crispy.
- Quinoa: Have a look at my How To Cook Quinoa post for the best tips on making light and fluffy quinoa.
- Cauliflower: Cauliflower is such a great veg to roast because it really mellows and caramelizes in the oven.
- Garlic: There's a good deal of garlic here, and it works beautifully with the cauliflower and chickpeas.
- Olive Oil: As always, extra virgin olive oil is the best choice.
- Salt and Pepper: Sea salt and a few generous grinds of pepper really enhance all the flavors.
- Carrots: Sweet earthy carrots add a fresh, cooling effect.
- Parsley: There's a reason peppery parsley is the base for tabbouleh!
Let's Get Cooking!
Firstly, line a baking tray with parchment paper and combine the garlic and olive oil in a small cup. Next, put the cauliflower and chickpeas in a plastic bag and pour the oil and garlic sauce into the bag, shaking gently until everything is coated. Now, empty the bag onto the tray and spread everything out evenly to roast in the oven for 25 minutes.
While the cauliflower and chickpeas are roasting, let's start the quinoa. Quinoa has a bitter coating called saponin which can make it taste bitter or soapy, so rinsing it is essential. There's varying advice on the best way to cook quinoa. But, after many tests I've discovered that boiling it gently in a saucepan without a lid for 10-15 minutes and then covering the pan with a tea towel for 5 minutes is the best way to achieve light and fluffy quinoa. The water ratio I prefer is 1:2 (so one cup of quinoa = 2 cup of water.)
Next, grate the carrots and chop the parsley. Put it all in a salad bowl and mix up your your dressing. All that's left to do is to add the quinoa and roasted cauliflower and chickpeas and gently mix everything. Distribute the pilaf between bowls and drizzle with dressing!
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Quinoa Pilaf With Miso Dressing
For The Quinoa Pilaf
- 1 cup quinoa dry
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 15 ounce can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons garlic minced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoons sea salt
- 2 carrots grated
- 1 cup parsley finely chopped
For The Citrus Miso Dressing
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- 1 inch piece ginger grated
- 1 tablespoon miso paste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice *approximately one lemon
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup water or more depending on desired consistency
To Make The Quinoa Pilaf
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (220 degrees C).
- Place the cauliflower, chickpeas, olive oil and garlic in a large bag. Shake to mix and pour out onto a parchment lined baking tray. Sprinkle with sea salt and grind the black pepper over everything. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes, turning halfway through.
- Rinse the quinoa and put it in a medium sized saucepan with 2 cups of water (480 ml). Simmer gently with the lid off for 10-15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat and cover for 5 minutes to allow the quinoa to steam.
- Grate the carrots and chop the parsley.
To Make The Citrus Miso Dressing
- Mix all the ingredients in a blender. Add more water if you want a thinner sauce.
Assemble The Bowl
- Divide the quinoa between 4 bowls and top with roasted veg and chickpeas. Drizzle with miso dressing.