From pristine beaches and near-perfect weather to a paddock-to-plate food philosophy and a luxe boho culture, Byron Bay has a magnetic pull. I originally planned to make this dish with baked falafels however one night, I came home craving my Byron Bay bowl but I couldn’t be bothered getting out the food processor and moulding the balls. The falafel-spiced chickpeas are not only much easier to make but I think it’s actually more delicious (they crisp up in the oven without the addition of too much oil). I absolutely adore this red cabbage and nashi pear – it’s crunchy, sweet, sour, savoury and creamy – all at once. Cabbage is one of those often underused ingredients, I love it in a slaw like this but for a simple side, you can shred it finely and sauté with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. The slaw can be made ahead of time and I often make extra chickpeas just to have as a snack – they will keep in an airtight container for a couple of days. The lemon-tahini dressing is leveraged to add a creamy, nutty dimension to the dish and is a great recipe to have up your sleeve for all sorts of salads.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 2 x 400 g (14 oz) tinned chickpeas, washed and drained
Red cabbage and nashi pear slaw
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 150 g (5 oz) gluten free sour cream (or Greek yoghurt)
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- ½ red cabbage, finely shredded
- 1 nashi pear, unpeeled, cored and julienned
- 1 small Spanish onion, peeled and thinly sliced lengthways
- 3 red or watermelon radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
- ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- ½ bunch mint, roughly chopped
Lemon tahini dressing
- 2 tablespoons hulled tahini
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F).
- In a medium bowl, combine oil, cumin, coriander, salt and paprika. Using paper towel, pat chickpeas dry and then add to the spices. Toss to completely coat the chickpeas, then spread evenly on a tray lined with baking (parchment) paper. Transfer to the oven and roast until golden for 20–25 minutes, tossing occasionally. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, to make the coleslaw, combine oil, sour cream (or yoghurt), vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a large bowl and whisk until smooth and combined. Add red cabbage, pear, Spanish onion, radish and spring onions and toss to combine. Just before serving, toss in herbs.
- For the dressing, whisk together the tahini and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Add the water, a little at a time, until it reaches a creamy but pourable consistency. You may need to add more water, depending on the thickness of your tahini. Season with salt.
- Divide slaw between bowls, scatter with roasted chickpeas and drizzle with dressing.
Images: New Holland Publishers. Photographer Kyle Manning; Stylist Jane Graystone.