Romanesco & Chickpea Salad

romanesco and chickpea salad / romanesco and chickpea salad /

Two things happened on Monday: It was Jack’s birthday and also we won the Saveur Reader’s Choice Best Cooking Blog award! Thank you, thank you, thank you, to all of you who voted for us! As someone who’s not used to winning things, I really didn’t see this coming. I’m shocked and just so flattered.

I realize — I probably should be posting cocktails and cake, but it’s been a heck of a busy week, so today I bring you: Celebration Salad. (Although, stay tuned, I have some yummy birthday carrot cake coming up next week).

But for now, this salad. (Which I think is worth celebrating). It’s fresh, springy, and would be so perfect for easter. I had some gorgeous romanesco, but you could sub cauliflower just as easily. I blanched the romanesco just a bit and tossed it with a lemony dijon dressing along with chickpeas, avocado, eggs, capers and smoked salmon.

Happy Easter!

romanesco & chickpea salad

  • a few cups of romanesco florettes
  • ½ cup chickpeas
  • ½ avocado, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
  • handful of sprouts
  • lemon zest
  • a few tablespoons of chopped dill
  • optional: soft boiled or poached eggs
  • optional: slices of smoked salmon
lemon-dijon dressing:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ tablespoon sherry or white wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon dijon
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • salt, pepper
  1. Whisk dressing together, set aside. Remove the garlic clove before using.
  2. Place the chickpeas in a bowl and toss with a bit of the dressing and an extra pinch of salt.
  3. In a medium pot of boiling salted water, blanch the romanesco for 1 minute, transfer it to a bowl of ice water. Drain and set aside to dry on a towel. Sprinkle with a little salt.
  4. Fill your pot with fresh water medium and heat the water to a gentle simmer (just below boiling). Use a slotted spoon to carefully drop the egg in and let it cook for 7-8 minutes. Remove and chill immediately in a bowl with ice water. Let the egg cool then slice off just a bit of the shell from the bottom of the egg. Take a regular spoon and carefully slide it in and around the egg to loosen it from the shell. (Repeat with however many eggs you want).
  5. While you wait for your eggs to cook, toss the romanesco, chickpeas, capers, scallions, and dill together with the dressing. Plate, then assemble the avocado, smoked salmon and eggs on top along with a handful of sprouts and some lemon zest. Taste and adjust seasonings.

I found this video helpful for peeling soft boiled eggs.


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  1. Ileaan from

    Such a pretty salad! The romanesco pieces look like baby artichokes. 🙂

    • jeanine

      (but so much quicker to prepare!) 🙂

    • jeanine

      thanks Christina!

  2. Alicia

    Congratulations! Your recipes are always so fresh, clean and simple. You totally deserve it! Enjoy it!

  3. Congrats again lady, so well deserved. How exciting.
    This salad looks just incredible. I love those amazing colors. I still haven’t ever had romanesco. I think I may need to change that ASAP.

    • jeanine

      Thanks Beth – I think it was at our farmers market for 1 day, I nabbed it up quickly!

  4. Gorgeous! I’ve been on a mission to find romanesco, but haven’t had any luck so far…

    Congratulations on the award!!

    • jeanine

      It is hard to find – I saw it one week at our farmers market, gone the next…

  5. This sounds amazing! I am on a huge egg kick right now (same as you – 8 minutes does the job perfectly!) and love romanesco. As soon as I hunt some down, I’ll be making this!

    • jeanine

      I’m a bit (too) obsessed with eggs 🙂 breakfast, lunch dinner…

  6. Archana from

    Congrats! I have been a regular reader here and you totally deserved the award! 🙂
    Love your colorful and healthy recipes!

  7. Big fan of your blog; recipes, writing, photos, the lot!
    I don’t know you personally but I really was thrilled for you when I saw you won on the Saveur site – a truly deserved win. Congratulations. X

    (also, the cover shot for this recipe has the most amazing colours! gorgeous)

    • jeanine

      Thanks Jade! means so much…

  8. Sarah from

    Congratulations on such a well-deserved win! Your lovely healthy recipes and gorgeous photos are always a treat to read.

  9. Yaay! Congratulations, very well-deserved! I love this combination of romanesco, avocado, capers, and dill and can really taste the brightness. Spring on a plate. 🙂

  10. You deserved the award!!!!! You have the best one!!!

  11. Lindsey from

    Congrats on your award! It’s well-deserved and I love seeing Austin bloggers represented 😉

    Quick question–how happy are you with the marble counter tops? I personally don’t mind a few stains here and there but as someone who also cooks a lot, I ended up going with quartz for resale value even though marble is what I wanted. Just wanted to know for my next house. Thanks!

    • jeanine

      I love them, but marble isn’t for everyone. (Like you, in a previous house I renovated a kitchen with quartz – it was so low maintenance!).

      I have a few huge cutting boards and I cook a little “neater” than I used to. Not a big deal really, it was just a matter of changing a few habits. Stains aren’t as big of a problem as etching – you can’t splash lemon juice (of all things), vinegars, or anything acidic. If you spill red wine and clean it up it’s not a problem…

  12. Isadora from

    I’ve never used romanesco before, but I love the way it looks, its beautiful! Congratulations on the best cooking blog award, I certainly agree 🙂

  13. sandra from

    such a pretty salad – with smoked salmon and romanesco?? salad celebration sounds just about right to me…

  14. Grace from

    Big huge congratulations! Such awesome news! Gorgeous salad too!

  15. Sarah from

    Many congrats on a well-deserved win!! Seriously, love this blog. And I may just have to make this, perhaps with extra avocado in lieu of the eggs and salmon. 🙂

    • jeanine

      Thanks Sarah! Of course – just leave out the eggs and salmon (the chickpeas and avocado are plenty filling!)

  16. Congrats on your award. Your recipes are so fresh and modern -very well deserved. Im drooling over this salad, but also the frittata…..would it be greedy to have both!!

  17. peps from

    Great healthy salad!!

  18. cj from

    Congratulations on you Saveur Food Blog Award – I would to personally invite you to share your gorgeous food photos with us over at Food Foto Gallery . com – In March alone, we had 26,382 visitors to the site & there’s no complicated approval process like the big guys. Any photos related to food (that are not watermarked) are accepted & get posted automatically. We also share our daily faves on social media, giving exposure to food bloggers when we can. Let me know if you have any questions and hope to see you at the site 🙂

  19. Donna

    This was great!. I used orange cauliflower, it was beautiful and tasty!

    • jeanine

      so glad you liked it!

  20. Such a beautiful salad! I absolutely love the idea of adding smoked salmon. It’s fantastic on a bagel – why did I never think to add it to a salad? Lovely photographs, too! 🙂

  21. Congratulations on the award!! I love the sounds of this salad, so fresh and colourful. I would definitely opt for the soft boiled egg, smoked salmon option, then it becomes kind of like a healthy brunch. Yum!

  22. amanda from

    congrats on your major award!! well done, well deserved.

    • jeanine

      thanks! And welcome 🙂

  23. dervla from

    super congrats! And that salad looks insanely gorgeous.

  24. This salad looks beautiful! Recently I can’t stop eating chickpeas in my salad, and love to use an avocado dressing. I also have posted recipes for chickpea curry, crunchy chickpeas, and could imagine doing some cilantro hummus. Thanks for the inspiration!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.