Roasted Cauliflower and Carrot Salad with Spiced Chickpeas


Last Wednesday, I reached into our pantry for our bulk bag of farro. After the delicious success of the last farro salad, I was chomping to use this whole grain again.

I opened the paper bag of farro, and out poured … a cloud of pantry moths.

I screamed like on this day nearly a year ago. Invasion of the insects, part two.


After a brief period of mourning for my beautiful farro, I swatted away the hordes of pantry moths and plunged once more into our pantry. I emerged with a bag of orzo and a new resolve: Celebrate the tenderness of orzo pasta with sweet raisins and crunchy almonds.


Feel free to use any kind of small grain or pasta in this dish. You can change the entire flavor profile by swapping orzo for quinoa or couscous. You can enjoy this salad as a light meal or serve with your favorite main dish. And in case you’re wondering: Yes, this is the salad I brought to a potluck last week. It was good.

I’m totally trying this recipe with my beloved farro before too long.

cauliflower salad

Roasted Cauliflower and Carrot Salad with Spiced Chickpeas

  Prep Time: 10 minutes

  Cook Time: 20 minutes

  Keywords: side vegetarian cauliflower chickpeas


    Veggie Salad

    • 1/2 cup whole wheat couscous, whole grain orzo, brown rice, or farro
    • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into 1-inch florets
    • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 (14.5-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
    • 1/3 cup raisins
    • 1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds

    Spice Dressing

    • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
    • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 small lemons)
    • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt


    Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread cauliflower and carrots in a single layer on the pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast vegetables in preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 15 minutes.

    Prepare couscous/orzo/brown rice/farro according to package directions. While grain cooks, stir cumin and coriander seeds in a small dry saucepan over medium-high heat for about 30 seconds, or until toasted and fragrant. Transfer to mortar and pestle or spice grinder, add turmeric and cinnamon, and coarsely grind. In a small bowl, whisk spices with olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, and salt

    Transfer grain to large bowl and mix in roasted cauliflower and carrots, chickpeas, and raisins. Drizzle with spice dressing and stir well. Sprinkle almonds over salad and serve warm or cold.

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    Q: Have you ever had pantry moths? Any tips for getting rid of them? Their population grows more numerous than pigeons surrounding a discarded bagel.


    1. So sorry to hear about the moths eating your farro Jessie! I am not sure if this is helpful, but when we had moths in the office (did you know they can also feast on paper? I never knew) they had to call in pest control to get rid of them.

      But there are those sticky pads that you place at the back of your pantry and the moths will just stick there. Not sure if this is pest control or just pest detection though. I hope you figure a solution out soon!

      That salad looks nice, though to be honest I am not crazy about cauliflower, its taste is a bit strong for me. But spiced almonds and raisins mmmm

      1. Thanks, Christa! I’ll have to look for those sticky pads because I’d rather not call in pest control! 🙂

    2. I’ve never had pantry moths before…it sounds kind of terrifying! I hope it won’t be hard to get rid of them all!

    3. Oh no!! This is why I usually keep all our grains in the freezer. It does make for a crowded freezer, but after one pantry moth infestation, I’m 100% happy to deal with the crowding. Anyway, this salad sounds great! It definitely seems reminiscent of Middle Eastern pilafs, with the nuts and fruit. So good!

      1. That’s a great idea, Eileen! I think we’ll have to jettison some ice cream to make room in the freezer, but I suppose I can deal with that 🙂

    4. I had a similar experience with a container of grits a few weeks ago. Not fun. But awesome save with the orzo!! This dish sounds like it’s super full of flavor and texture!

    5. I guess you weren’t the only one chomping for some farro!

    6. I’m so sorry to hear about your farro – I wonder why the moths are attracted to it! Perhaps next time, put farro in covered jars? Roasted Cauliflower and Carrot Salad with Spiced Chickpeas sounds delicious and looks fantastic with a bit of sweet and savory combos! Perfect for a cold day! I haven’t encountered pantry moths before except for ants.

    7. We lived in our house for 8 years before we got pantry moths – I was like “what the hell did I do differently??!!”

      Then I went to our Menard’s and bought moth traps – they work like magic!

      Then my other tip – don’t have any plastic bags of food – rice, beans, etc. I ended up buying cheap plastic jars with tight screw lids and use mason jars for food storage.

      Knock on wood they haven’t been back for months. 😀

      1. Thanks, Biz! I’ll check those out 🙂

    8. Mason/Ball jars! EVERYTHING has to go in the jars – beans, grains, nuts, pasta. That got rid of our pantry moths. Also, it looks really lovely in the pantry. 🙂
      Good luck.

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