Cauliflower and Chickpea Vege Balls with Parsley and Coriander Pesto

, from Issue #68. October, 2016
Photography by Sarah Tuck.
Cauliflower and Chickpea Vege Balls with Parsley and Coriander Pesto

My sister declared these the best things I have ever made, and given how often I cook that is really saying something – even non-cauliflower lovers adore them. Ideal for a lazy weekend brunch, light lunch or dinner. 

Serves: 4


2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cauliflower, finely chopped
1 large stick celery, finely chopped
½ onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
390-gram tin chickpeas, drained
3 pieces toast bread, crusts removed, whizzed in the food processor
1 egg
½ cup chopped walnuts
⅓ cup currants
rice bran or light olive oil spray 

1 cup parsley, roughly chopped 
1 cup coriander, roughly chopped
⅓ cup grated parmesan
⅓ cup olive oil
1 small clove garlic, crushed
½ cup walnuts
3 tablespoons Greek yoghurt or whole egg mayonnaise

finely grated zest of 1 lemon
To serve
4 cups salad greens such as watercress, baby rocket or spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
4 poached eggs
¼ cup coriander leaves 


Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the cauliflower, celery and onion for 5 minutes. Add the spices and a little salt and pepper and cook a further 8–10 minutes until the vegetables are soft.

Cool, then put the mixture in a food processor with the chickpeas, breadcrumbs and egg. Pulse to combine, add the walnuts and currants and pulse very briefly to mix through. Tip out into a large bowl and roll into 20 small balls. Cover and refrigerate for half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Line two baking trays with baking paper. Spray the balls very lightly with oil and bake for 20 minutes or until golden and cooked through.

Pesto: Whiz the pesto ingredients together in a small food processor. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add a little water to thin further, if desired.

Serve the vege balls with salad greens tossed with oil and vinegar, poached eggs, a good dollop of pesto and a sprinkling of coriander.