Eating on a budget

Try this $6 recipe: Roasted cauliflower salad with lemon tahini dressing.


The Vineyard specializes in gourmet and interesting foods. Culinary experiments are encouraged, if not demanded, especially in the summer. While restaurants strive to new heights, so do their prices. So here we’re going to take it back to simplicity. In the coming weeks we will be running a series of recipes for $5 or under per person. Priced locally, they are collected and made with the intention of being accessible to all Islanders. No caviar, no champagne. Included will be suggestions to dress them up or down. However, the base will always be a healthy and nourishing meal. I purchase all of my ingredients from Stop & Shop in Vineyard Haven.

This week’s recipe takes longer than the last one. It’s perfect for a day off, or whenever you find yourself with about an hour to spare.

We try to maintain an average of $5 per person; however, this recipe came in at $6.85. That is is due to the spices and tahini, which are expensive. We justified this with the thought that both have long shelf lives, and the recipe doesn’t use large amounts of those ingredients. You’ll have plenty for next time.


1 head cauliflower, $4.79
½ red onion, $1.41
2 Tbsp. olive oil, $3.49
salt and pepper to taste
½ bunch parsley, $1.29

Lemon Tahini Dressing
⅓ cup tahini, $8.19
⅓ cup water
¼ cup lemon juice, $1.20
2 cloves garlic, minced, $1.79
½ tsp. cumin, $4.19
¼ tsp. cayenne, $4.19
¼ tsp. salt

Spiced Garbanzo Beans
1 can garbanzo beans, $2.19
1 Tbsp. olive oil (included in above price)
½ tsp. smoked paprika, $4.19
⅛ tsp. cayenne, $4.19
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Chop the cauliflower into small florets, and place them on a large baking sheet. Slice the red onion into ¼-inch strips and place them on the baking sheet. Drizzle the cauliflower and onions with olive oil, and season with a pinch or two of salt and pepper. Toss the cauliflower and onions until coated in oil, salt, and pepper.

Roast the cauliflower and onions in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, then stir, return them to the oven, and roast for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and browned on the edges. Let the cauliflower cool slightly.

While the cauliflower and onions are roasting, make the lemon tahini dressing. Add the tahini, water, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, cayenne, and salt to a blender. Blend until smooth, then refrigerate until ready to serve. If you don’t have a blender, add all the dressing ingredients to a large bowl and whisk. If they don’t seem to be coming together, running it through a strainer can help. The liquid will separate, but the solids will break down into a more even mixture, and you can remix any separated liquid.

Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas. Add them to a skillet along with the olive oil, smoked paprika, cayenne, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir and cook the chickpeas over medium heat for about five minutes, or until they sizzle and become slightly crispy. Remove the chickpeas from the heat.

Pull the parsley leaves from their stems and roughly chop the leaves into small pieces (about 1.5 cups loosely packed, once chopped.)

To build the salad, combine the roasted cauliflower and onions in a bowl with the spiced chickpeas and chopped parsley. Drizzle the lemon tahini dressing over top, and toss to combine. Serve warm or cold.


By the numbers

Total Price: $41.11

Total servings: 6

Price per head: $6.85



Arugula, spinach, or kale

Replace the parsley with arugula, spinach, or kale. Any green with some flavor will do nicely.

This recipe was adapted from


We want to hear from you. Have a three-ingredient recipe that your grandma would break out for every family cookout? A snack that the kids devour after practice? Are you up to your ears in kale, and need to eat it up somehow? We’ll take suggestions on recipes, ingredients to feature, or ways to make this series better serve the Island community. Let us know: Email