comscore Roasted, raw combo makes for great salad

Roasted, raw combo makes for great salad

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    The original inspiration for this salad was a cup of leftover roasted cauliflower in the fridge.

There is a salad on our table almost every night. Usually it’s lettuce. More often than not, just a bowl of slivered romaine with a tart vinaigrette. Super simple.

But when I go out, I am always drawn to more intricate salads, and I am a pushover for those that have a combination of cooked and raw vegetables. And if some of those vegetables are roasted — those caramelized edges, that deep, sweet flavor …

The original inspiration for this salad was a cup of leftover roasted cauliflower in the fridge. (The fact that there was leftover roasted cauliflower is actually kind of amazing — usually every last floret is inhaled). I resisted simply eating it cold, and decided to toss it with some lettuce and dress it all up. Boy, was it good. So then I got inspired to take this concept to another level.

The next time, I roasted a whole lot of cauliflower, and partway through the roasting added some chickpeas to the pan for just the right combination of firm and chewy.

The lemon tahini dressing easily partners with the chickpeas — collectively, they are basically the ingredients in traditional hummus. The dressing is thick, almost mayonnaise-like in texture. At first you’ll basically dollop it on, but then when you toss the vegetables and lettuce with the dressing it will coat everything with creaminess.

And because we just love lettuce, a whole pile of thinly sliced romaine hearts provides the crunch against the tenderness of the roasted vegetables. A shower of thinly sliced red onion is the kicker, plus some herby brightness from cilantro or parsley. Choose between the two, or use a combo for yet another layer of flavor.

This salad is likely to show up the next time I’m making a big meal with a Mediterranean or Middle Eastern bent, as the show-off salad that threatens to upstage the main dish. And I will secretly hope it doesn’t all get eaten, and that there will be a container nestled in the back of the fridge for my lunch the next day.


By Katie Workman, Associated Press

  • 1 head cauliflower (about 1-1/2 pounds), cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 (15.5 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups slivered romaine hearts
  • 1/2 red onion, slivered
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley or cilantro leaves
  • >> Tahini dressing:
  • 1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Place cauliflower on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with paprika, cumin and cayenne, and season with salt and pepper. Toss. Roast 20 minutes, until cauliflower is starting to soften.

Add chickpeas to pan, stirring so they are evenly distributed and coated with seasonings. Roast another 15 minutes, until chickpeas have firmed up a bit (they will get firmer as they cool) and cauliflower is nicely browned. Let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile process dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender until thick and smooth.

Place romaine hearts in shallow bowl; top with cauliflower and chickpeas. Spoon dressing on top and toss to coat. Top with onions and parsley or cilantro leaves. Serves 8.

Approximate nutritional information, per serving: 187 calories, 13 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 168 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 6 g protein.

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