THE WASHINGTON POST – One of my key life-hacks is to cook extra of whatever I am having for dinner so I have the makings of a quick meal the following day. It takes no real effort to add another fish fillet or two to a sheet pan to roast, double a stew or soup recipe, or bake an additional couple of sweet potatoes, for example.
And, whenever I roast vegetables – which is very often this time of year – I make way more than I need for dinner so I’m left with plenty to play with days after. (Roasted vegetables keep for about three days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.)
This colourful salad came to be when I tossed leftover roasted cauliflower with a random smattering of other items in my refrigerator that needed to get eaten. The combination had such a scrumptious synergy, I have been making it ever since. I especially enjoy how the ingredients play off one another – the way the caramelised cauliflower offers a tender, earthy counterpoint to the crisp, sweet red pepper, fresh greens and hearty chickpeas. They are married in a bright, vinaigrette seasoned with savoury roasted garlic and dried oregano.
Although it is worth cooking the cauliflower just to make this recipe, I can’t think of a roasted vegetable that wouldn’t work here instead, so feel free to substitute whatever you have on hand. Just remember to toss a couple of garlic cloves on the tray with whatever vegetable you choose. (Otherwise, you can substitute a quarter teaspoon of granulated garlic in the dressing instead.) It’s a salad that can be served as a main course with some crusty bread, or to accompany roasted poultry, fish or meat.
And, as I discovered recently when I ordered a pizza, it’s ideal alongside a slice, balancing the plate beautifully, both flavour- and nutrition-wise.
ROASTED CAULIFLOWER SALAD WITH CHICKPEAS, RED PEPPER AND ARUGULA
Active time: 15 minutes | Total time: 45 minutes
A mix of cooked and raw ingredients in this colourful salad play off one another deliciously. Caramelised roasted cauliflower offers a tender, earthy counterpoint to crisp, sweet red bell pepper; fresh greens and hearty beans, all married in a bright, vinaigrette seasoned with savoury roasted garlic and dried oregano.
Although it is worth roasting the cauliflower just for this recipe, almost any roasted vegetable will work, making this salad an excellent way to use up leftovers. (If you don’t have roasted garlic, substitute quarter teaspoon of granulated garlic in the dressing.)
Serve as a main course with some crusty bread, or as a side with pizza, or roasted poultry, fish or meat.
Make Ahead: The cauliflower and garlic can be prepared and refrigerated for up to three days in advance.
Five cups (about one pound eight ounces) cauliflower florets (about one-and-a-half-inch) wide
Two medium cloves garlic, unpeeled
Three tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
Two teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Two cups baby arugula
One medium red bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup cooked no-salt added chickpeas, drained and rinsed if canned
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees.
On a large, rimmed baking sheet, combine the cauliflower and the garlic cloves; drizzle with one tablespoon of the oil, sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon of the salt and toss to coat. Roast, tossing once or twice, for about 30 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender and golden brown in spots. Let the cauliflower and the garlic cool to room temperature. If not using right away, refrigerate until needed.
Squeeze the garlic out of its paper into a medium bowl; discard any tough stem ends. Sprinkle the garlic with the remaining quarter teaspoon of salt, then mash with a fork until a fairly smooth paste is formed. Add the remaining two tablespoons of oil to the bowl, along with the vinegar, oregano and black pepper and whisk to combine.
In a large bowl, toss together the roasted cauliflower, arugula, bell pepper and chickpeas.
Drizzle with the dressing, toss to coat and serve.
Calories: 189; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 224mg; Carbohydrates: 18g; Dietary Fibre: 6g; Sugar: 6g; Protein: 6g.