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Roasted Vegetable & Chickpea Salad

Posted Jul 18 2009 12:15am
A little new business. You might've noticed this site has been through a little revamping. The layout has literally had a 180 degree swap, making it more readable and there's even a search bar to make ingredient / recipe / eatery inquires that much easier for you.

Course, that's not the exciting part. Okay, it's one of the exciting parts, but it's not the most exciting part. You see, I get lots of emails from people asking me where they can eat when they visit Cleveland. Which is very cool by me (thanks people!), and I always do my best to toss out some new ideas (or give them directions to one of those cross country, gluten-free friendly chains) in addition to sending them a direct link to the restaurant label on the this site. Admittedly, I feel a little silly doing this, but as my best source, most consolidated form of information, it's the most helpful...right? That plus the fact that sometime life intercedes and I miss responding to some of the nice people who want to know where to get a bite to eat made me realize this site was in need of a bit of an overhaul to be even more of a user friendly resource.

Ta da! The "Essential Gluten Free In Cleveland" was born (ie, that nifty list of links on your left). Hope this helps streamline things, folks, though don't think this is closing the door on emails, I'm still just a mouse click away.

Anyway, back to the food....

I know there's been a lot of talk of baking 'round here, but I eat actual food, really I do. Vegetable filled, good for you, savory dishes. In fact, in some circles, I'm known for 'em. ....And by circles, I mean anyone whose showed up to the same holiday pot luck I have, wrinkled their nose at my surprisingly unattractive dish, only to ask for the recipe by the time I catch them scraping the remnants from the emptied bowl.

With the perfect blend of lemony acidic tang, sharp garlic, and smooth olive oil complementing beautiful summer veggies, this roasted vegetable and chickpea salad is a crowd pleaser - even if those crowds include people who don't particularly love vegetables or chickpeas.

I came across it two Christmases ago - apparently trying to make the most Sephardic Jewish dish I could possibly bring to a decidedly non-Jewish occasion - while flipping through my favorite cookbook, the now out of print Ultimate Vegetarian Cookbook. While, sadly, this book evaporated somewhere between post college pack up and moving back to Cleveland, this recipe, at least survived the move. Good thing, too, because from Christmases, Passovers, and Fourth of July barbecues, this recipe has served me in serving up a yummy dish. (There are used version of the book available on Amazon, and buying one is always on the bottom on my to do list. ...Though I suppose singing the virtues of this book and directing you all where to get it ought to inspire me to get my copy while I can....)

Because it yields so very much food, it really is a perfect bring-it-to-a-party dish. This salad is so good, you certainly don't need a special occasion to make it. Plus, it keeps in the fridge for a good three days. Besides, with it finally just now getting warm this summer, who couldn't use another amazing summer salad in their repertoire?

Roasted Vegetable & Chickpea Salad
From The Ultimate Vegetarian Cookbook

1 lb butternut squash cubed
2 red pepper, halved
4 slender eggplant cut in half, lengthwise
4 zucchini cut in half, lengthwise
4 onions, quartered
1 Tablespoon olive oil (for brushing)

2 10 oz cans of chickpeas
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley, divided
1/3rd cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 tablespoons lemon juice, more or less as desired
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 425. Spray a baking tray with baking spray and arrange the vegetables evenly over the surface. Brush evenly with olive oil and bake for 40 minutes or until they are tender.
Brush baking tray w/ oil and arrange vegetables brushed with oil evenly. Bake 40min or until Remove from the oven and let them cool until you can handle them.

Meanwhile, whisk together 1/3rd cup olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, and half of the parsley. Set dressing aside.

Remove the skin of the peppers and chop; chop remaining vegetables into bite-sized chunks. Mix into the chickpeas, toss with dressing, and let sit for 30 minutes. (This is actually super important, do not skimp on the time!) If bland, season to taste with an additional tablespoon of lemon juice and a dash of salt and pepper; the acidic zing will quickly spark your salad, honest. Sprinkle remaining parsley over the top before serving.

Eat as is, or enjoy over toast. (I prefer Whole Foods Gluten Free Bake House's Prairie Bread, how 'bout you?)

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