01 August 2013

Roasted Cauliflower Medley with Dukkah


Oven roasting is one of my favorite ways to cook vegetables, especially cauliflower.  Oven roasting seems to release flavor elements that remain hidden when vegetables are cooked on the stove top or in the microwave.  Cauliflower browns and is infused with a nutty sweetness and depth making it, perhaps, my favorite roasted vegetable.  Onions and shallots also gain a caramelized sweetness when they are roasted and chickpeas gain a crisp nutty crust while the inside softens offering a contrasting texture.

This recipe, recommended by Carolyn at CarolynSmithDesigns.com, combines all of these plus some greens of your choice, in a fantastic medley. It is the perfect recipe when you are craving a variety of vegetables that are fresh and healthy and home cooked, but don't want to work from more than one recipe. 

Though a little more prep work is needed to prepare this dish than for my long-time favorite meal for one, Spinach with Chickpeas, it serves the same purpose and provides a nutritious vegetarian meal for one or two with a minimal amount of fuss. It also creates an additional layer of interest and texture with the addition of dukkah, a fragrant Egyptian blend of roasted hazelnuts, seeds and spices.  Serve it alone or with a side of couscous, rice or quinoa.  It also makes a great side dish when cooking for a larger crowd.



Roasted Cauliflower Medley with Dukkah

1 large cauliflower, cut into 1-inch thick florets or slices
¾ pound shallots, peeled and cut in half
3 Tablespoons olive oil
½  teaspoon kosher salt
1 bunch swiss chard, kale or spinach
1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ cup dukkah

Preheat oven to 425F. 

Toss cauliflower and shallots with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and ½ teaspoon salt, or, if you have an oil mister, mist the cauliflower with oil until coated and then sprinkle with the salt.

Spread the cauliflower on a large rimmed baking sheet or in a roasting pan.  Roast at 425F, stirring occasionally,  until it begins to brown, about 10-15 minutes. 

Add the chickpeas along with the chard or kale and roast another 5 - 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. (if using spinach wait to add it until the next step.)

Scatter the dukkah over the vegetables and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.  Stir it into the roasting vegetables. If you are using spinach, rather than chard or kale, add it now, spreading it across the top of the vegetables to wilt.  Return the mixture to the oven for another 5-8 minutes or until cooked through and fork tender.

Stir vegetables together, season to taste with salt, pepper and dukkah. 

Serve and enjoy!

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