This whole meal vegetarian salad was perfect as part of a Moroccan inspired dinner party. The couscous in this salad soaks up the spicy, lemony dressing and marries it to the roasted vegetables and chickpeas. Serve the salad warm, at room temperature, or chilled.
The salad is vegan as well as vegetarian. I served it with sides of warm pita, sliced feta, more olives and an eggplant dip.
Moroccan-Spiced Roasted Cauliflower and Carrot Salad (with chickpeas and couscous)
1 medium head of cauliflower, trimmed to 1-inch florets
1 small bunch of carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch slices
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/2 cup of whole-what couscous
1 14.5 ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup of chopped pitted brine-cured green olives
1/4 cup currents
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
Additional Italian parsley sprigs as garnish
Lemon Slices for serving
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Method for the dressing:
Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a small heavy dry skillet until they are toasted and fragrant.
Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the turmeric and cinnamon. Let them cool and grind in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and coarsely grind.
In a small bowl or jar, combine the spices with the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Whisk or shake to blend.
Method for the salad:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F
Brush a heavy large rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. In a medium bowl, toss the cauliflower and carrots with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Spread the vegetables in a single layer on the baking sheet and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Roast the vegetables until browned in places and tender, stirring once. It will be about 15-25 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring 1/2 cup water and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the couscous, stirring. Cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Transfer the couscous to a large bowl; mix in the cauliflower, carrots, garbanzo beans, green onions, chopped parsley, cilantro, olives and currents.
Add the dressing to the salad and mix. Season with salt and pepper.
Garnish just before serving with the almonds and parsley sprigs.
The salad can be prepared one day ahead and refrigerated.
The recipe came for a cookbook written by Jeanne Kelley called ‘Salad for Dinner‘.
Why do I call this TJ’s Salad? Because all the time saving ingredients came from there…
Precooked and vacuum packed lentils – check
Pre cubed butternut squash – check
Brussels sprouts – check
Organic pre-washed arugula – check
Candied and toasted walnuts – check
Fresh goat cheese – check
Boneless chicken thighs – check
You could save even more time if you used their precooked chicken breasts. I would simply cut them into 1/2 inch slivers, toss with olive oil and season with ground cumin and coriander. Let them sit in the fridge for an hour or so (if you have time) to let the seasonings sink in.
I cooked the chicken, butternut squash and Brussels sprouts earlier in the day so they would have a chance to cool before being tossed in the salad.
This is a whole meal salad, everything you need in one bowl.
Ode to Trader Joe’s Salad
1 1/2 lbs of boneless and skinless chicken thighs
1/2 package of precooked lentils (about 1 1/2 cups)
I package of pre-cubed butternut squash (about 2 cups)
3 cups of Brussels sprouts, halved or quartered if large
1/2 cup of candied walnuts
1/3 log of fresh goat cheese
1/2 package of organic arugula – about 3 handfuls
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 garlic clove, finely minced
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
5 tablespoons of olive oil
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F
In a bowl toss the butternut squash with a tablespoon of the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Add them to a sheet pan.
Toss the halved or quartered Brussels sprouts in the same bowl with another tablespoon of oil and salt. Add them to another sheet pan. (I usually line the pans with parchment paper for easier clean up.)
Quartered Brussels Sprouts
Roast both pans for about 30 minutes until the edges of the vegetables are brown and toasty looking. Remove from the oven and let them cool.
Meanwhile cut the chicken thighs into strips about 1/2 inch wide and 1 inch long. Toss them in a bowl (you can use the same one) with a teaspoon each of ground cumin, coriander and kosher salt (if not using kosher, use less).
Heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan and add the chicken. Saute until cooked through, then put aside until time to assemble the salad.
Place the lentils in a large salad bowl. Season with the 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, pinch of salt, the minced garlic, and the remaining olive oil. Taste and adjust the seasonings to your own liking. Let them sit until you are ready to assemble the salad.
When you are ready to eat, add the roasted vegetables to the lentils and toss. Add the chicken, toss again. Add the arugula and walnuts and toss. Taste and adjust any seasonings.
Garnish with dollops of the fresh goat cheese.
This could easily be a vegetarian entree without the chicken. Roasted tofu would be wonderful as well. I would season the tofu with the cumin and coriander before roasting until it has crispy edges. A trick I learned is to coast the butternut squash (or tofu or sweet potatoes) with a generous teaspoon of cornstarch after the oil and before roasting. The edges get super crispy while the center is still creamy.
I am going to take this salad to the folks on Fiesta Friday. It’s Fiesta Friday #428 and it’s been ages since I have contributed. It’s all our new puppies fault plus the demands of spring gardening. Who knew retirement would be so busy! Fiesta Friday is hosted by Angie and this week’s cohost is Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook
I’ve seen several versions of this recipe. David Tanis from the NY Times published one and it also appeared in a 2014 issue of bon appetit. This recipe is a combination of both those recipes. The salad can be made ahead. Prepare the vegetables and toast the pine nuts, then dress it just before serving to take advantage of the crispness of the celery. It will begin to soften after an hour. It will still be delicious and makes great leftovers for lunch the next day, but it won’t have quite the same freshness.
Fennel and Celery Salad
I have finally overcome my own aversion to celery, this salad definitely helps. It wasn’t that I ever actively disliked celery (although I do dislike celery salt) and more that our CSA box of the time had a huge head of celery week, after week, after week. It became tiresome to find ways to use it up.
I used a mandolin for slicing the celery and fennel, a sharp knife works as well. They were cut about 1/4 inch thick.
This would be the perfect salad for a spring BBQ. Spread it out on a platter rather than in a bowl to take advantage of all those wonderful textures.
Fennel and Celery Salad
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice plus the zest from 1 large lemon
1 or 2 crushed garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Put the lemon juice, zest and garlic cloves in a small jar or bowl. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the olive oil and shake or stir to mix. Set aside for at least 10 minutes.
Remove the garlic cloves before dressing the salad.
1 cup of pine nuts, toasted
2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed and thinly sliced
6 celery stalks, thinly sliced
About 4 ounces of parmesan, thinly shaved or thickly shredded
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/2 cup of mint leaves, roughly torn
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet (tossing frequently) or 350 degree F oven for 8-10 minutes. Watch them carefully as they will go from toasty brown to burnt quickly.
Place the fennel and celery in a bowl, season with salt and pepper.
Remove the garlic from the dressing, give it a shake or a whisk. Pour over the vegetables, and toss well. Adjust the seasoning as needed.
Transfer to a platter, add the parmesan and sprinkle over the parsley and mint.
New potatoes, crisp bacon, fresh corn and finely chopped onion…that’s my idea of potato salad. Forget the mayo. This potato salad can hold up to a BBQ or a picnic. It’s the mayonnaise that is the major reason for food poisoning in the summer. As well the mixture of flavors and textures is amazing…salty and crisp bacon, creamy potatoes, sharp red onion, and sweet corn. A couple of handfuls of arugula added at the end adds a tart, peppery and slightly bitter element as well as bright green color. I used a simple dressing consisting of apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil and a couple tablespoon of bacon fat. Go vegetarian and substitute one of the many alternatives out there for the bacon, add a bit of smoked paprika to give the salad that wonderful smokiness.
Potato Salad with Bacon and Corn
2 lb. of small new potatoes, I used a combination of red and fingerlings
6 strips of bacon
2 tablespoons of bacon fat, reserved from cooking the bacon
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of cider vinegar
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
2 ears of sweet corn
1/2 red onion, chopped finely
2 handfuls of baby arugula
Place the potatoes in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are just tender. For me it was about 15 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool slightly.
Cook the corn by your favorite method (grilling would be wonderful). I placed the each ear of corn, husks and all, in the microwave for 3 minutes. The leaves and silk slip off easily. Once cool enough to handle, cut the kernels from the husk.
Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp. Transfer to a paper lined plate, break into pieces once cool. Reserve the fat in the pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
Add the potatoes to the bowl with the dressing and toss to coat. If the potatoes are still a little warm they will absorb the dressing. Add the corn and chopped onion. Taste for salt and if you need a little more vinegar.
Just before serving add the bacon and arugula. Toss again.
I made this salad up to step 6 several hours ahead. Chill in the fridge but bring it to room temperature before serving.
Shanna would like some potato salad please
Serve this as a side at your Labor Day BBQ.
I think the folks at Fiesta Friday will enjoy it. It’s Fiesta Friday #396 hosted by Angie. Come on over and enjoy the virtual blogging party. It seems like everything is going virtual again!
The inspiration for this cauliflower cutlet (or pancake or fritter) recipe came from G. Daniela Galarza at The Washington Post. As written it is vegetarian, gluten, and dairy free. I’ve modified it slightly, adding more seasoning and using fresh riced cauliflower rather than frozen. I will include instructions for both using both fresh and frozen cauliflower. I like the addition of some soft goat cheese but that is entirely optional, the original recipe did not call for it.
The ingredients are mostly pantry staples; rice or chickpea flour and frozen riced cauliflower. I’ve made them with both brown rice flour and chickpea flour. Chickpea flour produces a tender, meatier fritter; brown rice flour fries up crispier. These cutlets or patties or fritters make a perfect lunch dish out on the patio now the weather has warmed. Or make them for a light supper. Or as a side for a BBQ. Or simply put a poached egg on top and call them savory pancakes.
Leftovers are good the next day in a sandwich with some sharp mustard, lettuce and slices of summer tomato.
Cauliflower Cutlets with Arugula Salad
Ingredients for about 10 cutlets:
1 (10 oz) package of frozen cauliflower rice or measure 10 oz of fresh cauliflower (about 1/3 of a large head), chop into chunks and pulse in your food processor until you have finely chopped bits or 10 oz of already riced cauliflower from the store.
3 large eggs
1/2 small yellow onion, grated
1 clove of garlic, finely minced or grated
3/4 cup (about 3-3/4 oz) of rice flour or (2-1/2 oz) of chickpea flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon pepper
optional: 1/2 cup of fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 avocado or grape-seed or canola oil plus more if needed
Make the cauliflower cutlets: If using frozen – microwave the cauliflower on high for 3 minutes until partially steamed. If using fresh from a head – chop about 10 oz into chunks (about 1/3 of a large head) and process in your food processor until the texture of rice, steam in the microwave about 3 to 4 minutes on high. If using fresh already riced – Steam in the microwave for 3 – 4 minutes. In all cases, cool before using.
Line a tray with a cooling rack or paper towels, set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy. Whisk in the grated onion, garlic, rice or chickpea flour, salt, spices and goat cheese if using. Stir in the riced cauliflower.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat with 1/4 cup of oil. Add a large spoonful of the batter, spreading into an oval.
Flatten into an even thickness and cook until the bottom is golden brown and small bubbles appear on the top. Gently flip and fry until the other side is golden brown.
Remove to the tray to cool slightly.
Repeat as needed until they all are cooked, adding more oil if needed.
In a large salad bowl combine the dressing ingredients. Add the tomatoes, cucumber, garbanzo beans and radishes tossing to coat them with the dressing. Add the arugula and toss again.
Serve the fritters warm, with the salad and optional goat cheese on top.