Happy 2013, readers! I don’t know about all of you, but I just cannot believe it’s already 2013. Where in the world did the time go? I’m not sure, but I do know it went way too fast.
Yet here we are, ready to begin a new year. Perhaps you’ve resolved to be more health conscious, more adventurous, more faithful, or more well-read. Maybe you’ve committed to calling your mother-in-law or grandmother every Sunday. Maybe you haven’t made any resolutions at all. Either way, January always seems like a great time to eat a little healthier. The holidays are great, but the sugar hangover can really get you. But after all that great food, who can sit down to a plate of boring ol’ lettuce? Not me, that’s for sure! Enter this roasted carrot and cauliflower salad.
Salads don’t have to be boring. This one is definitely proof of that. (So is this Italian chopped salad and this Stetson chopped salad.) It’s got warm roasted vegetables tossed with plenty of spices, protein-packed chickpeas, chewy couscous, and a lemon vinaigrette with just the right amount of pucker power. Plus feta–did I mention feta? I thought it was integral to bringing all the flavors together, but if you’re not a fan, you can either use another sharp, briny cheese or swap it with marinated tofu for a vegan feast.
Cheers to 2013, friends. May it be our best year yet.
This roasted carrot and cauliflower salad with couscous, chickpeas, feta, and lemon dressing will keep you eating well and feeling even better.
Roasted Carrot and Cauliflower Salad
adapted from Everyday Food Light
For the salad:
1 lb. carrots, sliced 3/4-in. thick on a diagonal
1 head cauliflower (about 1 1/2 lbs.), cut into florets
1 (15-oz.) can reduced sodium chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 TBSP olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
3/4 tsp. sea salt, plus more to taste
1/2 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
1 c. whole-wheat Israeli (pearl) couscous
5 oz. spinach, arugula, or other preferred greens
1/2 c. crumbled feta cheese (or marinated tofu for a vegan salad)
4 green onions, thinly sliced
For the vinaigrette:
1 TBSP lemon zest
1/3 c. fresh lemon juice
1 TBSP red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 c. olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and position racks in lower-middle and upper-middle positions. Place carrots, cauliflower florets, chickpeas in a very large bowl. Add oil, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne (if using), salt, and pepper and toss to combine. Divide mixture among two rimmed baking sheets. Roast until browned and tender, 25-30, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool five minutes before assembling salads. Adjust seasonings, if necessary.
2. Meanwhile, prepare couscous by bringing 1 1/4 c. salted water to a boil in a medium saucepan. When water boils, stir in couscous, cover, and remove from heat. Let sand 5 minutes, then remove lid and fluff with a fork. Set aside.
3. Prepare dressing by whisking together all ingredients in a small bowl or shaking together in a lidded jar. Set aside.
4. To assemble salads. divide greens among individual bowls. Spoon equal portions couscous on top of greens, then top with the roasted vegetable mixture. Drizzle with desired amount of vinaigrette, then garnish with feta and green onions.
yield: 4 main course salads