Friday, 13 April 2012

Neven Maguire's Roasted Vegetable and Chickpea Salad

This healthy vegetable mix just jumped out of the television at me the other evening, I watched Nevin make it again on the RTE player because it looked so tasty. Now I will make this again in the summer but this time I served it with grilled fish and a poached egg on top, mainly because it's pretty cold out there at the moment and it went down a treat. In the summer I'm looking forward to having it as a warm salad.

Nevin says: The trick to roasting vegetables is not to overcrowd the roasting tin - it should be large enough so that the vegetables can be spread out in a thin layer. Ensure that you turn them every now and then during roasting so that they brown evenly.

Recipe complements of RTE Neven Maguire: Home Chef

Serves 4

1 small butternut squash, peeled, halved and seeds scooped out
1 red pepper, core and seeds removed
1 courgette, topped and tailed
1 fennel bulb, first outer layer removed
1 red onion, cut into thin wedges through the root
3 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
400g (14oz) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
175g (6oz) feta cheese
25g (1oz) wild rocket

For the Cumin and Lemon Dressing:
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 220C (425F), Gas mark 7.
Cut the butternut squash, red pepper, courgette and fennel into small chunky pieces and put into a large roasting tin with the red onion, oil and season to taste.

Toss together until evenly combined and then spread out in a single layer and roast for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the asparagus stalks in half cross ways and make the cumin and lemon dressing.

For the Cumin and Lemon Dressing:
Heat a dry frying pan over a high heat, add the cumin seeds and shake them around for a few seconds until lightly toasted.
Tip into a pestle and mortar and grind to a powder. Tip into a bowl, add the lemon juice and gradually whisk in the oil. Season to taste, stir in the coriander and set aside.

Add the asparagus to the roasting tin, turn everything over a few times and roast for another 20 minutes until all of the vegetables are just tender and slightly caramelised around the edges.
Shortly before the roasted vegetables are ready, drop the chickpeas into a small pan of boiling salted water and simmer for 3 minutes until heated through. Drain well.
Remove the vegetables from the oven. Quickly whisk the dressing again briefly, then mix into the roasted vegetables with the chickpeas. Season to taste.

Leave to cool a little, then arrange on plates and crumble over the feta cheese. Scatter the rocket leaves on top and serve with some red onion and rosemary focaccia.

 (I served the this with some grilled fresh salmon with a poached egg on top...delicious)

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