On the menu: Roasted Chickpeas and Vegetables
We’ve been busy around here. I’ve picked up a second job to supplement my meager finances, and it has definitely taken a toll on my motivation to cook. But cooking is what keeps me sane, so I’ve put serious effort to cook two or three good meals a week with Kevin. I’ve taken it upon myself to try as many varieties of winter squash as possible this fall, as squash and I have not been closely associated for the vast majority of my existence. We’ve established that butternut squash is delicious, but acorn squash is not so tasty. I decided to try buttercup squash for this recipe, making this mystery vegetable the highlight of a flavorful fall meal.
This recipe came from Food Network Magazine, and it was one of those recipes that jumped off of the page with its gorgeous colors and textures. Reading the recipe left a little to be desired, but it was easy to adapt into what I was looking for. I used Joy the Baker’s recipe for roasted chickpeas and roasted the vegetables right along with them. Kevin cooked the rice and steamed the snow peas. Our version was just as beautiful as the one presented in the magazine, and we were eager to dig in.
Friends, roasted chickpeas are amazing. They form a paper thin crust that you bite through to reach the creamy inside, making for a killer textural element in this dish. The chickpeas were a great complement to the smooth, sweet, and delicious (Yes!) buttercup squash. The robust flavors from the cumin, smoked Spanish paprika, coriander, ginger, and sesame oil reminded me of the recipes from Yotam Ottolenghi’s book Plenty. The cauliflower, peas, and mint added some much needed freshness and cut through the heavy flavors of the rest of the dish. This is a phenomenal meatless meal that we will definitely make again.
Oh, oh, oh! I have to tell you about the 4th kind of squash I’ve tried this season: red kuri squash! I have read a lot about it and I was unable to find it anywhere locally, but I found it at our local natural foods store. I picked one up and made Tartelette’s Coconut and Red Kuri Squash soup. Red kuri squash is a little more savory than butternut squash, but it’s not as bitter as acorn squash. The soup was divine; decadent in flavor and texture yet light on the palate.
Roasted Chickpeas and Vegetables
adapted from Food Network Magazine
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
freshly ground black pepper
1 small buttercup squash (about 2 pounds), seeded and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
1/2 head cauliflower, sliced into florets
1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
4 cups snow peas
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Cooked rice, for serving (optional)
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh mint
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400°F while you prep the vegetables. Place the squash and cauliflower onto a rimmed baking sheet and toss with salt, pepper, coriander, and olive oil. Put into the oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, toss the chickpeas, olive oil, smoked Spanish paprika, cumin, salt, and pepper in a baking dish, and add this dish to the oven after the 10 minutes is up for the squash and cauliflower. Roast both pans for 25 more minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting, cook the rice. In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the sesame seeds until lightly browned, 3-5 minutes. Toward the end of the roasting time, steam the snow peas with the ginger for 5-7 minutes, making sure the peas stay crisp-tender.
Serve vegetables and chickpeas over rice, garnish with fresh mint and sesame seeds.