Early spring can be fickle in New York. Last week I planted edible flowers and herbs in my garden and yesterday we got snow. There’s an anticipation in the air as the sensations of changing weather stir change within. We think about exercising outdoors and eating healthier.
As the sun shines a little bit longer, smiling becomes a little bit easier. We can forgive those brisk morning walks and chilly nights because we know we’ll be smelling flowers in no time. And with the changing weather, we welcome changing produce and crowded farmer’s markets.
It’s early March so we’re beginning to see brussels sprouts and cauliflower. What better way to warm a home and start eating healthier than with a roasted vegetable and bean salad?
This spring ingredient salad is really simple to prepare and is a delicious make-ahead meal for pack-able work lunches. Bean salads are a great way to incorporate protein and vegetables into the diet. Also, this mustard horseradish dressing helps to invigorate and awaken the senses.
Don’t have chickpeas? No problem. Any bean will work with this salad. My original plan was to use either cannellini or red beans. But like with the weather, we must be ready to adapt. After soaking some beans overnight and cooking them for about an hour, they were still crunchy. Gah! When this happens, it’s best to throw them out. Old beans don’t cook well and can be really hard to digest. Luckily, I had soaked some chickpeas at the same time, so the old beans didn’t spoil my dinner plans.
Nutritionally, beans might as well be a superfood. They help regulate blood sugar and appetite, leaving you satisfied longer. So, if you’re thinking about cutting out some of your favorite sweets, this is a great meal to help you stave off some of those sugar cravings.
This bean salad has some surprises that work really well together. Grapes get roasted and carmelize in their own sugars and dried mulberries give a little chewiness. It’s fun to create drama in the mouth using regular every day ingredients.
Chickpea Salad with Roasted Cauliflower, Grapes, and Brussels Sprouts
Yield: Serves 6
- 1 can chickpeas or any kind of bean (if using dried, soak about 1 cup overnight, then cook)
- 10 brussels sprouts, cleaned and halved
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 1/2 cup grapes
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tablespoon horseradish, minced
- 1 tablespoon ground mustard
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup dried mulberries
- 1/2 red onion, small dice
- Preheat the oven to 400° and line two sheet trays with parchment paper. Add the brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and grapes to a large bowl. Toss with about 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes until the edges begin to brown.
- Meanwhile, drain and rinse the canned beans then add to a pot and cover with water. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes to warm the beans, then drain.
- To make the dressing, add the garlic, horseradish, mustard, maple syrup, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes to a blender. Blend until smooth.
- In a large bowl, add the mulberries, red onion, beans, roasted vegetables, and dressing. Toss to combine. Adjust salt to taste. Serve warm.