Friday, August 7, 2015

Roasted mushroom, chickpeas and baby spinach salad

Baby spinach topped with warm roasted mushrooms and toasted spiced chickpeas dressed in a tangy yogurt dressing is a wonderful salad any time of the year. Had friends for lunch today and they thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact it is a great vegetarian main course salad with the addition of the chickpeas. The yogurt dressing is lightly spiced with cumin and sweetened with a touch of maple syrup.

Roasted mushrooms, chickpeas and spinach salad

10 oz white button mushrooms, cut into quarters
10 sprigs of thyme (leaves only)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 15 oz container of organic chickpeas
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh garlic (not minced - they will burn)
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/8 tsp cayenne powder
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
5 oz baby spinach, washed and dried

3 tablespoons 0% fat Greek yogurt (Fage brand)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/8th teaspoon toasted cumin powder
1/8th teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. 
  2. While the oven preheats, toss the mushrooms with 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic powder, thyme leaves and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Drain the chickpeas and give them a quick rinse with cold water. Toss the chickpeas, chopped onion, and chopped garlic with 1 tablespoon olive oil, cumin powder, cayenne powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Lay them out on another baking sheet in a single layer.
  4. After oven is heated, place the mushrooms in the bottom third of the oven and the chickpeas in the top third of the oven. Cook for 15 minutes. Toss the mushrooms and the chickpeas to ensure even cooking and place them back for another 10 - 15 minutes in the oven. The mushrooms should be completely cooked but not dried out and the chickpeas will be roasted and the onions and garlic would have softened with a little color. 
  5. Remove the trays from the oven and transfer the hot contents to the serving bowl with the spinach. The heat of the mushrooms and chickpeas will slightly wilt the spinach.
  6. For the dressing, whisk all the ingredients and add a couple of tablespoons of water to make the dressing have a pouring consistency. Taste for seasoning. If you like the dressing to be a little more sweet, add more maple syrup. The idea is to lightly coat the salad.
  7. Toss the dressing with the salad and serve immediately.
Serves 4 

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