simple, colorful, herby, and delicious
Get ready for a totally delicious way to ease into fall while still enjoying a brightly colored and herby salad. I present to you a variation of a roasted veggies, white bean, and Za’atar salad cooked up by Samin Nosrat, author of the James Beard Award-winning NYT cookbook Salt Fat Acid Heat, as well as the co-host of the Home Cooking podcast. You can sub almost any veggie in or out depending on your mood, the season, or what you’ve got in the fridge. The key elements to optimizing flavor lie in the roasting of the veggies and the drizzling of the red wine-based vinaigrette. Za’atar gives the dish the always welcome Mediterranean flavor. So get your sheet pans ready and prepare to enjoy this colorful plant-based platter of goodness.
- 1 medium sized sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
- 1 bunch of young carrots (if you can find the rainbow ones, even better)
- 1 small head of cauliflower
- 1 lb of brussel sprouts, halved (quarter them if really large)
- 1 small red onion, sliced
- 1.5 cups of cooked white beans (about 1.5 15 oz cans) (your choice – navy beans, cannellini, butter) – I use canned beans as a time-saver – feel free to cook yours if you have the time and inclination!
- 2-3 ounces feta cheese (broken up into large chunks)
- za’atar, to taste
- extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal)
- 1 bunch of fresh cilantro (stems removed and chopped)
- 1 small bunch of fresh dill (stems removed and chopped)
- 1 small bunch of fresh mint (stems removed and chopped)
- 1 small shallot, diced
- 2 – 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
- 6 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- freshly-ground black pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
- Cut the brussel sprouts in halves, place in a large bowl and toss with enough olive oil to coat, about 2 Tbsp. Season with salt and pepper and place in a single layer on a sheet pan. Do not overcrowd – if you do they will steam and not roast.
- Place the peeled and cubed sweet potato in the same large bowl that you used to season the brussel sprouts in and add a bit more olive oil as needed to coat. Season with salt and pepper and place in a single layer on a sheet pan. Use half the pan and reserve the other half for the carrots in step 4. As above, avoid overcrowding.
- Repeat the same steps as in and 2 and 3 with the colorful carrots (do not trim them). Again, coat with just enough olive oil, season with salt and pepper and place on the second half of the sheet pan with the cubed sweet potato.
- Add the sliced red onion to the oiled bowl and then add the seasoned onion to the other sheet pans wherever you can fit them in (without overcrowding).
- Trim the root end of the cauliflower and remove the leaves. Slice the cauliflower into 3/4 inch thick slices through the root. Drizzle 2 Tbsp of olive oil on another sheet pan and lay the sliced cauliflower onto the baking sheet in a single layer (um, in case you no-overcrowding-the-veggies-on-the-pan rule applies)!
- Roast veggies for about 30 minutes. About halfway through, it’s a good idea to turn the pans around, change their rack levels in the oven to ensure even browning.
- While the veggies are roasting, prepare the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, let the diced shallot sit in 2-3 Tbsp of red wine vinegar for 15 minutes.
- Add 6 Tbsp of olive oil, a generous pinch of kosher salt, and a small grind of black pepper to the shallot and red wine vinegar mixture. Give it a taste and adjust the salt and or vinegar as needed.
- Place the 1.5 cups of white beans in a small bowl and add 3 Tbsp of the vinaigrette, season with salt and 1 tsp of za’atar.
- Once the veggies are roasted, layer them on a platter as follows: single layer of the cauliflower, then sweet potatoes, then brussel sprouts, carrots, and red onion.
- Drizzle with vinaigrette, sprinkle with za’atar.
- Spoon beans over veggies.
- Sprinkle with feta.
- In a medium bowl, lightly dress cilantro, dill, and mint with 1 Tbsp of the vinaigrette and a pinch of salt.
- Place the seasoned herbs over the salad and as always…..