An Asian-flavoured winter salad to lighten things up

Healthy eating: Ching-He Huang’s roasted cauliflower on a bed of nutty noodles

TV chef Ching-He Huang’s miso-roasted cauliflower noodle salad

TV chef Ching-He Huang’s miso-roasted cauliflower noodle salad

 

Need a break from rich stews and heavy comfort-food dishes? This vegan main course with roasted cauliflower on a bed of noodle salad with an Asian-slanted dressing might fit the bill.

January is Health Month in The Irish Times. Throughout the month, in print and online, we will be offering encouragement and inspiration to help us all improve our physical and mental health in 2021. See irishtimes.com/health
January is Health Month in The Irish Times. Throughout the month, in print and online, we will be offering encouragement and inspiration to help us all improve our physical and mental health in 2021. See irishtimes.com/health

It’s from the new book Asian Green, by Ching-He Huang, who says: “With Japanese miso and Middle Eastern tahini, this is such an East meets East-inspired salad. The miso, garlic and soy dressing used to season the cauliflower delivers a rich umami hit as it roasts in the oven, while the accompanying noodle salad delivers on protein and fresh carroty sweetness. It’s a match made in heaven, and a real crowd-pleaser.”

Miso-roasted cauliflower with chickpea, carrot and noodle salad

Serves 2, or 4 as a side dish

Ingredients
1 large head of cauliflower
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
pinch of sea salt
pinch of freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp red miso paste
2 tbsp tamari or low-sodium light soy sauce
1 tbsp golden syrup

For the salad
400g (14oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 carrots, sliced into julienne strips
200g (7oz) cooked vermicelli rice noodles
1 tbsp roasted cashew nuts
2 spring onions, trimmed and finely diced

For the dressing
1 tbsp each freshly grated root ginger, tahini, tamari or low-sodium light soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, rapeseed oil and clear rice vinegar

Method
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

2 Prepare the cauliflower. Discard the outer leaves, but keep the inner leaves and set aside. Break the cauliflower up into florets and place them in a roasting tray with the inner leaves. Season with the salt and pepper, and drizzle over the rapeseed oil.

3 Put the garlic, miso paste, tamari or light soy sauce and golden syrup in a jar and shake well to combine.

4 Drizzle this mixture over the cauliflower florets and leaves, making sure they’re well covered. Roast for 15-20 minutes.

5 Meanwhile, prepare the salad. Layer the chickpeas, carrots and noodles on a large platter. Place all the dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well, then set aside.

6 Remove the cauliflower from the oven and transfer it to the serving platter on top of the chickpea salad.

7 Drizzle over the dressing, sprinkle over the cashew nuts and spring onions, and serve immediately.

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