An Asian-flavoured winter salad to lighten things up

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

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.

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

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

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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