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Kitchen Cabinet: Chorizo, chickpea and spiced tomato sauce to turn a vegetable into a feast

On my days off, there is nothing I love more than cooking simple, tasty, hearty meals. Roasting vegetables is a go-to of mine after a long week at work. I find treating vegetables the same way you would a piece of meat results in some extraordinary meals.

The thing that makes this dish is the sauce. It can be made in advance and be stored in the fridge. It’s quick and easy and full of flavour. It is such a versatile sauce. It also goes great with a roast cauliflower, or with pasta and chicken.

Leave the chorizo out of the sauce for an excellent vegan dinner.

Conor Halpenny is a former Euro-Toques Young Chef of the Year winner, and head chef at The Square restaurant in Dundalk, Co Louth.

ROAST CABBAGE, CHORIZO, CHICKPEAS AND SPICED TOMATO SAUCE

Serves four

Ingredients

1 head of cabbage
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
5 vine tomatoes
1 red pepper
2 shallots, or one small onion
1 clove garlic
75g chorizo, sliced
½ a red chilli
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tin of chickpeas, strained and rinsed
100g flaked almonds, toasted
Salt and pepper
20g flat leaf parsley
Aioli/garlic mayonnaise, to serve

Method

1. Preheat an oven to 180 degrees Celsius, or equivalent. Start the sauce by slicing the tomatoes in half and place into a baking tray, with the sliced pepper. Season the veg with olive oil, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Place into the oven and roast for 20 minutes.

2. Cut the cabbage into quarters. Season lightly with salt and paprika, place into a hot pan with some olive oil. Fry the cabbage on both sides until golden brown. Place into the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes.

3. Slice the shallots and garlic finely, sweat slowly in a pot on a low heat until translucent. Add the roasted tomatoes and pepper to the pot and slowly cook for a further 20 minutes. Blitz the sauce in a blender, and when it is smooth add some toasted almonds and season with sherry vinegar and more olive oil as required. Blend again until all ingredients are emulsified. (This can be stored for up to a week in the fridge )

4. Slice the chorizo thinly, and sauté with a small bit of oil in a pot on a medium heat. Add the chickpeas and the sauce and simmer for three to four minutes. The sauce will reduce slightly.

5. Remove the cabbage from the oven. Finish the sauce with the finely chopped parsley.

6. Serve the cabbage on top of the chickpeas and sauce, with a dollop of aioli or garlic mayo and some toasted almonds to finish.

Kitchen Cabinet is a series of recipes from chefs who are members of Euro-toques Ireland who have come together during the coronavirus outbreak to share some of the easy, tasty things that they like to cook and eat at home #ChefsAtHome