Roasting is one of my preferred methods of cooking, especially for vegetables. It imparts a wonderful smoky flavor and crisp texture. Foods that have a higher amount of natural sugars in them (like sweet potatoes) tend to caramelize as well. This added bonus creates sweeter, richer and more flavorful foods. Roasting is critical to this Mediterranean Roasted Sweet Potato and Zucchini Salad recipe.
Roasting vegetables in small cubes allows them to cook faster, as well as creates more surface area for crisping. Due to the density of sweet potatoes, cook them for a while first, then add the zucchini to evenly roast all the vegetables in this healthy holiday inspired salad.
Heat the chickpeas in a bit of garlic, olive oil and lemon juice to bring out more flavors. Top with a homemade tahini based dressing, fresh cilantro, and feta cheese to liven up the dish. This Mediterranean inspired Roasted Sweet Potato and Zucchini Salad is unique way to enjoy holiday themed sweet potatoes. Surprise your family or guests this holiday season by serving this wonderful warm sweet potato salad.
Food Science & Cooking Tips:
- Roasting refers to baking food at a very high temperature, usually around 425º F, for a relatively short amount of time. This crisps the outside while evenly cooking the inside.
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Mediterranean Roasted Sweet Potato and Zucchini Salad
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½ inch squares
- 1 zucchini, cut into ½ inch squares
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, separated into thirds
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (14.5 ounce ) can chickpeas, drained
- 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 2 stalks green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
- 1 handful fresh cilantro leaves
- ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
- Preheat oven to 400º F. Grease baking sheet or line with parchment paper. Place diced sweet potatoes on baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, evenly sprinkle with allspice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Roast 30-45 minutes, stirring halfway between. Add zucchini and roast an additional 10-15 minutes, or until outside edges are slightly browned and caramelized. Remove to cool slightly.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in medium frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic, cook 1-2 minutes till golden, add drained chickpeas and lemon juice. Saute 3-4 minutes until chickpeas dry slightly and are warmed through. Stir in green onions and remove from heat.
- To make dressing: In a small bowl combine tahini, lemon zest, 1 tablespoon olive oil; and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in water, 1 teaspoon at a time, to thin to desired consistency.
- Combine roasted vegetables and chickpeas in large bowl. Pour dressing over and toss to coat. Serve warm and garnish with cilantro and feta cheese.
Still craving Thanksgiving and Fall inspired dishes? Check out our Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup – 19 Yummy Desserts and Sides
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