I love roasting vegetables for their simplicity and versatility. Almost any vegetable can be roasted, although cauliflower is probably my favorite because roasting turns this otherwise strong smelling vegetable sweet and almost addictive. In fact, this simple method of preparing cauliflower transformed my oldest son into a cauliflower lover. As a cruciferous vegetable (in the same family as broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage), cauliflower contains phytochemicals that help fight and prevent cancer. You can read all about this in a previous post on cruciferous vegetables.
Today’s recipe for Roasted Cauliflower, Carrots and Chickpeas with Halloumi Cheese is based on a recipe I spotted in Michael Moore’s Blood Sugar The Family Cookbook, Everyday recipes for any family facing the challenge of diabetes and maintaining good health. You might recall that I attended an Australian lunch a few weeks back at his restaurant, The Sunburnt Calf, in New York.
I had picked up a piece of halloumi cheese from the local Greek market and hadn’t decided what to make with it. After watching a cooking demo on a Google Plus Hangout, I learned the proper way to cook halloumi – simply grill it for one minute per side. If you overcook it, halloumi cheese becomes rubbery. If you’ve never tried halloumi cheese, it has a salty sensation to it and squeaks against your teeth when you eat it – quite a unique eating experience. It doesn’t melt like most cheeses, just softens, making it perfect for grilling.
The addition of protein, fiber and iron rich chickpeas to this dish makes it a perfect meatless meal – when roasted as I did, some pieces come out chewy, others crunchy, for some fun textures in this dish.
So, imagine this taste sensation…sweet tender cauliflower, salty firm (and a bit squeaky) Halloumi, and chewy crunchy chickpeas. It’s so good.
This week, something roasted is the feature for Food Network’s Sensational Sides event. Please check out what all my fellow foodies made:
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Roasted Cauliflower, Carrots and Chickpeas With Halloumi Cheese
Dishin & Dishes: Roasted Asparagus and Avocado Toast
Cooking With Elise: Roasted Strawberries and a Mixed Green Salad
The Cultural Dish: Roasted Sweet Potatoes: Two Variations
Weelicious: Roast Chicken With Caramelized Lemons, Cherry Tomatoes and Olives
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Leeks With Polenta and Pork Tenderloin
Red or Green?: Spicy Roasted Radishes and Asparagus With Balsamic Vinegar
Virtually Homemade: Grilled Rosemary Garlic Potatoes
The Sensitive Epicure: Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Asparagus With Rosemary
Feed Me Phoebe: Artichokes With White Wine and Thyme
Devour: Oven Roasted Vegetable Recipes
FN Dish: An Ode to the Oven, Roasted Side Dish Recipes
Roasted Cauliflower and Carrots with Halloumi Cheese
Roasted Cauliflower and Carrots
- 2 cups cauliflower florets cut into small pieces
- 2 carrots peeled and cut into 1/4" slices
- 3 shallots thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- ground sumac optional
- 1 piece halloumi cheese cut into 1/4" slices
- 1 garlic clove cut in half
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- red pepper flakes
Roasted Cauliflower and Carrots
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine cauliflower, carrots and shallots. Drizzle olive oil on top and season with salt and pepper; toss well. Transfer to parchment paper lined baking sheet, making sure vegetables are spread in a single layer. Roast 15-20 minutes until vegetables are tender and brown (roasting time will depend on the size of your vegetables). Remove from oven and sprinkle lightly with ground sumac.
Grilled Halloumi Cheese
While vegetables are roasting, prepare Grilled Halloumi Cheese. Gently rub halloumi slices with cut side of garlic clove. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with some red pepper flakes. Grill on a panini grill, stovetop grill or outdoor grill (you can also cook in a cast iron pan on the stove), about 1 minute per side until cheese is just soft. Do not overcook or it will become rubbery.
Place a few pieces of Grilled Halloumi Cheese on each serving plate. Top with Roasted Cauliflower and Carrots.
Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking says
Such a healthy, wholesome dish! I love the idea of tossing carrots, cauliflower and chickpeas into a roasting pan as an easy side dish. Thanks for sharing, Jeanette.
Cookin' Canuck says
Roasted cauliflower is one of my favorites, too. And what a great idea to pair it with grilled halloumi. A little richness, a little saltiness…heaven.
Roasting cauliflower is the best–it really gets those sweet flavors to come out. We do it a lot in our house. This looks like a fun, new recipe to use for a side dish to change up the routine.
Alyssa (Everyday Maven) says
Great dish Jeanette! Halloumi cheese is amazing and something I don’t see a lot of.
Kiran @ KiranTarun.com says
Such a vibrant and tasty roasty deliciousness!! I’m curious with the halloumi — never tasted before. Is it a very sharp cheese???
No, it’s not a sharp cheese. Try it, it’s lovely. I squeeze lemon juice on mine after cooking. Would work well with this recipe.
Halloumi is a bit salty and firm – it has an interesting texture when grilled. Rachel – I like your idea of squeezing some lemon juice on it after cooking – will have to give that a try.
I made this tonight but didn’t have any halloumi (and having never tried it, didn’t want to invest in a chunk), so I made simple Parmesan crisps instead and crumbled them over the veggies. YUM! The cripsy saltiness was a great contrast to the sweet veggies.
And I’ve tried roasted cauliflower before, but in larger chunks. I think the small pieces work much better. The whole piece is nicely done at the same time you get just-enough crispy browning.
I made a half recipe for my husband and myself. Next time, I’ll make the whole amount. We wanted more!
Jana – your Parmesan crisps sound great as a crunchy topping! I’ll have to give that try. I usually roast my cauliflower in bigger pieces, but I also liked the smaller pieces better – they browned a lot more evenly. I have a cauliflower head sitting in my fridge waiting to be roasted.