I have a habit of making a salad of arugula and roasted vegetables at least twice a week. I like to use whatever’s in my pantry, usually potatoes and sometimes white beans for extra substance, along with whatever fresh vegetables I have on hand. This time, a head of cauliflower was asking to be used and so into the oven it went with the potatoes. After roasting, the potatoes become browned and slightly crisp and the cauliflower’s charred florets impart a wholly different, deeper flavor than had it been tossed in the salad raw. The dressing splashed over it all at the end has an interesting mélange of ingredients that don’t seem to go together at first, like mustard and mint leaves, but I promise it’s delicious. I adore using tahini in dressings as it gives it the creamiest texture without being heavy to any extent. A whole head of garlic that’s roasted along with the vegetables is blended in with the dressing, coating each bite with a bit of its savory personality.
Cauliflower, Potato, White Bean and Arugula Salad with Mint and Roasted Garlic Tahini Dressing
For the salad:
1 head cauliflower, chopped
5 small Yukon gold potatoes, chopped in approximately 1 inch pieces
6 cups arugula
1 can cooked white beans, such as navy beans, great northern beans or cannellini beans
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper
For the dressing*:
1 head of garlic, roasted with the vegetables
4 tablespoons tahini
1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup filtered water
1 tablespoon coconut aminos or soy sauce
4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (or other light colored vinegar)
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste
*This will give you a good amount of dressing; save the extra in the fridge for another day. For a plain and pure tahini dressing with only four ingredients, try this one instead.
Preheat the oven to 420 degrees.
Place the cauliflower and the potatoes on separate baking sheets. Sprinkle the chili powder, cumin, and paprika over the cauliflower and drizzle with a generous amount of oil and toss to coat. Toss the potatoes with oil as well, tossing to coat. Spread the cauliflower and the potato evenly in their pans to ensure even browning. Top both pans with salt and pepper. Chop the head of garlic (for the dressing) in half and place in aluminum foil, drizzling with olive oil to coat. Fold the foil into a packet and place it on one of the baking pans with the vegetables. Roast the cauliflower, potatoes, and garlic in the oven for 35 minutes or until the potatoes are golden and the cauliflower is ever so slightly charred. Remove the garlic from the foil and allow to cool.
Warm the beans in a small saucepan or in the microwave. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To make the dressing, place all ingredients in a food processor or small blender, squeezing the roasted garlic out of its skin. Pulse until combined. Should you not have a processor or blender on hand, Whisk the liquid ingredients together, finely chop the mint, mash the roasted garlic, and then add the mint and the garlic to the liquids and whisk. Add more water depending on the desired consistency of the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Place the arugula in your serving dish. Add the potatoes and cauliflower (now slightly cooled), the warmed beans, and a splash of the dressing. Toss to coat, and serve.