Roast Cajun mushroom and bean salad with creamy cashew and lime dressing
What a terrific dish: healthy, flavoursome, and filling. It’s also really interesting to prepare and to eat, so a win win all round. The cashew dressing is particularly delicious and could be used with lots of other dishes, so you might want to make double quantities. This one’s originally from Jo Pratt’s The Flexible Vegetarian but I’ve adapted it.
For the dressing:
For the dressing, soak the cashews in a bowl of cold water for 2 hours. Drain and rinse in fresh water. Tip into a blender (or the small bowl of a food processor) and blitz with 5 tablespoons of cold water, the olive oil, salt, lime juice, coriander and chilli, until creamy. Add extra salt if needed. Keep in the fridge.
Heat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas 7.
Mix together the garlic, oregano, paprika, chilli flakes, cumin, olive oil, salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Add the mushrooms and sweet potatoes chunks and coat in the mixture. Transfer to a parchment-lined roasting tray and put in the oven for 20-25 minutes, turning over a couple of times throughout cooking. Add the diced halloumi to the roasting tray 10 minutes before the end of cooking.
While the mushrooms, potatoes and halloumi are roasting, briefly cook the broccoli and green beans by either steaming for 4-5 minutes or cooking in boiling water for 2-3 minutes, adding the kale for the last minute. Put in a large bowl and toss together with the beans, spring onions, pomegranate seeds, some salt and pepper, and a good drizzle of the dressing.
Halve the mushrooms then serve the salad in bowls with the sweet potato, halloumi and mushrooms on top, and the whole plate drizzled with more dressing.
There’s quite a lot of warming spice as well as robust flavours in this dish. That said, it works with all kinds of drinks, from a hoppy IPA to dry cider. Even a pomegranate juice… On the wine front, go with a rich yet rounded yet or an elegant red like a cheeky Beaujolais or New Zealand Pinot Noir.