Roasted Rapini Salad with Maple Chickpeas and Pomegranate

This salad was originally supposed to be made with kale and quinoa. But then my budget grocery store was out of kale, and I was intrigued by the fresh bunches of rapini I saw. Then I forgot that we are out of quinoa.

So it’s a totally different salad than what I planned, but turned into something so much better.

If you’re intimidated by rapini, don’t be – it can be bitter and tough when it’s raw, but when cooked, it’s just lovely. Usually rapini (AKA broccoli rabe) is blanched in salted water, but I wanted to see what it’s like roasted. It’s delicious – transformed from tough and bitter to tender and slightly crispy at the edges. Amazing.

Roasted rapini

I tossed my rapini with maple roasted chickpeas for protein and crunch, and then topped the salad with feta and pomegranate seeds, because pomegranate seeds are like little nutritious jewels.

Throw it all together with a pomegranate dressing and you’ve got a gorgeous winter salad!

Roasted rapini salad with maple roasted chickpeas and pomegranate

Ingredients

1 can (or 2 cups cooked) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
salt
pinch cayenne pepper

1 bunch rapini, stems trimmed
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
pinch red pepper flakes

1 pomegranate
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar

feta cheese, for sprinkling

maple roasted chickpeas

Directions

Start with your chickpeas. Preheat oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dry chickpeas well between layers of paper towel and transfer to baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup, sprinkle with salt, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Toss to coat. Roast about 45 minutes, shaking the pan and checking on them every 10 minutes or so.

While the chickpeas roast, trim rapini stems and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. When chickpeas are finished roasting, spread rapini on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast at 400 for about 10 minutes, until the edges of the leaves start getting crispy.

Meanwhile, de-seed your pomegranate (this is how I do it). Take half the seeds and whiz in a blender, and then pour through a strainer to make pomegranate juice. Whisk olive oil and vinegar into pomegranate juice, and then sugar. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding some salt and more sugar if you want. Stir remaining pomegranate seeds into dressing.

Toss warm rapini with chickpeas, pomegranate dressing, and sprinkle with feta cheese.

Roasted rapini salad with maple roasted chickpeas and pomegranate

Who says winter salads aren’t colourful!

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