A vegetarian dish for Lag b'Omer
Most of the barbequed food served at Lag b’Omer is meat, but as a non-meat eater, I created a spicy, roasted vegetable dish that can be served with a grain for a hearty entrée or as a side.
The spicy ingredients are an extension of the fire theme—the carob powder is a nod to the carob that was eaten by Rabbi Shimon Bar-Yochai and his son when they lived in a cave for many years while hiding from the Romans. If you don’t have access to cooking over a fire, then simply roast in the oven.
1 head of radicchio
5-6 spears asparagus
450g chickpeas, cooked
½ yellow onion, chopped
½ red onion, chopped
1 red pepper, sliced lengthways
2-3 yellow and green courgettes, sliced lengthways
3 large carrots, sliced lengthways
Juice from ½ lemon
½ tbsp schug or other chilli sauce or dried chilies, chopped
5g parsley, chopped
2-3 tbsp tahini
Tiny pinch of carob powder
Cut the radicchio in ½, reserve one half and cut the remaining piece into thirds—it might start to fall apart, which is fine. Keep the asparagus whole but remove the bottoms where they naturally snap off. Rinse the chickpeas and dry them as well as possible.
Place the prepared vegetables on parchment paper-lined baking sheets or roasting pans and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 200C for approximately 25 mins, until lightly browned.
The vegetables will not all cook at the same rate, so check on them as they are in the oven and remove as needed when ready (the radicchio will brown quicker). If you have access to cooking over a fire, then place them directly on the grill or skewers and cook until lightly browned over a small flame.
In a separate pan, add the chickpeas and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper or alternatively toast the chickpeas in the oven.
While the vegetables and chickpeas are roasting, chop the remaining ½ radicchio. When they’re all done, remove the vegetables and chickpeas from the heat and place on a platter. Arrange by types of vegetables or toss together. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
Sprinkle over the lemon juice, chilies, parsley and chopped radicchio, then generously drizzle the tahini over the vegetables. Finally, take a tiny pinch of carob powder and sprinkle lightly over the dish. If you’re serving the vegetables together, toss again with the dressing.
B’tayavon! (Bon appetite)
Recipe: Sarah Newman