The luteal phase is when a woman’s body benefits most from natural sugars and easy-to-digest cooked foods. The warming spices in this salad aid in digestion, and the selenium-packed Brazil nuts act as a complete thyroid supplement. Pangritata is essentially poor man’s Parmesan. Back in the day when money was tight in the old country, Italian peasants would fry up coarsely chopped bread crumbs with other cheap staples like garlic and herbs and serve the mixture over pasta instead of grated cheese. Brazil nuts add a similarly delicious crunch to these sweet roasted vegetables and keep the pangritata gluten-free.
Reprinted from The Wellness Project by arrangement with Pam Krauss Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2017, Phoebe Lapine LLC
1 large sweet potato (1 pound), cut into 1-inch cubes
4 small carrots (½ pound), cut into 1-inch pieces
4 small parsnips (½ pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons sea salt
One 15-ounce can chickpeas (about 2 cups cooked)
⅓ cup Brazil nuts, pulsed in the food processor or finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup tahini paste
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
1. Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sweet potato, carrots, parsnips, 3 tablespoons olive oil, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon salt. Toss until well coated in the oil and spices.
3. Arrange the veggies in an even layer on the prepared baking sheets. Roast for 20 minutes, then remove the pans and add the chickpeas. Return the pans to the oven, swapping the top one to the bottom, and cook for another 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are nicely browned and caramelized.
4. While the root veggies are roasting, make the pangritata: Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small skillet. Add the nuts and garlic and cook over medium heat until fragrant and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and set aside.
5. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, and ½ teaspoon salt until a thick paste forms (culinary magic!). Add ¼ cup of water (or more) and stir until the sauce is the consistency of ranch dressing.
6. Transfer the roasted veggies to a serving plate, drizzle with the tahini sauce, and garnish with the Brazil nut pangritata and parsley.
Healthy Hedonist Tips:
The tough skin on veggies is often the healthiest part. For example, potato skins have far more fiber, antioxidants, iron, potassium, and B vitamins than the pale flesh underneath. (Another rule of vibrancy!) I leave the skin on the carrots and sweet potatoes but peel the parsnips since the outside can be slightly bitter.
Any root veggies will work here, just make sure you have 2½ pounds total. Delicata and butternut squash are great options in the fall. To make this a main course salad, use 5 ounces of peppery arugula as a bed for the veggies. If part of your batch-cooking session, simply keep the salad greens and tahini sauce separate and assemble to order. The pangritata can keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge and also tastes wonderful sprinkled on top of soup or scrambled eggs.