Oven Roasted Zucchini with Chickpeas and Cashew Cream Drizzle, ohhh my goodness. Anyone who claims not to like vegetables has yet to try this dish! These roasted zucchinis are a warm gourmet dish that’s dressed to impress!
I absolutely love the combination of flavours that make up this side dish. It all starts by painting the zucchinis with oil and lots of salt and pepper, and roasting them to perfection. Then they’re sprinkled with spiced chickpeas, sweet pomegranate and parsley. And finally drizzled with fresh cashew cream. It’s a flavourful masterpiece at it’s finest – and so pretty too! I’m considering painting a replica of this photo and having it displayed at the Louvre.
Because this dish is most certainly a head turner! One you’d ask your waiter about after seeing it delivered a few tables down. I hope I’m not the only one who does this? Scope out others’ plates to decide what I’m going to order? Pro tip: excuse yourself from the table to ‘go to the bathroom,’ and then casually eye the plates on your way there. It’s a prime scoping method that’s both smooth and subtle. Unless of course the table isn’t on the way to the bathroom; in which case you can pretend you’re merely looking for it. (Years of experience makes me an expert at food stalking! Not sure if I should be bragging or cringing).
This dish would certainly score huge points for those plate stalkers. It’s an admiral dish you want to set down in front of a group of hungry guests. Unfortunately, I had no dinner plans after making this roasted zucchini dish; and felt so deprived of its praise that I sent photos of it to friends requesting they board the next flight to France asap. It’s probably a good thing their jobs don’t permit irrational vacation requests, because I ended up devouring this entire dish solely to myself! But when a dish looks and tastes this good, the outcome is inevitable.
I’d like to focus quickly on the cashew cream for a minute – as I’ve been getting questions about how to make it so white. The trick is to buy raw organic cashews, not roasted. I soak them in water and then blend on high with lemon juice, salt, filtered water and garlic cloves – no pepper or nutritional yeast necessary for this dish – it’s creamy and delish with these simple ingredients and offers an ultra white cream sauce to drizzle. It also makes it that much easier to serve to vegan-skeptics as every ingredient is familiar. (Best to save introducing nutritional yeast to a couple visits in).
It’s safe to say that you won’t regret serving this delicious crowd-pleasing dish at your next gathering. That is, if you can manage to wait for their arrival. Because the hardest part about this dish was the will power to wait! Best to invite the next door neighbours over for this one. 😉
Oven Roasted Zucchini with Chickpeas and Cashew Cream Drizzle
- 6 zucchinis
- 2 tbsp grape seed oil plus more if needed
- sea salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 cups chickpeas cooked
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- pinch cayenne
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 cup cashews soaked overnight
- 3 garlic cloves
- the juice of 1/2 lemon
- 3/4 cups filtered water
- pinch sea salt
- 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped
- salt flakes and pepper optional
- Preheat oven to 400F (200C). Begin by slicing your zucchinis vertically down the middle. Turn zucchinis cut side up and lightly carve X's into the zucchinis from top to the bottom. Be sure to carve the X's only about 1/2 inch into the zucchini, and not to cut all the way through.
- Paint zucchini, cut side up, with grape seed oil, and crack with salt and pepper. Line a baking tray with tin foil and bake zucchini for 10 minutes to soften. Then turn oven to broil and bake zucchinis for another 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer zucchinis to a serving dish.
- In a mixing bowl add chickpeas, paprika, cumin and cayenne. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle chickpeas over zucchinis.
- Now make your cashew cream sauce: in a blender add your cashews, garlic cloves, lemon juice, water and salt. Blend until smooth. Drizzle cashew cream sauce over zucchinis and top with pomegranate seeds and freshly chopped parsley. Sprinkle with salt flakes and more cracked pepper.
VEGAN – VEGETARIAN – WHEAT-FREE – GLUTEN-FREE – DAIRY-FREE – SOY-FREE