Vegetable platter

Vegetable Platter with Tahini. (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times / December 5, 2013)

Vegan vegetable and sesame feast

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Servings: 4 or 5 appetizer or 3 main course servings

4 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices, or 4 to 6 ounces button or cremini mushrooms, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices

1 long eggplant (about ½ pound), halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices

1 onion, quartered lengthwise, then sliced crosswise about ¼-inch thick

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 small Korean or daikon radish (about 7 ounces), quartered lengthwise, then cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices (2 cups)

2 large carrots (about ½ pound), sliced on the bias about 3/8-inch-thick (2 cups)

3 1/2 to 4 cups medium broccoli florets (about 10 ounces)

8 medium or wide asparagus spears, cut in thirds

1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1 (15-ounce) can, drained

1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Green tahini sauce

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small roasting pan, combine the mushrooms, eggplant and onion. Drizzle the olive oil over and season with a pinch each salt and pepper, or to taste, gently stirring to combine. Roast until tender, 30 to 35 minutes, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes. Remove and cool slightly, then taste and adjust the seasoning if desired.

2. Bring about 1 1/2 quarts water to a boil in a medium saucepan and add a pinch of salt. Add the radish slices, cover and cook 4 minutes. Add the carrot slices and continue to cook until the radish and carrot are crisp-tender, 3 to 6 minutes more. Remove with a slotted spoon.

3. Return the liquid to a boil. Add the broccoli florets and return to a boil. Boil uncovered over high heat until they are crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon. Add the asparagus stem pieces and cook until crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the asparagus tips and cook until the asparagus is crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon. (Save the broth if you'd like; it is good for soups.)

4. On a platter, arrange mounds of the roasted and cooked vegetables; spoon the chickpeas into a serving bowl. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over the roasted vegetables, carrots and radishes. Serve the green tahini sauce in a small bowl in the center of the platter. Serve the vegetables hot, warm or at room temperature and the sauce at room temperature.

Each of 5 servings: 372 calories; 15 grams protein; 40 grams carbohydrates; 13 grams fiber; 19 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 0 cholesterol; 8 grams sugar; 84 mg sodium.