Thursday, March 6, 2014
Roasted winter vegetables! Still here, even though it sometimes looks like spring outside. These have winter kale mixed in to make us think, or hope, of spring. Serve this at the end of winter, when you want spring to be here, but spring vegetables aren't yet making an appearance!
1/2 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 large carrot, peeled, quartered, and cut into 1/2 inch lengths
1 turnip, peeled, then cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 red pepper, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. butter
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. leaf thyme
1/2 onion, diced
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups chopped kale
1/2 pound whole wheat penne pasta
up to 1 tsp. sea salt
up to 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
Heat oven to 400F. Toss the cubed squash, carrot, turnip, and red pepper with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place the cubed vegetables on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cook the brown butter sauce and the pasta while the vegetables roast. For the pasta, bring a large stockpot of water to a boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to the package directions, usually about 8 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium high heat and add one teaspoon of olive oil, along with two teaspoons of butter. When the butter begins to bubble, but not smoke, add the garlic, thyme, and onion. Reduce the heat to medium low, and cook until the onion begins to turn translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the white wine along with the kale to the skillet, then continue to cook until the kale is wilted. When the skillet starts to become dry, meaning the vegetable begin to stick, add several spoonfuls of pasta cooking water. Turn the heat off when the vegetables are cooked, adding several more spoonfuls of cooking water so that the mixture is slightly saucy. To assemble, drain the pasta. Add the pasta, along with the roasted vegetables to the brown butter, onion, and kale mixture. Toss to combine. Taste, adding salt and pepper as needed.
Stealthy Cooking Tip: Want to boost the protein in this dish? Think about adding some beans, say a can of chick peas. Or, top with a poached egg. Poached eggs are all the rage this season. Cut the egg open, and the soft yolk will act as a saucy dressing for the pasta.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Grilling and roasting vegetables brings out their sweetness, grilling lettuce is no exception. Endive lettuce is relatively sweet to begin with, and grilling it makes it even more so. Add some cheesy dressing and voila, you're set to go. Many cheese dressings are too heavy for me, so I've included my recipe for a lighter version. Easy cheesy, lemon squeezee. Well, that may not be how the saying goes, but it is how this dressing comes together!
4 endive heads
1 tsp. olive oil (or use truffle olive oil)
3 Tbs. low fat Italian style dressing
1 tsp. mayonnaise
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 Tbs. gorgonzola cheese
Heat a grill or grill pan to medium high heat. Brush the grill ridges with the olive oil. Cut the endive heads in half. Place the endive halves on the grill for about 1 minutes, then turn one quarter then and grill for another minute. Flip the endive halves over and continue to grill for 1 final minute. These cook quickly! The endive will be hot, and may have a few soft outer leaves, but won't be soft all the way through. You want it to still have some crunch.
Mix the dressing by adding the mayonnaise, lemon juice and gorgonzola cheese to the Italian style dressing. Shake.
Serve by placing two halves of the grilled endive on each serving plate. Top with 1 tablespoon of the dressing.
Stealthy Cooking Tip: Beautiful food always tastes better. You can make this pretty by making a crosshatch pattern on the cut side of the endive heads. Simply rotate the endive 90 degrees after about 1 minute, then continue to grill.