Winter Salad of Root Vegebables with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

If yroastedou’re sick of roasted vegetables you can take a pass on the veggie ingredients in this salad but you shouldn’t skip the lemon tahini dressing which is delicious on nearly everything it touches, though I confess I have not tried it on chocolate icecream. I bet it would be fantastic on orange or lime sorbet. Just a thought, in the middle of winter when I’m longing for the beach. Meantime, as they say, slather the vinaigrette on a nice piece of fish – say halibut or striped bass or mahi – and pan fry or do what hubby is doing these days, madly using the Cuisinart electric panini grill, a great modern invention; he puts everything on it including the dish towels. One of those fish fillets would be awesome cooked on that baby and you’ll want to drizzle more of the lemon tahini sauce on the fish when you serve. Nuff said about that. I do not tire of anything that includes oven-roasted potatoes so here you’ll have those plus matchstick carrots and parsnips, which we always overlook when we roast vegetables, why I can’t say but there’s no explaining a lack of imagination. And if you’re up to here with cauliflower and you already have divined the dirty little secret about roasted broccoli – don’t ask me, you’ll need to discover it for yourself – then just leave it at that and toss your roots with some fresh greenery and have at it. Or just make a big jar of the tahini dressing and drink a cup for breakfast – you think I’m kidding. I, Adrienne, demoed this in January at Brookside and at US Botanic Garden. Adapted from Fine Cooking. 

16 small potatoes
3/4 C olive oil, divided (more as needed)
1 t salt, divided
fresh ground pepper
½ head cauliflower, curt into ½-inch florets
3 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 clove garlic
1 1/4 C fresh parsley leaves, divided
1/4 C lemon juice
2 T tahini (International foods)
1 t honey (optional)
1/4 t ground cumin
1/4 t ground coriander
4 C sturdy lettuce greens, cut or torn into bite-sized pieces as necessary
½ C chopped fresh dill
4 oz crumbled goat cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Quarter potatoes, place in plastic bag or bowl; toss with 1-2 T olive oil, scant 1/4 t salt, several pepper grinds. Spread potatoes on rimmed baking sheet and roast in oven until golden, about 30 minutes, turning them halfway through. Place cauliflower plastic bag or bowl, add 1 T olive oil, 1/4 t salt, several pepper grinds; toss until well coated. Spread on one side of rimmed baking sheet. To plastic bag or bowl, add carrots and parsnips, 1 T olive oil, 1/4 t salt, several grinds pepper. Toss and spread root vegetables on baking sheet next to cauliflower. Place baking sheet in the oven and roast until golden, about 20 minutes. Remove potatoes and vegetables when done and cover to keep warm.

Place garlic and 1/4 C parsley in a food processor and process until minced; add remaining ½ C olive oil, 1/4 t salt, lemon juice, tahini, honey if using, cumin, coriander; process, adding more olive oil as needed, until smooth and creamy.

In a large bowl, toss together the remaining parsley, lettuce and dill with 1/4 C salad dressing. Place on a serving platter, top with warm vegetables, drizzle with remaining dressing and sprinkle with goat cheese. Serve immediately, or hold at room temperature for up to two hours.

Roasted Garlic Soup

Roasting transforms the garlic from a hot and peppery bulb to a soft, sweet, buttery condiment without losing that “garlicky” flavor.  It’s quite an amazing metamorphosis.

4 T butter at room temperature
¼C chopped fresh herbs, such as sorrel, chives, parsley or a combination
4 heads of garlic, loose, papery skin removed and ¼ inch of the tops cut off to expose cloves
5 T olive oil
½ t coarse salt, more to taste
2 T olive oil
1 C small cauliflower florets
½ C chopped onion
1 leek, white & light green parts only, cleaned and shopped
2 large boiling potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 T fresh thyme leaves, chopped
½ C white wine or Vermouth
4 C chicken or vegetable stock
Ground pepper to taste

Make the herb butter by mixing chopped herbs into softened butter. Reserve in the refrigerator. Heat oven to 375. Place garlic on a sheet of foil and drizzle olive oil over the heads; sprinkle on the salt. Fold the foil over the garlic heads so they are encased in a pouch. Place on a baking sheet and roast garlic heads until a clove yields a soft puree, 30-45 minutes. Remove from oven and open up foil; when garlic is cool, gently squeeze out the pulp from each clove into a bowl. Reserve.

While garlic heads are roasting, prepare the cauliflower florets. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil until it gleams; add cauliflower florets and saute, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften. Season with salt and pepper and continue cooking until florets are deep golden brown and tender-crisp, about 7 minutes. Reserve.

In a soup pot over low heat, sweat the onions and leeks in 1 T olive oil until soft but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add potatoes and thyme leaves, turn the heat to medium high and add white wine. Reduce until almost evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add broth and reserved garlic pulp; bring the soup to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer until potatoes are very soft, about 15 minutes. Puree soup in a food processor, seasoning with salt and pepper. Reheat and serve, topped with a dollop of herb butter and a tablespoon or so of cauliflower florets.

Serves four to six.

Based on 6 servings:
 Calories 294
 Fat grams 16
 Protein grams 8
 Carb grams 30
 Chol mg 0
 Fiber grams 6

Delicata, Cauliflower and Pearl Onion Roast

The tender skin on the delicata doesn’t require peeling; other substitutes for delicata are kabocha, Honey Delight or Black Forest, all have edible skin.

1 (10oz) bag pearl onions, preferably red, peeled (about 20 small onions)
1 lb. delicata squash, halved, seeded and then cubed
1 small cauliflower, cut or broken into florets
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp. garam masala (can substitute curry powder or pumpkin pie spice)
1 tsp. salt (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 ̊. Spread all the vegetables on a large cookie sheet, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt and garam masala. Roast until tender, 40-50 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with copped parsley.