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Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing | Relishing It

We have had a busy couple of weeks, in the most wonderful way.  We went on an epic vacation to Disney World with our extended family.  There were twelve of us in all– six adults and six children– and it was fantastic,  I’m more than a little sad that this long-planned trip has now come and gone.  Luckily, the transition back to our normal lives here in Minnesota was pretty easy.  We’re having a beautiful fall, with stunning colors and perfect temperatures.  October is my favorite month anyway, and this one is living up to every expectation I’ve ever had.  Both of my sweet little ones celebrate birthdays this month– which makes me love it even more.

Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing | Relishing It

As for that getting back into the swing of things, we went to a neighborhood potluck last night where our friends smoked an impressive 36 pounds of pork.  It was ridiculously delicious!  I made this autumnal dish for the get-together and received some nice comments, so I figured I’d share it with you as well.  It’s a cross between a side dish or a salad, or maybe even a main course.  Let’s just call it food, shall we?  It has a wonderful feel of fall to it and contains some of my favorite things.   I fancy rice and squash as a combination, and a few of you may remember this dish from last year? This time I went with the nutty, toothsome, wild rice.  I’ve been tossing it into soups and salads whenever I can.  I also stocked up on Winter squash at the farmers market yesterday, so I figured I’d add some in as well.

Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash , and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing | Relishing It

Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing | Relishing It

Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing | Relishing It

Then I decided to make this delicious citrus curry dressing to pour on top of everything.  I’d been dreaming about this dressing after having recently gone out to lunch with a couple girlfriends.  This dressing was on all of our salads and it was insanely delicious.  (No worries, ladies– I think I’ve got it down.  Or something very close and fantastically delicious in it’s own right.) The dressing’s base is orange juice that has been reduced to amp up its flavor.  The curry addition makes it unique and almost addictive.  Bite after bite, you’ll keep wanting more.  I also decided to add some kale into the mix, since I had a bit left from my final CSA box.  I massaged it first with a tiny drizzle of olive oil and salt for about 3-5 minutes.  Massaging kale helps it soften a bit, and in this dish, it is worth the little extra effort.

Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing | Relishing It

Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing | Relishing It

I came across some wonderful honey goat cheese at our co-op and knew it would work perfectly in this dish.  Wow!  There is a smidge of honey in the dressing, so it tied in beautifully.  Of course regular goat cheese would work fine, too.  I topped the dish with coursely-chopped roasted and salted hazelnuts, but walnuts or even almonds would serve the purpose, too.  Anything that provides a little crunch for texture. The dish can be served warm, but I prefer it at room temperature.  Which makes it a perfect make-ahead dish for the holidays.  Hope you are all doing well– enjoy!

Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing | Relishing It

The Recipe: Wild Rice, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Kale with Citrus Curry Dressing

1 cup uncooked wild rice

1 medium-large butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes

1 1/2- 2 cups coarsely chopped kale (any variety will work)

roasted and salted hazelnuts, for garnish (about 1/2-3/4 cup)

crumbled honey goat cheese (or regular), for garnish (about 1/2 cup)

olive oil

kosher salt and cracked pepper

For the Citrus Curry Dressing:

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice, from 2 oranges  (Valencia worked great)

1 tablespoon finely minced shallot or red onion

1 garlic clove, finely minced

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

2 teaspoons sweet curry powder

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Place the diced butternut squash on a large rimmed baking sheet and coat with a little bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Roast for about 20-25 minutes, or until tender.  Turn the squash once while roasting.  The amount of roasting time will depend on how big or small the squash pieces were cubed, so keep a watchful eye.  Remove from oven when tender and let cool a bit.  Squash that is really hot is fragile and will fall apart more easily.

Meanwhile, rinse the wild rice in water and place into a large saucepan with 4 cups of cold water a little salt.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  The rice should be tender after about 45 minutes.  Then drain the remaining water and fluff with a fork.  Let cool for a bit. This method uses a bit more water than usual, but helps in that you don’t have to keep such a watchful eye so it doesn’t burn.

To make the dressing, begin by placing the orange juice into a small saucepan and reduce (uncovered) over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, or until 1/3 cup orange juice remains.  Stir often. Let cool.  Then you may begin making the dressing by using one of two methods.  The first method uses an immersion blender (which I couldn’t live without).  Place all of the dressing ingredients into a tall cylinder shaped container (my blender came with one) and pulse a few times with an immersion blender until the dressing is uniform and well blended.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can simply use the bowl and whisk method to make the dressing (or even shake in a lidded jar).   Add all of the ingredients to the bowl, except the olive oil.  Mix together, and then slowly whisk in the olive oil.  Season with kosher salt and cracked pepper.  You may be surprised that you’ll have to add a bit of salt to bring out the flavor of the dressing.

Add the coarsely chopped kale to a medium-sized bowl and drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil and salt. Massage kale for a few minutes until it is tender and has wilted a bit.

When all of the ingredients are ready, add them to a huge serving platter or bowl.  Pour half of the dressing over everything and gently mix.  Taste.  Add more dressing if you like.  Season with salt and pepper.  Then top with crumbled goat cheese and chopped roasted hazelnuts.  I prefer this dish at room temperature.  Refrigerate leftovers.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

 

 

 

Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs | Relishing It

Full disclosure: this is a blog post in two parts.  First, I lure you in with this recipe for these amazing ribs.  Then “POW!”, I hit you with some truth about what’s wrong with the way we as a society eat and what we can do about it.  Deal?  Alright, let’s start with the ribs.  My husband was still raving about them days later– they’re that good.  Honestly.  Subtly-sweet and balanced with just the right amount of salt.  The ginger, garlic, and orange juice are key.

Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs | Relishing It

I happened to have some gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper powder) left from making homemade kimchi. It worked wonderfully in this dish, but don’t worry if you don’t have it– it will still be amazing without it. Oh, and don’t forget to buy your ribs from someone you can trust, because quality matters.  These beauties came from Bar Five.  Braising season is here, and you really should put these ribs high on your priority list of things to make.

Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs | Relishing It

Now for my sermon.  I was on a run this summer listening to a podcast– because tricking myself into forgetting that I’m running by listening to something interesting is the only way I can tolerate it.  I believe the podcast was the brilliantly-titled ‘Go Fork Yourself’ with Andrew Zimmern and Molly Mogren.  The hosts were discussing the documentary ‘Fed Up‘– an excellent take-down of the Big Food industry.  After hearing them chat, I had to see the film, which came out on DVD a few weeks back.  Now I read a fair amount on food and health, so I was mostly aware of the threats that the large-scale processed-food industry pose.  Even so, this film was eye-opening.  As a passionate food blogger that cares about eating healthy food and really wants the best for not only my family, but yours too– I really think you need to see this documentary.

Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs | Relishing It

So, what is ‘Fed Up’ all about?  Basically, it’s an investigation into why we as a society have become morbidly obese over the past few decades.  It follows food fads, big corporations, nefarious political lobbying efforts, the costs to our health and healthcare system, and in the end provides an answer.  The real reason we’ve become so overweight, why childhood diabetes has exploded, why for the first time children will have a lower life expectancy than their parents comes down to… sugar.  Intrigued?  You should be.

Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs | Relishing It

The industry would have you believe that we’ve become overweight because we’re lazy, or that they’re just offering more choices and it’s up to us to make healthy decisions.  But that is a finely-crafted message backed by millions of dollars in advertising and lobbying payouts to politicians.  It’s hard to make the right decision when there is so much misdirection.  It’s hard to make the right choices when we subsidize sugar, rather than whole fruits and vegetables, making processed foods the the affordable option.  The fact is, we’re addicted to sugar– in all of its confusingly-named forms.  And that’s exactly how they want it.  I was stunned to see how hard people try to make the right food choices– to eat healthy– but to be dead-wrong because of the flood of misinformation.  The most heartbreaking part is watching how children suffer because they have no choice in the matter.  The majority of public school lunch programs have been co-opted by corporations like Coca Cola and Pizza Hut, serving up nachos, soda, and sugary tomato paste (which the government counts as a vegetable).

Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs | Relishing It

Yes, I make homemade food from scratch because it tastes better, but I also do it so I know that my family is eating real, nourishing food.  This is why I rarely buy food in packages– most of it is loaded with unnecessary sugar.  And the key here is “unnecessary sugar.”  I cook and bake with sugar.  There’s a place for it in my kitchen.  But at least I know just how much my family is taking in when we sit down to eat a meal.  And yes, my kids still get to eat ice cream, and cookies, and candy.  But it’s in moderation, and balanced by the fact that the majority of their calories come from real food– not the hidden sugar in a box of so-called “healthy” cereal.  There.  I’ve said my peace.  Sometimes it’s good to get things off of one’s chest.  I really do hope you watch this film, think about it, talk about, and share it with others.  It’ll be difficult, but we can get a conversation going in this country and make things happen.  Thanks for listening, friends.

Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs | Relishing It

The Recipe: Braised Korean Beef Short Ribs

(serves 4)

3 pounds of grass-fed beef short ribs

1/4 cup chopped white onion

6 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1/4 cup fresh orange juice and zest from 1 orange

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon gochugaru (korean red chili pepper powder), optional

salt and pepper

olive oil

toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions, for serving

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil a large Dutch oven.  Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper and then brown for a few minutes on each side, or until they become dark brown in color. You may want to brown the ribs in two batches, depending upon the size of your pan.  Use more olive oil, as necessary.

Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, blend the onion, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, rice vinegar, orange juice and zest, sesame oil, and gochugaru until smooth.  Pour the liquid over the browned ribs, cover, and braise for about 2 hours, or until the meat is fork tender and practically falling off of the bones.  If after 2 hours, it doesn’t do that, braise a bit longer.

Feel free to spoon off some of the fat that will rise to the top before eating.  Serve ribs with plenty of sauce, rice, toasted sesame seeds, and green onions.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

 

 

 

 

Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken | Relishing It

So, I’m assuming you have all made your homemade batch of enchilada sauce from my post a couple days ago, right?  Now, what are you going to do with that bowl of deliciousness?  You could use it for regular ol’ enchiladas, but why not try something different– like this enchilada bake? An enchilada bake is kind of like an Italian lasagna but with a Mexican twist.  It’s a lot of layering of ingredients of your choosing separated by tortillas, cheese, and sauce.  And it’s wonderful.

Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken | Relishing It

Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken | Relishing It

Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken | Relishing It

Of course, you can use any sort of filling that you want, but I chose to go with butternut squash because it’s in-season right now.   Shredded chicken probably isn’t necessary as the black beans give this dish protein and a nice Mexican vibe.  With that said, the chicken was perfect in this dish– and my husband probably would have rioted without it.  Plus, I had some in my refrigerator from making broth the other day.  I love the combination of the squash, black beans, and chicken– they compliment each other so well.  And the enchilada sauce ties everything together.

Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken | Relishing It

Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken | Relishing It

If you’re not entirely sure how to cut into that butternut squash, I took a few photos that should help you out.  It’s quite easy to dice.  And if you have extra squash, roast it and freeze it for later.  I love doing that this time of year, since they are so plentiful and inexpensive at the farmers markets.  Something to think about if you’re like me and stocking your freezer full of summer goodness to get you through the winter.  Be well, my friends.

Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken | Relishing It

Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken | Relishing It

The Recipe: Enchilada Bake with Butternut Squash, Black Beans, and Shredded Chicken

(makes an 11 x 8 casserole)

1 butternut squash, cubed into small pieces (you’ll only use about 1 1/2 cups of it)

1 cup cooked black beans

1 1/2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese

about 12 corn or flour tortillas, or more depending upon your pan size

1 cup shredded, cooked chicken ( *see note)

2 cups homemade enchilada sauce, plus more for serving

olive oil

salt and pepper

green onions, sour cream, and jalapeños, for garnish

*Note: If you don’t have any cooked chicken on hand, you can easily roast some.  You’ll need about 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts.  Place on a small baking sheet lined with foil.  Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake at 375°F for about 45 minutes, or until the chicken reaches between 165-170°F when inserted with a thermometer. You can bake the chicken and squash at the same time, the chicken will just need to bake a bit longer.  Let the chicken rest for at least 10 minutes before shredding it

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Place the cubed squash on a large baking pan lined with parchment paper.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast for about 25 minutes, or until tender.  Remove from oven.  You will not use all of the squash.  Store remaining squash in the refrigerator to use throughout the week, or freeze.

Next, begin layering the enchilada bake.  The amounts I listed were for a casserole dish that measures 11 x 8.  Use whatever dish you have, but just know that you may need to make adjustments to the amounts.  Start by putting 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom, followed by about 1 cup of roasted squash.  Then place about 4 tortillas on top of that, followed by 1/2 cup of black beans, 1/2 cup of shredded chicken and 1/2 cup shredded cheese. The next layer will be 4 more tortillas, 1/2 cup of black beans, 1/2 cup of shredded chicken, and 1/2 cup of roasted squash.  Then, the final layer is 4 tortillas, 1 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce topped with about 1 cup of monterey jack cheese. Slightly push down on the layers, as you go.

Bake uncovered at 375°F for about 40-45 minutes, or until the cheese is a beautiful golden brown.  Remove from oven and serve with extra enchilada sauce, sour cream, chopped green onions, and jalapeños.  Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator and are wonderful when served with a little extra enchilada sauce.  Enjoy!

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Laurie

 

Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce | Relishing ItWith the exception of this past warm weekend– a farewell gift from summer as it left– my mind has been drifting towards cool-weather comfort food.  You know, those meals that you can settle in to and cozy up with in the evening.  I’m ready for less running about, more family meals at the table, and that smell that you greets you at the door and permeates the house– when you know something delicious awaits you for dinner.  Yes, I’m ready for fall food.  I’m ready to eat hot soups and sip hot drinks.  I’m ready to braise things again.

Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce | Relishing It

Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce | Relishing It

Enchiladas may seem like an odd place to start, but for me, it’s a perfect seasonal-transition meal.  It’s warm, substantial, and very much a comfort food.  I intended to share this really quick enchilada sauce with you last year, but didn’t get to it.  If you’re a regular reader here, you know that I’m a big proponent of making homemade sauces.  It takes just a little extra effort, and the results are almost always worth it.  They taste so much fresher than store-bought jars, and I like having control over exactly what goes into them.  This homemade enchilada sauce is no exception.  It tastes delicious and comes together in a matter of minutes.  This is a quick enchilada sauce, made from already ground spices, which works well for weeknight meals.  I have a fantastic recipe coming up later in the week for you that uses this sauce. It’s a perfect meal for those crisp, autumn nights.  Be well, everyone.

Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce | Relishing It

Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce | Relishing It

The Recipe: Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce

(makes 3 1/4 cup)

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup diced onion

3 1/2 tablespoons ancho chile powder

2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 bay leaf

15 ounces organic tomato sauce (plain)

1 1/2 cups chicken broth (preferably homemade)

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1 dried bay leaf

kosher salt, to taste

In a large sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Sauté the onion and garlic for a few minutes until soft.  Add the remaining ingredients and let simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove the bay leaf and blend ingredients together with an immersion or regular blender. Season with more kosher salt, if necessary.  At this point, the sauce is ready to use.  Refrigerate it to use later in the week, or freeze for another time. Enjoy!

As always, thanks for stopping by to say hello or just to peek around!

Laurie

Roasted Tomatillo and Pork Stew | Relishing It

It has been a busy couple of weeks around our household lately.  School started for both of my kids and I’m happy to report that they are really loving it. Honestly, getting back onto the swing of things wasn’t that difficult despite the transition from late summer bedtimes and laid-back mornings around the house.  And I suddenly have a bit more free time now, which has fallen perfectly in-line with canning season! That wonderful time of the year when I dream of tomatoes. I’ve been busy in the kitchen stocking up on salsa, sauces, and plain tomatoes for the winter. Two more boxes I picked up from the farmers market this weekend are waiting for me as I write this. But, I wanted to share this ridiculously delicious recipe with you before I dive into chopping my day away again.

Roasted Tomatillo and Pork Stew | Relishing It

Roasted Tomatillo and Pork Stew | Relishing It

Roasted Tomatillo and Pork Stew | Relishing It

Roasted Tomatillo and Pork Stew | Relishing It

I was never exposed to tomatillos while growing up.  In fact, I didn’t really ever buy them before I moved to Minnesota.  Now, I just love them and making salsa with them is a no-brainer.  However, we’ve been getting a beautiful bag almost weekly from our CSA, so I wanted to do something a bit different, because how many chips can a girl really eat?  Kidding…I can eat A LOT of chips.  Pork and tomatillos are a perfect combination together– the tang from these little green gems is perfect.  This stew could not be easier to make or more satisfying. The flavors are bright and the pork is tender, yet doesn’t need to cook all day long, which makes it a bonus for a weeknight meal.  I love to serve it with a scoop of brown rice on top, but it can be equally satisfying if you prefer it without grains.  If your family loves heat, preparing it with jalapeños in the sauce would be ideal.  We put them on the side, because…kids.  I really hope you make this stew– it’s perfect with the changing weather.  Now, if you’ll excuse me– I need to get back to my little tomato factory.  Hope you are all well!

Roasted Tomatillo and Pork Stew | Relishing It

The Recipe: Roasted Tomatillo and Pork Stew

(serves 4)

2 pounds tomatillos, husks removed and tomatillos cut in half

1 bulb (yes, the entire bulb) garlic, separated into cloves

1 large white onion, chopped into large pieces

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

2 1/2 pounds – 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted then ground with mortar and pestle OR 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

fresh cilantro, jalapeño,and lime for garnish

olive oil, salt and pepper

1 cup uncooked brown rice, cooked according to directions, for serving

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the tomatillos, onion chunks, and garlic cloves on the baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast for 30 minutes, then broil for 2-5 minutes until slightly browned.  Keep a watchful eye.

Meanwhile, heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Sprinkle the pork shoulder with salt and pepper and begin browning the meat in two batches, so as to not to overcrowd the pan.  When meat is done place it all back into the Dutch oven.

Reduce oven temperature to 375°F.

In a large food processor, place the contents of the roasting pan, plus 1/2 bunch of fresh cilantro, and ground cumin seed and pulse a few times.  You don’t want the mixture to be completely pureed– a little texture is nice.  Add the mixture to the browned pork.  Stir.  Bring almost to a boil on the stovetop then immediately place in the oven.  Bake for about 1 hour, or until the pork is tender.  Reseason with salt and pepper, if necessary.  Serve immediately with a scoop of rice, jalapeño, more fresh cilantro and a wedge of lime.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

 

 

 

Roasted Smashed Potatoes with Rosemary and Preserved Lemon | Relishing It

I finally did the thing that’s been weighing on my mind for the last year.  I turned 40 years old on Tuesday.  My apprehension wasn’t about the number itself, or the accumulation of tiny wrinkles gathering under my eyes– it was heavier than that.  Those are superficial things that I can live with.  Instead, my dread has been a bit more existential.  Knowing that other inevitable changes are coming, like my children growing up, my parents aging, and that my limited time here is diminished with each passing year.  Those are the things that are harder to accept.

Roasted Smashed Potatoes with Rosemary and Preserved Lemon | Relishing It

But now that 40 has arrived, I’ve decided to do my best and be optimistic.  I’ll focus on the positives instead of dwelling on future loss.  I’m surrounded by  wonderful friends, and have been lucky enough to be born and married into two incredible families.  I get to spend every day with my best friend and love of 23 years, and we have two sweet children.  I’ve been fortunate with my health.  Right now, things are good by pretty much any standard.  I’m a lucky, lucky gal and I know it (and don’t think for one second that I didn’t knock on my wooden desk as I wrote that sentence).

Roasted Smashed Potatoes with Rosemary and Preserved Lemon | Relishing It

I’ve also decided to tackle new challenges.  My kids are at an age that I now have more time to pursue my own interests.  I’m ready to learn new things.  I want to take up pottery, learn to play the guitar and violin, to knit, and to read more.  I want to become more patient.  Mostly, I want to consciously be in the present, rather than always waiting for some vague future to just “happen”.   I also want to continue to learn new and exciting things about food and photography– this is the stuff that thrills me. Preparing the food, taking photos, and writing this blog make me very happy. I love connecting with all of you.

Roasted Smashed Potatoes with Rosemary and Preserved Lemon | Relishing It

With that little essay out of the way, there’s really no subtle segue into a recipe post, so I’ll just throw it out there– today I made simple, roasted smashed potatoes.  They’re kind of a hard one to name, but hopefully the photos help you out a bit. These little gems are all about texture, texture, texture!  Soft and pillowy on the inside and perfectly crispy on the outside.  I love to pick them up and snack on them, but they also pair well with a burger or steak.  Throw any herbs you fancy on them, but I particularly love the rosemary/preserved lemon combination.  So, so good!  Enjoy these potatoes over the weekend and thanks for listening to me ramble.

The Recipe: Roasted Smashed Potatoes with Rosemary and Preserved Lemon

about 2 pounds of small yukon gold potatoes (halve or quarter larger ones)

1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus fresh sprigs for serving

1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped preserved lemon

extra-virgin olive oil

good sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside.

Begin by steaming the potatoes until they feel done when a knife is inserted into them– about 15-20 minutes (depending upon how big your potatoes are).  Remove from heat and continue to let sit in covered pan just to be certain they are fully cooked.

Dry the potatoes off if any water remains on them.  Then place them on the prepared baking sheet and gently smash them down with a fork.  You don’t want the potato to completely fall apart, but you do want some of the inside to be exposed– that way more crevices can become crisped.  Drizzle a few glugs of olive oil over the potatoes, then the chopped rosemary, salt, and pepper.  Roast for about 20-25 minutes, or until they have become a beautiful golden brown (check the bottoms, too).   Remove from oven and top with more olive oil, more rosemary, preserved lemon, and salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

 

Roasted Vegetable Panzanella with Eggplant | Relishing It

One of my favorite summer meals is panzanella.  If you’re not familiar with this little dish, it is simply a bowlful of seasonal vegetables with homemade croutons or bread and a dressing of some sort.  And it is wonderful.  This fresh version with tomatoes and peppers is one that I make frequently.

Roasted Vegetable Panzanella with Eggplant | Relishing It

Roasted Vegetable Panzanella with Eggplant | Relishing It

Roasted Vegetable Panzanella with Eggplant | Relishing It

Today I wanted to create something just as pleasing, but a bit different.  I wanted to be both delicious and satisfying as well as be loaded with vegetables.  I know I’ve preached this before, but eating vegetables is key to keeping me feeling good, so I really try to pack them in throughout the day.  One of the vegetables that I wanted to rely on for this receipe is eggplant.  Why eggplant?  Well, because I can’t stop buying it at the farmers market– it’s just so darn gorgeous.  I have a weird relationship with this vegetable.  I don’t generally love the flavor, and at times I find the texture to be a bit…unique.  I needed to find a way to appreciate it, aside from the aesthetic, because admiring its beauty while it sits unused on my countertop is a bit wasteful.  And the other recipes I’ve tried have just seemed ho-hum or so loaded with other unhealthy things that it kind of defeated the point of eating healthy.  So that’s why eggplant.

Roasted Vegetable Panzanella with Eggplant | Relishing It

Thankfully, not only did I find a way to use it, I found a way to actually enjoy it!  This panzanella is everything that I wanted it to be.  Using small globe-like eggplants worked well in this recipe.  The seeds are smaller, which appeals to me.  The vegetables became tender and delicious when roasted.  Tossing them with homemade croutons, a red wine vinaigrette, and feta was a beautiful combination.  The feta melted slightly against the warm vegetables.  It was magical.  The smashed garlic cloves become soft and buttery.  Roast whatever vegetables you have on hand– it will work.  Change up the cheese, if you want.  Goat or ricotta salata will work well, too. Enjoy!

Roasted Vegetable Panzanella with Eggplant | Relishing It

The Recipe: Roasted Vegetable Panzanella with Eggplant

(serves 2)

about 10 small eggplants, diced

1-2 red peppers, cut into bite-sized pieces

handful of small cherry tomatoes

1 small red onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, smashed

1 hot pepper, optional

olive oil, salt, and pepper

1/4 – 1/2 baguette, cubed

Feta, goat, or ricotta salata cheese crumbles, to garnish

For the Vinaigrette:

1 garlic clove, finely minced

1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

about 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed

salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  On a large baking sheet with parchment paper, toss the eggplant, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and garlic cloves together with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Roast for 20-25 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, toss the cubed baguette with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and spread on another baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake on the bottom rack until just crispy, about 10 minutes.  Remove from oven.

Make the vinaigrette by mixing the garlic clove, mustard, thyme leaves, and red wine vinegar together.  Then whisk in the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.

When the vegetables are done roasting, mix them together with the homemade croutons.  Then toss everything with the red wine vinaigrette.  Re-season with salt and pepper, if necessary.  Serve with feta crumbles on top and even a few more thyme leaves.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It!

Laurie

 

 

 

 

 

 

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