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Posts Tagged ‘Red Wine Vinaigrette’

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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Just in case I haven’t been clear, I LOVE the colorful array vegetables available this time of season.  For today’s recipe, I put together one of my favorite beautiful, delicious salads.  Panzanella is an Italian salad that usually consists of soaked stale bread and tomatoes.   My version includes a greater variety of ingredients, and a little more crunch from the bread.  Now a purist may say that it isn’t panzanella, but when it tastes this good, why quibble over the name?  Panzanella it is, and it’s marvelous.

This was the first week that I finally found red peppers at the farmers’ market.  My kids and I love them as a snack.  Here I used mini sweet multi-colored peppers.  Cute and tasty!  Since fresh cucumbers and red onions are plentiful now, I added those as well.  For the cheese, I used (surprise!) ricotta salata.  Yes, it’s my go-to addition, but the creamy texture and saltiness work perfectly in so many dishes.  It seems I’m always poking around for another piece of it with every bite.   The ricotta salata also makes this salad a bit more substantial– we ate it as a light meal rather than a starter.

Of course the star of the salad is the crusty bread and red wine vinaigrette.  I like to tear my bread rather than cut it– more dressing seems to get into the crevices.   I could eat the bread and dressing alone, which I guess that’s the point of the salad— it’s nice to get some healthy vegetables in there, too.  When assembling the salad try to keep most of the vegetables relatively the same size.  I love this combination of flavors– it’s one of my favorite things to eat during the summer.  It makes a nice, light meal that I find myself eating pretty much every day for lunch.

The Recipe:  Panzanella

(The measurements are vague — make as big of a salad as you want.  You will have plenty of dressing.)

2 large cucumbers, chopped

2 cups mini multi-colored peppers, chopped  (or 1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped)

6 Roma tomatoes, chopped

3 mini – red onions, thinly sliced  (or 1 small red onion)

handful of fresh garden lettuce, torn

12-15 basil leaves, whole

1/3 cup cubed ricotta salata cheese  (feta can be substituted)

1 baguette, torn into bite-sized pieces

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped  (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)

Red Wine Vinaigrette

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped

kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste

To Toast the Bread:  Preheat oven to 375°F.  Toss the torn bread with 2 tablespoons olive oil,  1 teaspoon fresh thyme, salt and pepper.  Put onto a baking sheet and bake until the bread chunks are golden brown and have a nice crunch to them — about 10-15 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.

To Make the Vinaigrette:  In a medium-sized bowl, mix the vinegar, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, and mustard.  Using a whisk, slowly add the extra-virgin olive oil, whisking all the while.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

To Assemble the Salad:  In a large salad bowl, add the garden lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, ricotta salata cheese, red onion, basil, and toasted bread.  Pour some of the dressing onto the salad.  Toss.  Let sit for a few minutes before eating so the dressing has a chance to soak into the bread a bit.  Add more dressing, salt, and pepper, if necessary.  Enjoy!

I hope you are enjoying your summer produce as much as we are.  This is a beautiful time of year!  Have a great weekend.  Take Care.

Laurie

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Minneapolis/St. Paul was buzzing this weekend.  There were so many things going on!  On Saturday alone, the Twins won, U2 played an amazing outdoor set in the driving rain, the summer Aquatennial festival wrapped up with fireworks, and one of our favorite bands– local blue-grass boys Trampled By Turtles– put on a fantastic concert.  While Radd and I only had time to catch the last of those events, we had a great night.  My brother and sister-in-law took in both the baseball game and the U2 show, and said both had this incredible vibe.  What a great weekend!  It makes me so happy to live here.

How does this relate to food?  No clue, but I’ll do my best to tie them together.  Summer is a busy time and often you need quick, healthy meals that you can simply pull from the fridge–or ones that you can make at the beginning of the week and eat over several meals.  For that, I offer you this filling, fabulous salad.  Quinoa (KEEN-wa) is one of my favorite grains.  It’s quick, easy and sooo healthy.  Chickpeas are a nice compliment, as they’re full of protein, healthy, and don’t leave you hungry.  There’s real heft to this salad– you’ll know you’re eating something substantial.  I used black quinoa in this version, but you can use whichever kind you have.  As for the recipe, think of it more as a list of suggestions– play around a bit to find the mix that you like best.  Add ingredients that are your favorites, or that you simply have on hand.  Fresh cucumbers come to mind.  Also, while I love mixing fresh garden lettuces into the salad, if I know I’m going to have leftovers I don’t mix them into the whole batch.  The lettuce tends to wilt.  Instead, add it to the other ingredients just prior to serving.     Hope you enjoy– let me know what wonderful combinations you come up with!

The Recipe:  Summer Quinoa and Chickpea Salad

1 cup black quinoa, rinsed

1 cup dried chickpeas, cooked

1 cup small cherry tomatoes, halved

1/3 cup ricotta salata cheese, cubed

Fresh garden greens, torn

Fresh herbs, such as basil, parsley, mint, or thyme

Red Wine Vinaigrette

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup of red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard

1/2 cup (or more to taste) of extra-virgin olive oil

salt and pepper

sprinkle of sugar, if desired

To make the chickpeas:  Place them in a medium saucepan and cover with water.   Bring to a rolling boil.  Boil for one minute and remove from heat.  Cover with lid.  Leave the chickpeas in the pan of water, covered for 2 hours.  After that, check for tenderness.  Cook a bit longer if needed.  Drain and sprinkle with a tiny bit of kosher salt.   Allow to cool.  (Note:  Feel free to make more than needed for the recipe and keep extras in the freezer.  They are a wonderful addition to many salads, or like my two year old daughter– you can just eat them for a snack.)

To make the quinoa:  Rinse quinoa and place in a medium saucepan.  Add 1 – 3/4 cup water to the pan.  Bring to a boil.  Turn heat down to a simmer.  When most, but not all of the water is absorbed, remove from heat and cover.  Forget about it for a for about 10-15 minutes.   All of the water should be absorbed and the quinoa should easily fluff with a fork.  Cool.

To make the Vinaigrette:  Add all of the ingredients in a bowl except the olive oil.   Slowly whisk in the olive oil.  Taste.  Adjust seasonings, if necessary.

To assemble the salad:  Place chickpeas, quinoa, tomatoes, ricotta salata cheese, herbs, and torn lettuce into a bowl.  Pour most of the dressing over the salad (I usually reserve some because I dislike a salad that contains too much dressing — more can be added, but never taken away).  Gently fold the  ingredients together.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It today — see you soon!

Laurie

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