Posts Tagged ‘Vegetable’

Roasted Potatoes with a Curry Dipping Sauce | Relishing It

Sometimes you make mistakes.  Sometimes, you have to admit when you’ve simply been wrong.  Now don’t get too excited– this isn’t some juicy confession.  I’m talking about my misguided idea that potatoes should be avoided.  That they aren’t “good for you.”  I ate them sparingly for years, but then it occured to me, they’re a whole food.  Nature makes them all on it’s own.  Come on!  They’re potatoes.  Why did I think this was a bad thing?  Yes, they’re a carbohydrate, but I’m cool with that.  I need carbs in this body.  They give me energy.  I know I shouldn’t go crazy and pile starches onto my plate every meal, but, the same can be said about almost every food.  Well, maybe not broccoli…or kale…but you get the point.

Roasted Potatoes with a Curry Dipping Sauce | Relishing It

I’m glad I’ve rediscovered my love of potatoes.  I’ve probably mentioned here in the past that my Mom has always had an amazing garden.  When I was a little girl, we lived on a farm where there was plenty of space for her to grow almost anything.  Even so, rather than restrict them to the garden, the potatoes had a special HUGE section in a field near the house.  My grandparents would come over and we’d have potato-planting parties out in that field.  True story.  My favorite part was when, after a few months, we’d all head back out to the field and dig ’em up.  I can still see my Dad, with the salt shaker that he’d bring out into the field (seriously), shining up a few potatoes to crunch-away on while we dug.

Crispy roasted potatoes are amazing.  Here I’ve paired them with a delicious coconut curry dipping sauce.  The most important thing to keep in mind when making roasted potatoes is that you simply can’t cut them up and put them in the oven.  You need to cook them a fair amount beforehand.  Some people choose to boil them slightly, I always steam my potatoes.  I find that they don’t get saturated and fall apart this way.  It also keeps them from losing some of their nutrients.  For convenience, you can steam up a big batch of potatoes in the beginning of the week and leave them sit in your fridge– that way they’re ready to use whenever you need them.  You’d be surprised how many ways you can find to use them.

Roasted Potatoes with a Curry Dipping Sauce | Relishing It

The curry sauce here is delicious.  It’s simple and not overly fancy.  You should have most of these ingredients on hand already.  With the crispy potatoes, it makes a brilliant combination.  I hope you give these a try!

The Recipe:  Roasted Potatoes with a Coconut Curry Dipping Sauce

(serves 4)

1 pound small, yellow potatoes

1/3 cup finely chopped white onion

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger

1 1/2 tablespoons sweet curry powder (I love Penzys’ version)

1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon garam masala

pinch of sugar, to taste

1 1/2 cups chicken broth, (1 tablespoon reserved)

1 teaspoon tomato paste

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 tablespoon cornstarch

salt and pepper

fresh cilantro for serving

In a large sauce pan, place a steamer basket (or you can choose to simply boil them) and fill with the potatoes and a bit of water.  Cover with a tight fitting lid and steam until the potatoes are tender when tested.  I steam my small potatoes whole, but if you only have large ones– just cut them up before steaming.  Make sure to not over-steam them, as they will fall apart.  I’m not going to give an exact time, as it will depend upon the size of your potato.  It’s best to just test them.  When they feel as if they’re nearly done.  Remove from heat and let them sit covered for a few minutes to finish cooking and then let cool.  At this point you can either put them in the refrigerator to use at a later time, or continue with the recipe.

Preheat the oven to 450°F.  Quarter the potatoes and place on a large baking sheet that has been coated with a thin layer of olive oil.  Drizzle a bit more olive oil on top of them and toss.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Keep in mind that potatoes tend to need a lot of salt.  Don’t be too shy.  Roast for about 15 minutes, then carefully flip the potatoes.  Yes, I do this individually, because I really enjoy crispy potatoes and I want all the sides to be properly golden browned.   It doesn’t take that long.  Roast for another 15 minutes.  Give another toss and test them.  Roast longer if necessary (again, much will depend upon how big your potatoes were cut).  Mine are usually done after 30 minutes.  Taste.  re-season, if necessary.

While your potatoes are roasting, begin the curry.  In a medium-sized skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and sauté for a couple of minutes until somewhat tender.  Add the curry powder, turmeric, and garam masala and toast for abut 30 seconds.  Add the chicken broth (sans 1 tablespoon), tomato paste and coconut milk and a pinch of sugar.  Whisk together until smooth.  Cook over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes,  stirring frequently.  Taste as you go, add more salt or sugar, if necessary.  In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1 tablespoon chicken broth until it’s smooth.  Whisk mixture into the skillet and cook for about another 10 minutes until the mixture is somewhat thickened.  Reseason, if necessary.

Immediately sprinkle chopped cilantro on the hot, crispy potatoes when removed from the oven and serve along side the curry sauce.  The potatoes are best eaten immediately.  Enjoy!


Last week was a busy one.  Along with the excitement of Halloween and indulging in far too much candy, our precious girl turned five!  You add so much happiness and joy to our lives, Aria.  We love you so much– Happy birthday!

Thanks for stopping by!


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Roasted Red Pepper Soup | Relishing It

You already have a nice stockpile of frozen red peppers to get you through the winter, right?  No?  Well it’s time to get on that.  I figure that here in Minnestota you can still get one, maybe two last visits in to the farmers market to stock up.  If you come across a box or two of red peppers–buy them!  You’ll be happy you did.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup | Relishing It

Roasted Red Pepper Soup | Relishing It

Roasted Red Pepper Soup | Relishing It

Now here’s what I want you to do with those peppers: broil them in the oven for just a few minutes until they are nice and black, then throw them in a large plastic resealable bag.  The trick here is that the steam in the bag will loosen the blackened skin.  When they’ve cooled a bit, slip off the skin with your fingers.  Next, put the peppers in a food processor, or chop with a knife.  Finally, place your chopped peppers in a plastic freezer bag, or vaccum seal it and freeze it.  Now you’re set.  Whenever you want to make this incredible soup this winter, you can do so in about 20 minutes.  How’s that for a quick dinner plan?

Roasted Red Pepper Soup | Relishing It

This roasted red pepper soup is one of my favorites.  It has a silky texture and amazing flavor.  Drizzle a little olive oil on top, and serve it with a piece of crusty homemade bread.  Of course, you can do so many other things with those roasted peppers, as well.  You can make roasted red pepper hummus, or throw them in your favorite pasta dish.  Really, the possibilities are endless.  Just get them now and freeze those babies!

Roasted Red Pepper Soup | Relishing It

The Recipe:  Roasted Red Pepper Soup

(serves 4)

About 8 large red peppers  (3 1/2 cups chopped roasted red peppers)

1/2 medium white onion  (3/4 cup chopped)

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 quart chicken broth  (4 cups)

1 large anchovy filet, minced

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

1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano ( or 1/2 teaspoon dried)

1 dried bay leaf

extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt and cracked black pepper

1 lemon

parsley, for garnish

To Prepare the Red Peppers:  Place oven rack close to the broiler unit.   Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Cut the peppers in half and remove the insides.  Place peppers on baking sheet and press down with your hand to flatten them.  Place under broiler and broil them for about 15 minutes, or until they are very black.  You will need to move the pan around and perhaps even rotate some of the peppers using tongs.  Keep a close eye on them.  Once they are done, remove from the pan and immediately place in a large resealable plastic bag.  The steam will loosen the black skin.  After 10 – 15 minutes or so, remove from the bag and slip the skin off using your fingers.  It should come off easily.  Discard the blackened portion.  Chop the peppers in a food procesor or by hand.

To Make the Soup:  In a Dutch oven, heat about 3 tablespoons of olive oil at  medium/high heat.   Add the chopped onions and garlic and a generous sprinkle of salt.  Sauté for a couple of minutes until tender. Then add the peppers, chicken broth, oregano, thyme, anchovy, bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 15- 20 minutes.  Remove bay leaf and purée  with an immersion blender or carefully pour the soup into a stand blender.  Blend until smooth.  Taste and re-season with salt and pepper, as needed.  Since there are so few ingredients in this soup, the amount of salt plays a big role in bringing out the flavors– make sure to salt it properly.  To serve, squeeze a bit of lemon to taste on the soup (also plays a big role), a drizzle of olive oil, and some fresh parsley.  Enjoy!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!



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Unfortunately the glorious Indian Summer in Minnesota appears to be ending.  That’s the way of it up here, I guess.  The tempermental mid-Summer months were suffocating at times, keeping us indoors more days than I like.  And the cool comfort of Fall just isn’t long enough.  At least it was magical.  Now the last couple of days have been gray, wet, and cold.  I’m not ready for the long dark of Winter, though I expect my wishes won’t hold it back much longer.  I suppose I should be thankful for the recent– if brief– temperate weather, because I recall  as a child trick-or-treating in October during snowstorms.  Memories of huge freshly-piled snowbanks, and the frustration of not being able to see because my glasses had fogged-up beneath my mask.  Yes, it’s time to appreciate these few weeks, even if they are getting cool, windy, and wet.

One benefit of the colder weather is that many of our meals shift towards warming comfort foods, like soup.  I love soup.  Not like a typical person loves soup, but on a fundamental– maybe inherited genetic– level.  My Mom likes to declare that she “could live on nothing more than soup!”  And she cooks up some divine ones.  While I won’t be so bold as to say I could survive on it alone, soup gets me through those bone-chilling days.  It’s genius– a hearty bowl is the best way to warm up from the inside out, and the smell of a simmering kettle on the stove for a few hours chases the cold away for awhile.

Today’s recipe is my variation on the old ‘vegetable-chicken’ soup that is the staple of so many Winter meals.  While it may look familiar, it offers so much more than the simple vegetable, chicken, and broth flavors you’re used to.  The reason is the addition of lemon and pesto (or pistou if you prefer to make it without the nuts…and want to show off your command of Provençal).  The lemon provides a subtle, though noticeable, hint of interesting acidity.  And the dollop of pesto is brilliant.  It combines the boldness of fresh herbs along with a delicate saltiness.  You can make your own, or buy it at your local market.  For the meat, I generally use roasted chicken, though it is also beautiful with the more potent flavors of wild pheasant.  Like most soups, you can experiment with the ingredients to make it your own.  This soup has become a family favorite that we all love– even my little ones.  I hope you enjoy it, too.

The Recipe:  Roasted Chicken Vegetable Soup with Lemon and Pesto

(As always, you will get the best results by using fresh organic ingredients.)

2 tablespoon olive oil

1 small leek, chopped

4-5 medium carrots, peeled and diced

4-5 medium parsnips, peeled and diced

2 small celery stalks with leaves, diced

1 medium white onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 cup green beans, trimmed and chopped

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 1/2 cups roasted chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/2 cup pearled barley, rinsed

1 bay leaf

1 1/2 tablespoons parsley,  finely chopped

2 quarts chicken stock (homemade or store -bought)

kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

red pepper flakes, to taste


1 3/4 cup fresh basil, torn

1/4 cup fresh parsley, torn

1/3 cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese (or Grana Padano — almost as wonderful, but at a much better price.)

1/4 cup lightly toasted walnuts, chopped

2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (adjust more or less, depending upon your desired consistency.)

pinch of red pepper flakes

Kosher salt, to taste

To make the soup: Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven.  On medium heat, sauté  the onion, leek, celery, carrots, parsnips, green beans, and a bit of salt and pepper until the vegetables start to become tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.  Add the chicken broth, barley, chicken, and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer until the barley is done, about 3o-40 minutes.  Add the lemon zest and juice.  Stir in the parsley.  Season with more salt and pepper, if needed, and a pinch of red-pepper flakes.

To make the pesto:  Add the basil, parsley, garlic, Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, walnuts, pinch of salt and red pepper flakes to a mini-food processor.  Pulse a few times to incorporate everything together.  With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil.  Adjust seasonings, if necessary.  Serve a dollop on top of a bowl of hot soup.  Enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by Relishing It today — wishing you all a wonderful weekend!


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