Tag Archives: Roasted vegetables

Harissa and Maple Roasted Carrots

on oval plateThere are certain things I am powerless to resist. Cute black jumpsuits (only my daughter knows how many I own, and I’ve sworn her to secrecy), anything coconut on a dessert menu, smelling the head of a newborn baby and rainbow carrots with the tops still on.

Whenever I see them, I buy several bunches. I love them roasted. This is a simple recipe I found in Bon Appetit a few years ago. Harissa, is a spicy North African chile paste. I buy it in a tube, that keeps for quite a while in the fridge. Maple syrup tempers some of Harissa’s heat.What you'll need

Lined up for roastingpouring marinadeready for roastingI think this marinade will also be fantastic with roasted squash or parsnips, and I am excited to try it on grilled zucchini this summer.

Here’s a few other ideas for using up that tube of Harissa. It is spicy, so a little bit goes a long way.

  • Blend a spoonful into meatloaf or burgers
  • Swirl a bit into some mayo for a spicy sweet potato fries dip
  • Mix a dollop into humus for a spicy kick
  • Stir some into your favourite BBQ sauce for grilled or roasted chicken
  • Enhance your tomato sauce for pasta

Click here to print recipe for Harissa and Maple Roasted Carrots.

on round plate

Squash Fries with Chipotle Mayo

fries in green bowl with chipotle mayoI have been making squash fries at least once a week for over two years now. It recently occured  to me that that I have not shared the recipe with you yet. My bad! Sorry about that. Once you try them, you too will be serving them often. I started making them around the same time that I discovered smoked paprika. Squash and smoked paprika are just made for each other. olive oil and smoked paprika make great friesI usually roast vegetables at a high heat (450°F), which gives then that gorgeous char. However, I have been reading that roasting veggies at a low temp (250°F) deeply concentrates the flavours and gives you a velvety-custardy texture. They turn out more evenly cooked and less shriveled than their high-heat friends. I will admit that the roasting time balloons from 45 minutes to over 2 hours, but it’s unattended roasting time. If you can plan ahead, your patience will be rewarded.

First we need to tackle peeling and cutting the squash. This can be scary if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here’s my method.

Make sure you spread them out in a single layer on the baking sheet.ready for roastingI love dipping them in chipotle mayo. I just mix low fat mayo (please do not use that fat-free stuff) with canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce. It is commonly found in the Mexican section of the supermarket. One can will give you way more than you need for this recipe. Here’s what I do to deal with leftovers. Remove all the seeds from the chiles, and process into a smooth paste in the food processor. Transfer paste to a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze. Once the paste is frozen solid, transfer to a zip-loc bag and store in freezer. Then you can simply break off pieces as you need them. Here are some great ideas on what to do with leftover chipotles.

fries with beer 3 625 sq

Click here to print recipe for Squash Fries with Chipotle Mayo.

Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Carrots

ready to eat 2 625 sqYou know it’s January because every food blogger worth her salt is writing about the joys of vegetables . Those sweet food porn days of December are long gone, buried under the 5 pounds of butter and sugar, tucked oh so discretely under a layer of skin, in my case, just below where my waist used to be.

Although we squeal with delight and burble over with joy at summer produce (remember wild blueberries?), winter in the produce aisle can produce some gush worthy moments as well. It just requires a bit more work.

Carrots are often bypassed as too pedestrian, but in deft hands, carrots can be magical. These carrots were way too pretty to leave behind at the supermarket.carrots in a circle 2I have a secret ingredient that turns ordinary roasted carrots into something quite special. It’s pomegranate molasses. Not actually molasses at all, but just pure pomegranate juice, and a bit of sugar boiled down and reduced to a thick, syrupy reduction. Dip your finger into this thick, garnet coloured syrup and you will be instantly transported back to your childhood! sweet tarts fIf you are of a certain age you will remember with fondness that powerful puckering of your lips from these candies. Pomegranate molasses has that tart/sweet quality, but in a grown up way. It adds an intense earthy depth of flavour to so many things. I have been using it in a chicken sauce for years now, and everyone who eats it always asks, “what is in this sauce?” It can be found in many supermarkets now, as well as in Middle Eastern specialty shops. If you can’t find it, here is a recipe from Alton Brown to make your own pomegranate molasses.

 

The idea of roasting carrots with pomegranate molasses came from Melissa Clark’s book “In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite.” The first time I made them, I found the flavour to be delicious but the carrots were a bit shrivelled in appearance and leathery in texture. As I thought about how to avoid this issue, I remembered that I boil potatoes for a few minutes before roasting to get a crispy not leathery skin. I wondered if the same treatment with carrots would work? I peeled them and cut them on the diagonal, to increase the surface area that would come into contact with the roasting pan. peeling carrots They got a quick 2 minute dip in boiling salted water. Then I drained them on paper towels for a few minutes before roasting.boiling carrotsdraining carrotsI tossed them with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne and roasted them in a hot (425°F) oven for about 45 minutes. I added the pomegranate molasses and some honey during the last 5 minutes of roasting as I did not want them to burn.ready for oven

pouring glaze on carrotsThe finished carrots were crispy without being leathery. The pinch of cayenne added a nice kick and the pomegranate molasses added an amazing sweet tart punch. I gilded the lily and sprinkled on some pomegranate seeds. They glistened like little jewels.

Click here to print recipe for Pomegranate Molasses Glazed Carrots.

ready to eat 1jpg

 

Wanted: Rosemary, dead or alive.

roasted 1

Every summer we plant an herb garden outside our kitchen door. Before we can even finish washing the dirt off our hands, the rabbits, voles, squirrels, moles and other assorted wildlife in our backyard have munched off the tops of the cilantro, basil and Italian parsley plants! For some reason, they shun the rosemary.

rosemary plants

By fall, our rosemary plants are tall, healthy and quite lovely. We pot them and bring them inside to live on the kitchen windowsill for the winter. My husband has a wonderful green thumb and takes care of all the living things in our home. Each week, as he goes about his watering ritual he asks me the same question, “Are these rosemary plants still alive?’

I have to explain here that he is colour blind and has a great deal of trouble telling the difference between greens, browns and grays. So while I see a vibrant silvery green rosemary plant, he does not. Each week I smile and patiently answer, “Yes, dear, they are alive and well.” Okay, maybe I am not being completely honest here. Perhaps every other week I smile and give a patient answer. On alternate weeks, I am quite likely to give a snarky sarcastic retort, muttered under my breath, which I will not print here.

I must admit that this weekly discourse has given me some pause for thought. If my husband has trouble seeing shades of grey, I worry that I should die in my sleep, he may not notice the grey pallor of my skin in the morning. It may be days before he notices that I am not alive.

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