Fixings

Vegetables, Fixings

Roasted Vegetables + Olive Vinaigrette

Roasted Vegetables + Olive Vinaigrette | www.hungryinlove.com
Fingerling Potatoes | www.hungryinlove.com
Platter | www.hungryinlove.com

Here's a pro tip to survive single digit New England weather - live in a tiny apartment and crank that oven! I know it's been 6 degrees in Cambridge all weekend but only because I've made necessary expeditions to the gym and the farmer's market. Otherwise I've been blissfully toasty holed up inside, using the arctic chill as an excuse to accomplish many important items on my to-do list. I successfully broke in our new-to-me vintage blanket (thanks Tuck!), watched The Sound of Music for the first time (shameful but it's true), and of course roasted a bunch of stuff.

With this spread I'm embracing the monochromatic hues that define February. I thought these vegetables might look a bit dull together but I actually think the end result of all those winter whites is quite elegant. There is one hint of sunshine - the orange zest in the vinaigrette. If you're tempted to skip this ingredient, don't. It makes everything bright and perfect.

If you're like me you didn't notice right away that this dish is both vegan and gluten-free. How about that. If you're into that sort of thing, take note. Otherwise you can just appreciate these vegetables label-free for being mighty delicious.

Fingerling Potatoes | www.hungryinlove.com
Fennel | www.hungryinlove.com
Olive Vinaigrette | www.hungryinlove.com
Roasted Vegetables + Olive Vinaigrette | www.hungryinlove.com
Roasted Vegetables + Olive Vinaigrette | www.hungryinlove.com

Ingredients

Serves 4 as a side dish

Roasted Vegetables

  • 1/2 head cauliflower
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 1 lb fingerling potatoes
  • 1 head of garlic
  • Olive oil, salt + pepper

Olive Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbs chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 3 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp (a pinch) sugar
  • Salt + pepper to taste

Prep

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a baking dish, toss whole potatoes with olive oil salt and pepper. Pop in oven and set timer for 45 minutes.
  • While potatoes are baking prep the cauliflower, fennel, and garlic. For the cauliflower, remove the stem and break head into small florets. I sliced florets in half so they would lay flat on a baking sheet and be closer in shape and size to the fennel. To prep the fennel, begin by removing stalks. (Reserve some of the fronds for garnish.) Stand bulb upright and slice into 1/2 inch thick slices lengthwise. For the garlic bulb simply cut into half crosswise so each clove is bisected. Lay all vegetables on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Use your hands to toss and coat. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer baking sheet to oven along with potatoes. (I added the vegetables with 30 minutes to go on the timer. This worked out great. Both the potatoes and vegetables were done when the timer went off. Potatoes are done when easily pierced with a fork and the other veggies will be done when tender and nicely caramelized.)
  • While everything is roasting prep your vinaigrette.
  • In a small bowl mix all ingredients together except the salt and pepper. Depending on the olives you use, you may not need any. Taste and add seasoning to your liking.
  • Let vinaigrette sit 15-30 minutes at room temperature before serving to allow flavors to meld.
  • When potatoes and vegetables are done, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before transferring to a serving platter.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature with olive vinaigrette.

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Vegetables, Fixings

Maple Roasted Tomato Sauce

Tomaotes | www.hungryinlove.com
Maple Roasted Tomato Sauce | www.hungryinlove.com

You know that daydream where you live on a farm nestled in a mountain valley? It's the one where you have a sprawling garden full of vegetables for eating and flowers for bouquets. You make butter from fresh cream to sell to your neighbors but also to spread on toast. You have an outdoor bathtub for sunset soaks and a cat to keep you company. Last weekend I stepped out of the daydream and onto Marisa Mauro's farm in Vermont. If it weren't for the fridge full of butter I came home with, I might not have known the difference.

You're probably guessing that all these gorgeous tomatoes came from Marisa's garden. We did pick tomatoes but those ended up in our bellies before I could take any snaps. No, the weekend involved serious homework for an article I'm so honored to write on Marisa's butter business, Ploughgate Creamery. Check out the upcoming issue of t.e.l.l. New England for all the details of Marisa's enviable Vermont farm life.

When Sunday arrived and it was time to go back to the dusty, cramped city I took home with me as much of Vermont as possible. Besides Marisa's butter that included hot sauce, gin, and of course maple syrup. I have long wanted to try roasting tomatoes with maple. I now regret not trying it sooner. If you can stand turning on your oven in August you won't either.

Maple Roasted Tomato Sauce | www.hungryinlove.com
Maple Roasted Tomato Sauce | www.hungryinlove.com
Maple Roasted Tomato Sauce | www.hungryinlove.com
Maple Roasted Tomato Sauce | www.hungryinlove.com
Maple Roasted Tomato Sauce | www.hungryinlove.com
Maple Roasted Tomato Sauce + Hand Cut Pasta | www.hungryinlove.com

Maple Roasted Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds tomatoes
  • 2 Tbs. pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt

Prep

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil
  • Chop tomatoes into chunks roughly the same size (I had some grape tomatoes so I left those whole)
  • Toss tomatoes with maple syrup, olive oil, and sea salt
  • Spread on baking sheet and roast for 1 hour
  • Pour tomatoes along with all juices from the baking sheet into a saucepan
  • Warm through when ready to serve

Serve sauce as is or add something briny like olives or capers to balance the sweetness.

Pasta, Fixings

Pistachio Mint Pesto

Spaghetti + Pistachio Mint Pesto | www.hungryinlove.com

I don't have a good track record for remembering firsts. Pesto is a vivid exception. The scene was 9th grade - a 'pasta party'  at Christine C.'s house. In addition to the mandatory red sauce, Christine's mom also presented us with a platter of spaghetti all speckled green. I was intrigued.

For those who aren't familiar, a pasta party is an adorable ritual enjoyed by high school athletes. The evening before a game the whole team gathers at the home of one patient parent to eat heaps of pasta. The presumed logic being that carb-loading is imperative to peak performance the following day. It's entirely unnecessary and totally fun. Lots of inter-grade bonding and boy talk. I imagine this tradition has suffered in the era of gluten intolerance. If there are any high school readers out there I'd welcome a report.

Anyhow, I digress. I swiftly cornered Christine's mom and complimented the 'green stuff'.  She showed me an empty packet and explained that all you need to do is mix the contents with oil and presto, pesto! That night I relayed the discovery to my mom and made my case for partaking in this exotic delicacy. "Oh, your father doesn't like pesto." Womp womp. The ultimate veto. Reflecting on this memory, maybe my Dad didn't like pesto because his reference point was freeze-dried powder that came in a packet.

By college I had graduated to jarred pesto and understood that basil and pine nuts were essential common denominators. Then one fateful day a roommate demonstrated that any old combo of nuts + greens could yield a mighty pesto. I think her version featured arugula and walnuts. Fast forward many moons to this weekend where I found myself with a cupboard full of pistachios and mint aplenty due to the Easter holiday. A new duo, but why not? Even if only because it's documented here on the world wide web this is a first I won't soon forget.

Pesto Mise En Place | www.hungryinlove.com
Pistachio Mint Pesto | www.hungryinlove.com
Lime Zest + Olive Oil | www.hungryinlove.com
Spaghetti | www.hungryinlove.com
Spaghetti + Pistachio Mint Pesto | www.hungryinlove.com

pistachio Mint Pesto

Makes ~ 1.5 cups

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios
  • 2 cups mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 Tb. lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Pinch salt

Prep

  • Toast pistachios in a dry skillet over medium heat until just they are fragrant and just beginning to browm, 3-5 minutes; let cool
  • In a food processor combine pistachios, mint, cheese, lime zest,  garlic, and salt until you have a thick paste
  • With the motor running add olive oil and lime juice through the feed tube;  if pesto is too thick add water 1 Tbs. at a time until pesto reaches desired consistency
  • Keep pesto in the fridge for up to a week; also freezes well

 

Fixings

Rhubarb Cardamom Compote

Rhubarb Cardamom Compote | www.hungryinlove.com
Chopped Rhubarb | www.hungryinlove.com

If you have fifteen minutes I recommend you resist the urge to save money on your car insurance, and whip up this prettiness instead. But you better make like the Easter bunny and hop to it. Rhubarb is here and gone  faster than you can sputter that irksome Geico slogan. It's like an elegant relative who only descends but once a year. And when she shows up she's ready for something glamorous. (For the record I do not have a relative like this. Perhaps someday.)

Earlier this year I thought pomegranate and cardamom might make good bedfellows. The flavors were pleasant but trying to coax a compote out of pomegranate was a proper fail. Lesson learned - pomegranate does not compute to compote. I knew I'd have better results with rhubarb if I could wait until spring. And yes, oh my stars, this time I nailed it. First of all this magic sauce is neon-electric pink. If you are a six-year old girl, or was one once upon a time, you'll probably love it on this merit alone. Second you can slather it on pretty much anything - yogurt, pancakes, cheese - and it'll make your day better. Third, it's a vehicle for using the cardamom my very cool husband brought home months ago that I haven't had much luck with until now (see pomegranate incident above). It's spicy, and citrusy, and herbal and apparently hearts rhubarb. Just like me.

Cardamom | www.hungryinlove.com
Rhubarb Cardamom Compote | www.hungryinlove.com
Rhubarb Cardamom Compote | www.hungryinlove.com
Rhubarb Cardamom Compote | www.hungryinlove.com

Rhubarb Cardamom Compote

Makes about 1 cup
 
Serving ideas: Use as a topping for yogurt, oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, toast + butter; spoon over vanilla ice cream or poundcake; also very good as an accompaniment to cheese

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb, about 6-8 stalks
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6  pods green cardamom,  shells removed and black seeds ground into a fine powder
  • pinch of salt

Prep

  • Using a mortar and pestle crack the cardamom pods and discard green shells; grind black seeds into a fine powder
  • Toss chopped rhubarb with sugar and let sit for 10-15 allowing the fruit to release juice (you can do this right in the saucepan you plan to cook it in)
  • Add cardamom to saucepan with rhubarb and sugar along with a very small pinch of salt
  • Place saucepan over medium heat and bring rhubarb to a simmer; rhubarb will begin to break down
  • Cook for 5-7 minutes until rhubarb is completely broken down; remove from heat
  • Chill compote in fridge for an hour or two before serving