Vegetables, Fixings

Roasted Vegetables + Olive Vinaigrette

Roasted Vegetables + Olive Vinaigrette |
Fingerling Potatoes |
Platter |

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 |
Fennel |
Olive Vinaigrette |
Roasted Vegetables + Olive Vinaigrette |
Roasted Vegetables + Olive Vinaigrette |


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


  • 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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Truffled Cauliflower Soup

Truffled Cauliflower Soup |

Until I was 22 the only truffle I knew was composed of chocolate. The Lindt variety to be precise. (I'm looking at you gold wrapped peanut butter). The subterranean fungus namesake? Not on my radar. And even if it was, sounds weird. Then during a post-college romp around Europe to delay grown-up-hood, a friend was responsible for planning our day's adventure. It was October in northern Italy and our visit happened to coincide with the annual Alba truffle festival. "A party dedicated to a perfect chocolate confection? I'm in." My traveling companion explained that this was a fungus, not chocolate, festival before I embarrassed myself. Once we arrived it was quickly apparent that these ugly lumps were a big deal. This festival was, shall we say, a step up from the apple and pumpkin celebrations we know and love in New England. There were celebrities. There was media. The truffles had spokespeople. It was all pretty grand. We had truffles shaved on pasta and risotto, preserved in salamis, infused in honey drizzled over oozy Italian cheeses. Eight years later and back stateside I can count on two fingers the number of times I've had 'real' truffles since then. (Obviously because they're crazy 'spensive). But also because I know I've been ruined. No other truffle experience will quite compare. And that's okay. Real truffles are almost too precious to bother with. Truffle butter, truffle oil, and truffle salt on the other hand, now those I can get down with. Instant fancy? Yes, please. 

This is a lightly adapted version of Paul Bertolli's cauliflower soup on Food52. His recipe is a dream. It's pretty much two humble ingredients exalted into something deeply satisfying. It's been in heavy rotation in our household since I first discovered it a couple months ago. And today because it's Saturday night and that's as good excuse as any for something fancy, we truffled it.

Humble ingredient #1: onion.

Chopped Onion |

Humble ingredient #2: cauliflower.

Chopped Cauliflower |
Sauteing Onions |
Truffled Cauliflower Soup |
Truffled Cauliflower Soup |
Truffled Cauliflower Soup |


Truffled Cauliflower Soup

Serves 4-6
Adapted from Paul Bertolli's Cauliflower Soup


  • 1 head cauliflower, core removed, florets chopped
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, diced small
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 5 cups water, divided
  • 1/3 c. creme fraiche
  • Truffle Salt
  • Truffle Oil
  • Black pepper


  • Chop onion and cauliflower
  • Heat olive oil in dutch oven or large sauce pan
  • Add onion and cook over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes until transparent (do not brown)
  • Add cauliflower and 1/2 cup water; season vegetables w/ kosher salt
  • Bring to a simmer, cover and cook 15-20 minutes until cauliflower is tender
  • Add 4 1/2 cups water, bring back to a simmer, and cook uncovered for 20 minutes
  • Using an immersion blender, puree thoroughly (if you don't have an immersion blender you can use a regular blender or food processor)
  • Let soup stand for 20-30 minutes to thicken
  • Stir in creme fraiche and truffle salt (I use 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. but season to your liking)
  • To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with truffle salt, a drizzle of truffle oil and fresh black pepper (As with any soup, if you can hold your horses and wait a few hours or even a day before serving, you will be rewarded)