Roasted vegetables are my favorite, especially in the autumn and winter. They are delicious and easy to make. I found some beautiful golden beets at the neighborhood farm stand. I decided to roast them and use their fresh leaves in a chimichurri. Nothing goes to waste around here. Either we eat it or we feed it to our animals.
- 4 medium beets. Their tops will be used in the chimichurri
- fresh leaves from the tops of 4 beets
- 1 bunch of parsley
- 1/2 bunch of cilantro leaves (leave this out if you don’t like cilantro)
- cilantro stems chopped up (cilantro stems have a lot of flavor)
- 1 serrano chili (optional)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 tsp. chili flakes (optional)
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds
- 2 Tbsp. of my Italian Spice Mix for coating the beets
- 2 Tbsp. of olive oil to coat the beets
- 1/4 cup of olive oil for the chimichurri
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
PREPPING THE BEETS:
- Cut off the tops and bottoms of the beets
- Save the fresh beet leaves for the chimichurri
- Coat the beets with olive oil amd my Italian Spice Mix
- Add salt and pepper to taste
- Roast in a 400 F oven until fork tender (about 15 to 20 minutes)
MAKING THE CHIMICHURRI:
While the beets are roasting make the chimichurri.
- Toast the cumin seeds. Let them cool to room temp. Grind them into a powder in the spice grinder.
- In a small food processor add the following:
- beet leaves
- parsley leaves
- coriander leaves and chopped up stems
- 2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 serrano chili, roughly chopped
- chili flakes
- toasted cumin powder
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
Whiz everything up. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cut the roasted beets into half inch slices.
I prefer thicker medallions. If you want to make them thinner that is totally fine. Place the beet medallions on a platter and top off with a dollop of chimichurri.
This is a delicious appertizer or side dish. It can also be served as a main vegetarian or vegan dish if you increase the portions size.
I had cauliflower and peppers on hand so I decided to create this dish. It is vegetarian and gluten free. It can be served as a side dish or a main dish.
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 4 peppers
- 2 Serrano chilies (optional)
- 1/2 a bunch of parsley
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 4 cups of marinara sauce. Use your favorite. I have used a homemade mushroom marinara sauce.
- 1 teaspoon of red chili flakes (optional)
- 2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese (preferably grate your own)
- 6 ounce bag of shaved cheese (mix of Parmesan, Romano and Asiago)
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 4 Tbsp. of olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Serve as a side dish with any protein you like. If you are eating meatless, serve a larger portion as a vegetarian main dish.
ENJOY!!! Let me know your feedback by leaving a comment.
Fall is upon us and here, in Central Texas, it is pear season. My neighbor brought me some beautiful Kieffer pears from his tree. They inspired me to make this salad.
- 3 hard pears (Kieffer pears are hard and sweet)
- 2 heads of butter lettuce
- 1 small red onion
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 8 ounces of gorgonzola cheese
- 3 sprigs each of oregano and thyme
- 1 teaspoon of agave nectar
- red vine vinegar (3 tablespoons for soaking the onion + 1/4 cup for the dressing)
- Gravenstein apple balsamic vinegar (3 tablespoons for coating the pears + 1/4 cup for the dressing.) The vinegar I used is from CONOLIOS.COM. It is really delicious. You can substitute white balsamic.
- Pecan oil–1/4 cup for the dressing
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Peel the onion and slice it thinly. Place in a bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Season with a little salt and pepper. Toss together and set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. This will allow the sharpness of the onion to mellow out.
- Peel and core the pears. Cut into thin strips. Place in a bowl and toss with 3 tablespoons of the Gravenstein apple cider vinegar. Set aside until you are ready to assemble the salad.
- Crumble the blue cheese. Place in the frig until you are ready to assemble the salad.
- Toast the pecans. Let them cool. SET ASIDE 6 WHOLE PECANS FOR GARNISH. Rough chop the rest.
- Pull the herb leaves off their stems. You should have 1/2 tablespoon of fresh herbs.
- Clean the lettuce as needed. I used a living hydroponic lettuce so there was not much cleaning to do. Tear the lettuce into bite sized pieces.
RECIPE TIP–notice that I have seasoned each component of the salad separately. I always do this because it makes the salad taste better. Each component has its own flavor so nothing is bland. The individual flavors play off of each other to create harmony.
Next, I will make the salad dressing and use it to coat just the lettuce leaves before assembling the salad.
PREPARING THE DRESSING:
- In a ball jar, add the 1/4 cup of each of the vinegars and 1/4 cup of pecan oil. Grind in a bit of salt and pepper. Add the herbs and the Agave nectar. Shake vigorously.
- Taste the dressing, add more red wine vinegar if you need more acid. Adjust the salt and pepper as needed.
ASSEMBLING THE SALAD:
- In a large bowl, add the lettuce leaves and sprinkle on half the dressing. Toss and taste. Add more dressing if you need it. Put the rest of the dressing in a gravy boat for the table. This way your guests can add more dressing if they need it.
- Next add the onions, pears and 1/3 of the chopped pecans. Toss gently. Place the mixture on your serving platter.
- Sprinkle the salad with 1/2 the cheese crumbles. Put the rest of the crumbles in a bowl for the table. This way if anyone wants extra gorgonzola cheese they can have it.
- Lastly sprinkle on the rest of the chopped pecans and use the whole ones to make a little flower in the center of the salad platter.
This salad is almost a cheese and fruit course. I like to serve it at the end of a meal with a glass of French Sauterne or Canadian Ice Wine.
Enjoy and please leave your feedback in the comment section. I love hearing from you!!!
- 2 large bunches of green beans
- 2 cups of fresh shiitake mushrooms
- 1 large bunch of cilantro leaves
- 1 small red onion
- 2 inches of fresh ginger
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 green chilies (serrano or Thai Bird)
- 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoons Sambal Oelek (Indonesian hot chili paste available in most U. S. markets)
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce (this ups the umami flavor)
- 1 teaspoon of black bean garlic sauce
- white pepper and sea salt to taste
- Trim the ends of each bean and cut it into thirds. You will end up with 4 cups of prepped beans.
- Mince the chilies, ginger and garlic
- Thinly slice the onion and mushrooms
- Tear the cilantro leaves from the stems
- Cut the lime so that we have it ready to squeeze later in the recipe
- Coat a large stainless steel skillet with 2 tablespoons of peanut oil and 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil
- Add the onions, chilies, ginger, garlic, yellow mustard seeds and half the coriander leaves. Reserve the other half of the coriander leaves for garnish.
- Turn the flame to medium and sauté till golden brown
- Add the shiitake mushrooms
- Continue sautéing till the mushrooms are brown and caramelized
- Deglaze the pan with the fish sauce and the soy sauce
- Add the green beans along with the Sambal Oelek, the black bean/garlic sauce and the oyster sauce. Toss everything together
- Cover with a lid. Cook for 5 minutes. The beans will stay green and crunchy.
- Turn the flame off and leave the lid on till you are ready till serve
- Just before serving adjust the salt and pepper to taste and toss in the reserved cilantro leaves for a pop of freshness.
Serve on a platter and top off with a fresh squeeze of lime juice. Here I have served it with Asian Brown Rice Pilaf and Sesame Crusted Black Fin Tuna.
HOPE YOU LIKE IT. LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS.