Archive for the ‘winter’ Category

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash and Pomegranate

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

It always warms my heart to see traffic pick up on my Best Ever Roasted Turnips post as Thanksgiving approaches. Before that, I posted my alternative to the traditional green bean casserole. I tend to be a traditionalist when it comes to my Thanksgiving menu — but I do like to experiment with the vegetable side dishes. What can I say, I have a passion for giving misunderstood produce new life on your holiday table. So this year I turned my attention to Brussels sprouts. I can’t remember really eating them as a child, so I don’t have the baggage of a childhood filled with soggy, limp boiled sprouts to overcome. But for those of you who may have experienced such a travesty, I’m here to tell you: it doesn’t have to be that way. There are two schools of thought when it comes to preparing Brussels — cook ‘em in/with/on/under bacon (never a bad approach), or roast ‘em. Either way, the objective is to cook them until just tender inside and a little crisp outside. For this Thanksgiving side, I roasted them and combined them with roasted butternut squash and fresh pomegranate arils to add some contrasting sweet and tart notes and a bit of color.

pomegranate brussels sprouts with butternut squash

Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash and Pomegranate
Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds (arils)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • Kosher salt
  • black pepper

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel butternut squash, remove seeds, and cut into small 1/2-inch cubes. Place on rimmed baking sheet, toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place in oven and roast 10 minutes before adding Brussels sprouts.

2. Meanwhile, trim Brussels sprouts stems, remove outer leaves, and cut into quarters. Spread on a second rimmed baking sheet and gently toss with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place in oven and roast 25 to 30 minutes, stirring midway through. (Stir squash at the same time.) Brussels and squash should both be tender and browned.

3. Place cooked Brussels sprouts and squash in serving bowl. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses, salt and pepper to taste, then top with pomegranate seeds. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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More Brussels love from around the food blogs:

If you’re still not completely sold on the virtues of Brussels sprouts, take a look at my friend Domenica’s recent find — Kaleidoscope sprouts.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving vegetable?

At Market: 4 Ingredient Kale Salad

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Hopefully by now you’ve consumed the last of your Thanksgiving leftovers, and perhaps you’ve already plunged head first into holiday baking. Me, I need a little time to detox, especially as I’m still coming off the dairy binge that was my November visit to Wisconsin. And there’s no better way to cleanse your diet than with this super simple massaged kale salad. (Look for kale at the farmers markets — it’s one of the heartier greens that can be grown after weaker varieties have called it quits for the winter.)

four ingredient kale salad

I’d seen massaged kale salads around the web, and a similar marinated kale version, but it was my friend Jill’s kale with apple salad that finally prodded me to make it. I started simple with just the four basic ingredients — salt, olive oil, lemon juice, and Lacinato kale — and proceeded to devour the entire bowl. Well that’s not entirely true, I had some competition from the foodie bebe. I don’t know if it was the bright green color that drew her in, but each time I’ve made this now she slurps it down like pasta. (She even had three helpings while sick with a cold this past weekend — hooray vitamin C!) We haven’t even branched out yet to add fruit or cheese. We also haven’t shared with the boy or kale-and-tofu-fearing husband yet, so I don’t know if the kale-salad love is limited to those without a Y chromosome. Let me know if you’ve shared it with the men in your life. For now, it’s our little girls’ lunch secret.

foodie bebe loves kale

Recipe: Four Ingredient Massaged Kale Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch kale, Lacinato or  curly preferred
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. Rinse the kale and spin or pat dry. Cut the leaves off the stems and then into thin 1/4-inch ribbons.
  2. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt. Massage the salt into the kale for two minutes.
  3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice.
  4. Toss dressing with the massaged kale and let stand five minutes before serving.

Serves 1 to 4, depending on your family’s love for kale.

More kale salad variations from around the web:

Meatless Monday: Warm Red Quinoa Salad

Monday, February 14th, 2011

Okay, so quinoa may not be the first thing to come to mind for a romantic Valentine’s dinner, but what better day to think about heart health? This warm and hearty salad is loaded with super foods — broccoli for vitamins A & K (and lowering cholesterol), dried cranberries for antioxidants, walnuts for healthy omega-3s, and the aforementioned quinoa, a source of protein. And, it’s naturally red. To go totally vegan, substitute sauteed tofu for the feta. This would also make a nice side dish to some wild salmon. Happy *Heart* Day!

Recipe: Warm Red Quinoa Salad with Broccoli, Cranberries & Walnuts

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup red quinoa (rinsed*)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup walnut halves
  • 1 pound broccoli, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, cubed (optional)

Vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate balsamic vinegar
  • squirt of lemon juice

Instructions: In saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add quinoa, stirring to coat with the oil and cook for 1 minute, continuing to stir. Add water, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed.

While the quinoa cooks, whisk together vinaigrette ingredients and set aside. Heat dry skillet over medium low heat and toast walnuts, stirring frequently, for about 4 minutes. Remove walnuts from pan and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and shallot to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots begin to brown. Add broccoli and water, cover and cook until broccoli is tender — about 5 minutes. Uncover, add cranberries and remove from heat.

Combine quinoa, broccoli, walnuts and vinaigrette and toss gently to combine. Add feta, if using, and serve. Makes 4-6 servings.

* Note: I used pre-rinsed quinoa in this recipe. If your quinoa is not pre-rinsed, rinse it in a fine mesh colander and let drain for several minutes before cooking.

quinoa broccoli feta cranberries

Feeding Baby: Broccoli’s not recommended until baby is well established on solid foods as it is harder to digest. For babies 8+ months, pull out a few pieces of the cooked broccoli, a spoonful of quinoa and puree with a little water as needed to reach the desired consistency. (The boy is in a no-mingling-of-flavors phase, so the above is his salad, deconstructed. This is also ideal for serving finger-feeding toddlers.)

(And just so you don’t think I’m a total Valentine’s scrooge — here’s our dessert: black and pink cookies …

black and pinks

Support Farmer Heinz (and a Sunchoke Soup Recipe)

Friday, January 7th, 2011

A local Maryland farm, Next Step Produce, recently lost their boiler room in a fire. They lost $1600 worth in seeds in the fire and are unable to heat their greenhouses until the boiler room is rebuilt. Read more about the situation here, or go to FreshFarm Markets’ website to make a contribution to the “Help Heinz Fund.” Not only is farmer Heinz a fixture at the Dupont Circle FreshFarm market, but his organic produce is also distributed through our CSA in a crop-sharing arrangement. Below is a favorite recipe from the FoodieTots archives using one of the ingredients I was first introduced to by Heinz, sunchokes. My toddler, then just two-and-a-half, eagerly sampled a sunchoke handed to him by Heinz at the market — and if I remember correctly, sampled this soup as well.

~

Sunchokes, also known as Jerusalem artichokes, look very similar to ginger root, but when you begin to peel them they offer an intensely concentrated artichoke aroma. Raw, they have the texture of a water chestnut, but taste sweeter and nuttier. They are a member of the tuber farm and are packed with iron and potassium. They aid in digestion and store carbs as inulin, not starch, making them an ideal substitute for potatoes. The farmer suggested roasting them or serving raw in a salad, but I’ve had sunchoke soup on the mind since Ramona’s post in the spring. This simple soup lets their flavor shine. I added mushrooms which added to the earthy flavor, but you can omit them.

Recipe: Creamy Sunchoke Soup
Adapted from Thomas Keller

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound sunchokes
  • 1 leek, white part and an inch of the green portion, rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup maitake mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup cream

Instructions: Peel and thinly slice the sunchokes. (They are a little tricky to peel, so go carefully.) Slice the leek cross-wise into thin strips. Coarsely chop the mushrooms. Melt butter in stock pot over medium low heat. Add sunchokes and leeks and cook until they are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook 2 minutes more. Season with white pepper and salt, and stir in chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and puree in blender or with stick blender until smooth.  Stir in cream, warm over low heat for two minutes, then remove from heat and serve. Makes 4 servings. Enjoy!

Farms of Origin: Organic sunchokes and leek, Next Step Produce and maitake from the Mushroom Lady, Dupont Circle Farmers Market. Butter from South Mountain Creamery.

– originally posted 12/09/08

Sunday Brisket {and A Plea}

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Today I’m pleased to share our family’s favorite Sunday brisket for a virtual progressive dinner party, Share Our Holiday Table. Together with more than 50 fellow bloggers, we are sharing our favorite recipes to help raise awareness of Share Our Strength‘s work to ensure no child goes hungry.

You’ll see below I made my own chili sauce for this recipe, using organic ketchup, out of frustration with the HFCS in the store version. So when I read this story in yesterday’s SOS email, my heart broke:

…. a young boy who received free meals all summer at a small community organization in El Dorado, Arkansas, thanks to the support of Share Our Strength. One day, a staff member noticed that he was stuffing his pockets with ketchup packets and asked him why he wanted so much ketchup.

He replied, “I hope it’s okay. I bring them home and when we have enough my grandma and me make tomato soup.”

Won’t you hop over to SOS and donate even just $2.99 — the cost of a carton of tomato soup? It doesn’t take much to make a world of difference for hungry kids this holiday season.

Thank you! Now, on to the recipe.

My brisket recipe comes from my Jewish mother-in-law, who instructed me to simply add a jar of chili sauce and a can of beer to a brisket and roast it. The first time I attempted this to nearly disastrous results. The supermarket had only corned beef brisket, and I did not yet know the difference. I couldn’t find chili sauce, and wound up with a bottle of something like Pete’s hot sauce. Hot sauce + hot pink and uber-salted corned beef is, for the record, almost inedible, as the husband likes to remind me.

Now, I buy my brisket from Smith Meadows at the farmers market, and I know that chili sauce comes from Heinz. Unfortunately, Heinz is made with high fructose corn syrup, so I made my own chili sauce. Instructions below. The best part about making this brisket on a Sunday afternoon is that the leftovers can be stretched out into one or two more dinners during the week — sliced thin for brisket sandwiches one night, then shredded and served over egg noodles another. It’s a great way to stretch your food budget and get the most out of your grassfed beef.

Recipe: Sunday Brisket

Ingredients:

  • 1 4-pound beef brisket
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 10 ounces chili sauce (see below)
  • 1 bottle dark beer (I used Guinness)
  • sea salt and black pepper

For Chili Sauce:

  • 1 1/4 cup organic ketchup
  • 1/4 cup dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon chili-garlic sauce

Instructions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the chili sauce ingredients. Trim any excess fat from the brisket and place in roasting pan. Season generously with salt and pepper. Spread chili sauce and onions on and around the brisket, then pour beer over top. Cover pan with foil and cook for 3 1/2 to 4 hours, until tender. Serve with pan juices as gravy. Makes 8 servings.

Below are the other sites sharing entree recipes on Share our Holiday Table today. In addition to our usual year-end donation to Share our Strength, I’ll be donating my December ad revenue as well. If you’ve already donated to Share our Strength, I hope you’ll take a moment to share this post with a friend too. Thank you so much!

Gourmet

Family Friendly

Vegetarian

Gluten Free

Find the full menu of appetizers, drinks, soups and salads that have already been shared after the jump. (more…)