Last week, I added some sub-sections of the Recipe category that can be found in the top navigation bar of this blog. Since I’m up to around 170 shared recipes, I figured it was high time to break things down somewhat. After some deliberation, I came up with the following: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Side Dishes, Soups, Salads, Breads and Desserts.
Once I had the new sections set up, I went through all the recipes and added each one to whichever section it fit best. I like the setup now much better because it gives me an idea of what types of recipes I need to prepare. If, in one year’s time, I have 300 dinner recipes and 2 desserts, I need to switch tracks for a bit. As things are today, there are a few areas that need work. Side Dishes is one of them.
This Christmas season was good for side dishes and I was able to share a good handful of recipes. And since I got my new cookbook the day of, I decided that I should locate something delicious to make. I did just that.
Technically, this is a side dish. Last night though, Laura and I prepared some rice and used it as a bed for the roasted veggies. Then, we fried up some tofu and used that as sort of a topping. In the end, we had a main dish that we ate for dinner that consisted of white long grain rice, really awesome and extremely filling garlic vegetables and fried tofu. If you’re interested in doing something similar, I can tell you that we loved the dinner. I’ll talk about how to cook rice and tofu in some other posts. Right now, I’ll focus on the vegetables.
Let me warn you – you need to be a lover of roasted garlic to get the most out of this dish. The recipe calls for an entire bulb to be sliced once across and after it’s cooked, it tastes great. It ends up as sweet as any roasted garlic does and dare I say, it’s magical. The parsnips definitely add a flavorful touch as do the onions and the caper vinaigrette. Roasting vegetables like this is perfect for something hearty because it brings the sweetness out of almost everything.
I’d say this side dish would be really great for Thanksgiving or Christmas. It’s colorful enough and tasty enough to conjure up some conversation. I’m sure you’ll be praised for your efforts.
4 Parsnips, Peeled and Cut Into 2 Inch Pieces, 1/2 Inch Wide
4 Medium Red Onions, Trimmed and Cut Into Wedges
2/3 Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Divided
1 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
1 Teaspoon Dried Rosemary
1 Garlic Bulb, Cut in Half Horizontally
Regular Table Salt
Ground Black Pepper
2 Large Sweet Potatoes, Trimmed and Cut Into Wedges
30 Cherry Tomatoes, Halved
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons Capers
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
This is the very first recipe I’m pulling from the incredibly awesome and popular cookbook called Plenty – Vibrant Vegetable Recipes From London’s Ottolenghi. Before I received this book for Christmas, I wasn’t aware of who Yotam Ottolenghi was. Today, this man is on my list to watch. His recipes are quite different than what I’m used to and I really like the look of them. They definitely have a European flare. The dishes are up a notch from some of the more differently styled ones I’ve prepared for most of my life. I’m hopeful for the future with this and I think I’m going to learn a lot from Yotam.
Arrange one of your oven racks so it sits in the lower center position and turn the oven heat on to 375 degrees.
Add Vegetables to Roasting Pan
Next, add the parsnip, onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary, 1/2 cup of the olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper to a large roasting pan. Since I’m a fan of cast iron, I decided to go with my Lodge cast iron Dutch oven. Stir all the ingredients well until they’re coated with the olive oil.
Cook the Vegetables
Add the uncovered pan to the oven for 20 minutes. This is just to get these vegetables going. You’ll add it to the oven again later on.
Add Sweet Potatoes and Cook
After 20 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and add in the sweet potatoes (skin on). Mix the vegetables again so the sweet potatoes are coated with the olive oil as well.
Then, return the pan to the oven for about 60 minutes or until the veggies begin to brown.
Add Tomatoes and Cook Again
Next, remove the pan from the oven and add in the halved tomatoes. Be careful here to not stir too much because the vegetables have been softened and may begin to fall apart. Once the tomatoes are in the pot, go ahead and add it to the oven for another 10 minutes.
Prepare the Vinaigrette
During this final cooking session, you can make the vinaigrette. In a medium sized bowl, add the lemon juice, capers, maple syrup, mustard, 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Whisk everything together.
Dress the Vegetables and Serve
When the vegetables come out of the oven for the last time, go ahead and drizzle the vinaigrette over them while they’re in the roasting pan. Then, with a large spoon, scoop some vegetables from the pan and serve them on the side of another dish or as the main like I described above.
The Final Veggies
The vinaigrette adds a lot to this dish. It’s packed with flavor and it infuses itself inside the other ingredients. Go ahead and give this one a try. I think you’ll really like it. Enjoy and thanks for reading!