Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Roasted Vegetable Soup

Every now and then...approximately once a year, to be precise...we manage to roast so many winter root vegetables that we have leftovers.

You might wonder, given how frequently we roast them, that there aren't leftovers more often. I blame parsnips. You see, we'll start out with the best of intentions to stop eating before the bottom of the pan, but then there will be a parsnip, and the only way to get to the parsnip will be to eat the carrot above the turnip above the yam that's covering it. It's entrapment by parsnip. That's totally a thing. Look it up.

In any event, if you should ever find yourself with leftovers (to roast, simply cut your carrots, parsnips, turnips, and/or yams into equal-sized chunks, toss liberally in olive oil and—if you'd like—a couple cloves of pressed garlic and some chopped fresh thyme, then roast at 425°F for about an hour, stirring every 15 minutes, till caramelized and tender)...if this serendipitous and rare occurrence of abundance should ever happen to you, here's what you do:

1. Remove serendipitous leftovers from fridge.

2. Put in a pot.

3. Cover (almost to the top) with good-quality, flavorful veggie broth.

4. Bring to a simmer.

5. Blend with an immersion blender until desired consistency. (If it's too thick, you can add more broth, but note that thicker also means more roasted veggie flavor.)

6. Add a slosh of cream, and adjust salt to taste.

7. Serve warm, garnished with nasturtiums and/or a bit of chopped parsley.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Plants for Breakfast: Roasted Sweet Potato Rounds

In our ongoing quest to discover easy and delicious mostly-plant breakfasts, we stumbled on this one completely by accident. All you need is a few spare yams next time you're roasting something in the oven, and voila—breakfast and/or afternoon snacks for the rest of the week. (Or at least for the next two days. They're shockingly addictive...kind of like giant sweet potato fries big enough to sink your teeth into and healthy enough to eat by the plate.)

Olive oil
Garnet yams, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Brush yam slices liberally with olive oil and arrange on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom, then turn slices and roast for 15 minutes more or until both sides are nicely browned.

Let cool, then refrigerate until you want them. You can reheat them for breakfast or sneak them straight out of the refrigerator when you think no one is watching.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fall Fig and Gorgonzola Crostini

Sweet ripe figs and tangy blue cheese make a heavenly pairing for easy and elegant crostini appetizers, or grab a loaf of Village Bakery's walnut levain and make sinfully rich open-faced sandwiches for lunch.

Ripe figs are key here...after you buy them, leave them out of the refrigerator until they feel soft when you squeeze them gently between thumb and forefinger. If you must make this before your figs finish ripening, you could drizzle a little honey over the top to sweeten, but it's worth waiting an extra day for the figs to sweeten themselves.

Small or large slices of bread, toasted
Gorgonzola, Bleu d'Auvergne, or another creamy blue cheese
Ripe figs, halved lengthwise and then sliced into thirds

Spread a thin layer of blue cheese on the toasts, top with figs, and serve.