Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Tofurkey Day All You Yogis and Yoginis Out There!

Last night, I made a couple of what I consider to be truly wonderful vegetable dishes to bring to mom's house. Mom is a great cook, and she taught me well. And truthfully, her spread is never really in need of any improvement at all. However, I adore autumn vegetables and figured that this gave me a great excuse to add some lively color to the dinner table palate.

And so...I give to anyone who is listening: Roasted Beets with Fennel and Citrus Vinaigrette:

First I roasted about 12 peeled and chunked beets in nothing but a bit of olive oil in a 350 degree oven (not too hot because I didn't want them to shrivel up and dry out, and no salt because again, I didn't want to draw out any liquid). It took I think about 40 minutes for them to get nicely cooked through, and then I put them aside to cool. Next I took a large fennel bulb (cutting off all the "hair" and the celery-like stalks and cutting out the core), cut it in quarters and then sliced those babies paper thin. I threw that in a large bowl with a large handful of chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley and then peeled a seedless orange over the bowl to let the juices spill into the bowl. Then I segmented the orange and (this is the only really difficult part), peeled and cut away all of the membranes, leaving only the bright orange innards. I reserved a couple of segments for squeezing out the juice, yielding one Tablespoon, which I put in a shaker. To that I added One Tablespoon of Balsamic Vinegar. To that I added Two Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I shook up the liquid in order to emulsify it and then poured it over the fennel and parsley. Next I added the beets to the bowl. Finally, I took a handful of fresh dill, chopped it up, threw it on top, tossed it all lightly and ground some sea salt and multicolored peppercorns on top.


My other dish was far less complicated. I roasted chunks of butternut squash with rounds of parsnips in a 350 degree oven until cut-with-a-fork-soft. Then I removed them from the oven and turned the oven up to broil. I then took an entire bunch of fresh sage leaves (just the leaves, not the stems) and an entire bunch of fresh rosemary (the whole thing, stems and all) and put them in a pan as far away from the fire as possible. I let them dry out, checking on them very often, sometimes getting impatient and actually holding a rosemary stalk up the fire, only to find out that it is VERY flammable AND smells quite a bit like ganja when on fire. When they were nice and dry and very aromatic, I took them out of the broiler and crumbled them over the butternut squash and parsnips, mixed it up with ground sea salt and ground white pepper corns and a touch of melted butter (you can skip the butter if you must...but why?)....and YUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Another option for the latter dish is to roast an entire garlic bulb separately from the squash and parsnips and then squeeze it out into the dish and mix it up. IF you like roasted garlic.

Yet another option for the latter dish is to add a bit of bright green in the form of chopped roasted asparagus. I mention it separately because asparagus overcooks VERY quickly and should not be cooked along with the squash and parsnips which take far longer. To roast asparagus, break off the ends of the stalks, toss them in olive oil and cook them at 350 degrees until they turn bright green. And then quickly remove them to the REFRIGERATOR to stop them from cooking. When they are cool, cut them into matchstick lengths and toss them into the root vegetable dish.

With these two dishes, you have green, purple, white, and yellow: not only do you have a colorful table, but you can be SURE that you have covered all of your vitamin bases...


1 comment:

YogaDawg said...

Yum, I'm vegging surfing Yoga blogs after a hugh feast and all of a sudden I'm hungry again reading your post.

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About Me

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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