Food + Wine

New Tricks for Old Dogs

I don’t know about you, but I find it’s very easy to get stuck in a rut with vegetables. I’m fairly adventurous in the kitchen, but even I can get bored from time to time. So here are a few of my favorite recipes to get you through those tough times. Hope you enjoy-

*Carrots with Honey and Feta
(I always have carrots in my fridge. They aren’t very expensive and can make a great side to a simple sandwich at lunchtime, background flavor for soups and stews, and they’re excellent simply roasted with a little s&p and sugar to compliment any meal. But here’s an incredible new way to eat them…)
Slice carrots into sticks and toss with olive oil, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Roast on a sheet pan until caramelized on the outside and cooked through on the inside. (at 350* or 450*, depending on how quickly you want them to cook). In the same bowl, toss them with several good squeezes of honey, a few good pinches of ground cumin, a handful of chopped fresh parsley and lots of crumbles of some good feta cheese. The honey and feta make such a great couple and the parsley just brings the whole dish to life.

*Roasted Curried Cauliflower with Apples and Onions

(Cauliflower is fairly inexpensive at any given time at the grocery store so when nothing else is on a great sale, that’s one of the items I’ll go for. It’s wonderful just roasted on it’s own, or steamed then pureed with cream, and it’s great in gratins. But this is such a unique and exciting way to serve this otherwise simple vegetable.)
Cut a head of cauliflower into florets, core and chunk a sweet apple, (pears or even raisins work great in this too), and thinly slice a small onion. Place them all in a gallon-sized zip bag and pour several good glugs of olive oil, a splash or two of red wine vinegar, some salt, a couple TB’s of sugar, and a lot of yellow curry powder (enough that when you shake it all together in the bag, every single piece is coated with the seasoning). Once everything is well incorporated, refrigerate for several hours and massage the bag whenever you think about it to keep everything evenly coated. Roast until tender and caramelized. I like this as a warm side dish, or it’s also great to add some brown rice and eat it cold as a salad. It’s such a great combination of sweet and savory.

*Spinach Patties

(I always keep frozen spinach on hand. It’s such a healthy vegetable and a really great bargain in the grocery stores. It’s good to use in stuffings for pasta or meat, to make creamed spinach or simple sauteed spinach when you don’t have any fresh on hand, but this non-recipe is a great, different way to use it up.)
Defrost and completely squeeze all the liquid out of 7-8 oz of spinach (the amount equal to one box, but I usually buy it in the bags.) In a mixing bowl, add 1 egg, a handful of grated parmigiana reggiano or romano cheese, the zest of 1/2 a lemon, a couple cloves of garlic, minced, and a handful of plain breadcrumbs. Season with s&p and nutmeg and shape into 2 patties. Cook on medium heat in a saucepan with some olive oil until crispy on each side. These are a great dinner side dish to any meat or underneath a poached egg for brunch. I’ve been making these for years and we’ve never gotten tired of them, it’s such a yummy way to eat such a healthy thing.
Thanks for listening…Here’s to keeping things exciting in the kitchen!

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