Roasted Root Vegetable Salad

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roasted-root-vegetables-from-slim-palateHere’s another great way to highlight your fancy salt!  It’s a nice variation on your typical Turkey-Day fare. (I get sick of the same ol’ same ol’.)  This dish is typically though of as a side dish, but I like to call it a salad, because I can easily eat just this for lunch–or breakfast for that matter.   I really like it at room temperature, slightly al dente, with a tangy dressing and a bit of a crunch. Of course, you can use it as a side dish if you want. It’s your kitchen.

Ingredients

1 butternut squash

1 sweet potato

1 red or yellow beet

1 parsnip

1 yellow onion

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon unrefined salt – try Bavarian rock salt, Portuguese sel gris, Peruvian pink, smoked salt, or a salt infused with rosemary or red wine

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 cup apple juice

½ cup toasted pecans, chopped

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.   Dice squash, potato, beet, parsnip, and onion into 1-2 inch chunks.   Quarter the onion, leaving the root in tact. Toss them all in olive oil and spread onto a baking sheet. Roast until tender and crisp on the outside. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt, then set aside at room temperature.
  1. Meanwhile heat the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until translucent, about 30-60 seconds. Stir in honey, vinegar, and apple juice. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until the liquid is reduced to syrup consistency, about 3-5 minutes. Keep your eye on this. It will happen fast!
  1. Combine the glaze, roasted roots, and pecans in a large bowl and toss to coat. Season with more salt as needed and serve.

Variations

Bacon – If you’re a bacon fan, use two slices of raw diced bacon instead of butter here. Render the fat and crisp it up in the pan, then add the garlic, and continue with the recipe as written.   It’s great with pancetta too!

Cheesy – Garnish this dish with a crumble of feta, goat, or sharp blue cheese. The salty tang is a great contrast to the sweetness of these roots and the apple juice.

Cardamom Curried Cauliflower and Lentils

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cauliflower

Cardamom is my favorite spice of all time. It is equally at home in curry as it is in a coffee cake. But ground cardamom is not always of the highest quality. If you have the choice, buy whole cardamom pods, either green or black. To use, open the outer hull, remove the seeds and crush them in a mortar coffee mill.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon coconut oil, ghee, or butter

4 large cardamom pods, seeded and crushed

½ teaspoon cumin seeds

½ cinnamon stick

3 scallions, chopped

3 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon garam masala

½ head of cauliflower, separated into small flowerets (about 2 cups)

1 cup lentils

4 cups vegetable broth or water

1 can chickpeas, with liquid

1 teaspoon unrefined salt – try Moroccan, Arabian Fleur de Sel, Kala Namak, or a salt infused with curry or cardamom

1 cup paneer or plain yogurt

Method

  1. In a large saucepan, heat coconut oil. Add cardamom, cumin and cinnamon, and toast until fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce heat, add scallions, garlic and cook until tender. Stir in garam masala.
  1. Add the cauliflower and cook 3-5 minutes stirring to coat with spices. Add lentils, broth and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 30 minutes. Add chickpeas and their liquid, and cook until warmed through. Season with more salt as needed.
  1. Fish out the cinnamon stick and serve over rice, topped another pinch of salt, a dollop of paneer or yogurt, and a side of cucumber pickles or raita.
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