>Yay for Vegemetables!

11 Mar

Yay for Vegemetables! The spring season is almost upon us! This means peas and favas and fennel oh my! This means asparagus and rhubarb, strawberries and pineapple, and ma ma ma mango!

It’s almost spring. It’s time to lighten up. It’s time to soak up some sunshine and frolick in the park and wear hats and flowy dresses. Polka dots and flowers and bright colors and patterns. Frisbee and baseball and dachshund derbies!

It’s mating season–for the squirrels, for the birds, and well, for us humans.

All I want to do is sip on mimosas and dance in the streets and have someone whisper sweet nothings in my ear.

When I think of spring, I think light. I think fresh smells. I think of color. And this is exactly what I think about when I want a nice spring meal. Something not too heavy (simple simple simple), something fragrant and filled with fresh herbs and flavors (fresh basil, chives, rosemary…), and something bright green and red and orange and white.

And now I present you with two beautiful spring recipes highlighting the essence of simple, fresh, and, well…springy!

Barefoot Contessa’s Back to Basics has a great recipe for roasted vegetables–fennel, fingerling potatoes, thin French green beans, and asparagus. You just need a splash of oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and a few dashes of Parmesan. Done. Perfect. Gorgeous. TASTY TOWN!

Next I have for you a lovely galette, a free-form tartlette. Filled with the last of the sweet winter squash and spiked with the fresh hint of green spring basil and purple shallots. I’m licking my lips. My tummy is thanking me.

So, let’s get cookin’:

Oven-Roasted Vegetables a la Barefoot Contessa

serves 6

2 small fennel bulbs, tops removed
1 pound fingerling or small potatoes
1/3 cup good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound French string beans (haricot verts), trimmed
1 bunch thin asparagus, ends removed, cut diagonally into 3-inch pieces (I just left mine whole)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (omit if making this for vegans)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut the fennel bulbs into 6 wedges each, cutting through the core to keep the wedges intact. Place on a sheet pan. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and place them on the pan with 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Toss with your hands.

Roast the vegetables for 25-30 minutes, until potatoes are tender, tossing once while cooking. Toss the string beans and asparagus with the roasted vegetables and roast for another 10-15 minutes, until the green vegetables are tender. Sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese and roast for another minute or two until the cheese melts.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve hot.

and now…

Adapted From Doable and Delicious
Originally From Gourmet Magazine February 2009

For the dough:
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I used Earth Balance spread to make this vegan)

1 tbsp fresh basil leaves, cut into a chiffonade

1/2 tsp sea salt

4 tbsp ice cold water

Dough: Pulse flour, butter, basil, and sea salt in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle ice water evenly over mixture and pulse until it just forms a ball. Do not overwork dough or pastry will be tough. Gently press dough into a 5 inch disk and chill, wrapped in plastic warp, until firm, at least 1 hour.

For the filling:
2 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2 x 1/4 inch slices

1/2 tsp sea salt

3 tbsp olive oil, divided

A few shallots, sliced thinly

6 ounces soft mild goat cheese, crumbled (omit if making this tart vegan)

1 egg, lightly beaten (omit if making this vegan)

more fresh basil, chiffonaded, for garnish

Preheat oven to 500 with rack in the middle.

Toss squash with sea salt and 1 tbsp oil and arrange in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan or cookie sheet. Roast, stirring once halfway through roasting, until golden brown on edges and undersides, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove squash from oven and reduce oven temperature to 375.
Meanwhile, cook the shallots in remaining 2 tbsp oil with a pinch of salt in a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6-10 minutes.

Roll out dough into a 13 inch round on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a baking sheet (lined with parchment) or pizza stone. Arrange the squash, shallots, and goat cheese and fill the galette in an even layer in center of dough, leaving a 2 to 3 inch border. Fold dough in on itself to cover outer rim of filling, pleating dough if necessary.

Brush pastry with beaten egg (omit if making this vegan) and bake galette until crust is cooked through and golden on edges, 35 to 45 minutes. Cool on baking sheet on a rack 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh basil.


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