Roasted beet, asparagus and garlic salad

Roasted beet, asparagus and garlic salad

Source: Adapted from ‘The New Vegetarian Epicure’ cookbook

Personal notes:
Beets, a wonderful root vegetable with enormous health benefits, Beets have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support-so eat them up!

1 lb. red beets (small if possible) 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 lb. golden beets ¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 lb. slender green asparagus 1 Tbs. minced onion
1 head garlic ¼ cup + 1 Tbs. olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Directions:
Trim the beets, leaving an inch of stems, and scrum them well.  Break the garlic up into individual cloves, but don’t peel them.  Put the red beets in one glass baking dish and the golden beets in another and scatter the garlic cloves evenly between them.  Add about ½ cup of water to each dish, cover them tightly with lids or with foil, and cook them in a 400* oven for about 1 hour, until perfectly tender.  The time will vary a bit depending on the size of the beets.

Meanwhile, wash the asparagus stalks and trim off any tough ends.  Drizzle them with a tablespoon of olive oil, roll them around on a baking sheet until they are evenly coated, spread them out, and sprinkle them with salt.  Set aside until the beets are cooked. When the beets are tender, allow them to cool slightly so you can handle them, then peel and cut them into wedges or slices, keeping them separate.

At the same time, raise the oven temperature to 450* and roast the prepared asparagus stalks for 15-20 minutes, depending on their thickness until tender but not browned.

Squeeze about 10 cloves of the soft, cooked garlic into a bowl and mash it well with a fork.  Add the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, orange juice, minced onion, salt, and pepper, and whisk together thoroughly. In separate bowls, add 2 tablespoons of the dressing each to the red beets, golden beets, and asparagus.  Toss gently to coat, and leave the vegetables to marinate for a few hours.

Just before serving, arrange the beets and asparagus on individual plates in attractive random patterns of these spectacular colors.  Don’t toss them together, or the red beets will stain everything!  Serve this salad at room temperature.

Serves 6-8

Roasted carrots

Roasted carrots

Source: Adapted from “The New Vegetarian Epicure” cookbook.

Personal note:
Do your research of the type of carrots available in your area.  In California on our farm, our farmer grows an heirloom variety of carrots called Chantenay Carrots.  They are a magnificent breed and are loaded with flavor-there are carrots out there with a yellow hew, purple hew, orange hew, white hew.  Here are some names:  Orange Chantenay, Purple, White, Red Indian, and Yellow-  with hundreds more varieties to explore. Do your research to find more than the ordinary grocery store carrot.  Enjoy!

Carrots
2 lbs. carrots 4-5 Tbs. vegetable broth
1 ½ Tbs. olive oil 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
salt to taste

Directions:
Scrape and trim the carrots.  If you have thin or very small carrots, you can roast them whole.  Otherwise, you will need to cut them into carrot sticks no more than ½ inch this at their thickest point.

Put the carrots in a bowl and drizzle the olive oil over them.  Toss them around until the oil is evenly distributed over all the carrots.  Spread them on a shallow baking pan and sprinkle them lightly with salt.  Mix together the vegetable broth and lemon juice and sprinkle it over the carrots.

Roast the carrots in a 400* oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning them and moving them around every 20 minutes or so.  After a while, the vegetable broth will cook away, and the carrots will begin to color.  If they are turning too dark before they are tender, you can add a tiny bit more broth, but you certainly don’t want any left by the time they are done.

Serves 8-10

Guacamole

Guacamole

Source: Adapted from “The New Vegetarian Epicure” cookbook

Personal notes:
I’ve had the pleasure a time or two to be on the receiving end of a few large grocery bags of avocado’s. My cousin has an avocado orchard in Southern California. She grows two varieties-the Haas and the Fuerte. Needless to say, when you’re given about 25 avocado’s, time is not on your side. Even if you aren’t so fortunate, this guacamole recipe is simply the best! Enjoy

Haas avocado
2 large ripe avocados 3-4 Tbs. thinly sliced green onions
2-3Tbs. fresh lemon juice chopped cilantro leaves
salt to taste

Directions:
Cut the avocados in half lengthwise, to take out the pits, and scoop the soft flesh out into a bowl. Immediately add some lemon juice and mash the avocado with it. Add salt to taste, some thinly sliced green onions, and as much chopped cilantro as you like. Taste, and add more lemon if needed. Serve the Guacamole as soon as possible with corn tortillas or chips, and as a topping for tostadas.

Makes about 2 cups

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