Friday, January 2, 2009

Very Vegan Part I

For Christmas I received a cookbook called "The Candle Cafe Cookbook". All of the recipes are vegan and to a traditional cook (more of a traditional baker than anything) the thought of vegan cooking can be scary. Nonetheless I was going to forge ahead and try it out. My husband and I picked out a couple things to try on New Year's Day.

My first pick was Roasted Vegetable Salad with Roasted Garlic Dressing. I'm a big fan of garlic. The salad intrigued me because of the various root veggies that were in it, most of all fennel which I've never had other than in a soup.

Let me just say that if we were to actually go vegan we would be living on rice and oatmeal because three bags of groceries for one vegan meal cost me $35 and I didn't even include some of the ingredients!

Anyway, I first roasted the garlic which is killing two ducks with one stone (who kills a duck with a stone?). You roast the garlic in olive oil but only use the roasted cloves so you have this wonderfully flavored oil to use over pasta or as a dipping oil with focaccia. Brilliant!

The dressing was awesome. Very garlicky flavored and light. My variation on the recipe excluded balsamic vinegar (didn't have any) and white miso (it was $6 at the store).

I enjoyed this salad but have a few thoughts. 1. Everything was tinted pink from the beets which doesn't really matter but...kind of annoyed me. 2. My husband was a little weirded out by a warm salad. He liked it and ate it (had seconds actually) but didn't think it should be called a salad.

Raw veggies ready to go into the oven:

Baked and dressed:

Roasted Vegetable Salad
The Candle Cafe Cookbook
Serves 4

1 fennel bulb trimmed and cut into bite sized pieces
2 medium red bell peppers cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 pound fingerling potatoes cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 pound baby turnips cut into bite sized pieces (I used a rutabaga)
2 medium beets peels and cut
2 bunches arugula (I skipped this part)
1/2 cup toasted pecans or walnuts OPTIONAL (I did walnuts and liked it)
1/2 cup dried cranberries or currants OPTIONAL (I did cranberries and liked it)

Preheat oven to 400 (I had to lower the temp because the veggies were putting out some steam and smoke).

In mixing bowl toss veggies with salt, pepper and EVOO. Spread on cookie sheet and bake until tender (40 min). Toss veggies with about 2 T of the dressing (below). Serve on bed of arugula (again, I skipped this part). Sprinkle with walnuts and cranberries.

Roasted Garlic Dressing
The Candle Cafe Cookbook
Yield 2 cups
1 cup peeled garlic cloves
1 cup EVOO
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (skipped)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 T white miso (skipped)
2 T fresh thyme or 1 t dried oregano

Preheat oven to 350.

Put garlic cloves in baking dish and cover with EVOO. Cover with foil and roast for 25 minutes or until brown. Remove garlic cloves with slotted spoon and save oil for other yumminess. Blend garlic, 1/2 cup water, vinegars, miso, herb, S&P in blender.


1 comment:

Dunn Family said...

The roasted veggies and garlic dressing look yummy! Thanks for posting Brianne!