10 Roasted Vegetable Recipe Ideas

Every year, I fall into a bit of a funk as the sweet summer produce slowly disappears at the market, and is replaced by… root vegetables. So many root vegetables. All of the root vegetables.

Don’t get me wrong. I love squash and beets and sweet potatoes and the rest of ’em. But on month three of roasted veggies, it’s hard to muster the same enthusiasm as I did at the beginning of the season.

To avoid dying of boredom (or just indulging in all the mashed potatoes, pot pies, and mac and cheese I really want to eat all winter), I’ve been experimenting with new ways to use roasted veggies.

The basic idea is this: make a pan or two of assorted vegetables (plus some sautéed greens if you have them). How to Roast Any Vegetable from The Kitchn is an excellent overview of how to do this like a pro. Then mix and match recipes throughout the week, and give yourself a gold star for being such a responsible adult.

Roasted Veggie Recipes

10 Ways to Use Roasted Veggies

 

1. Spicy Veggie Bowls

Layer veggies on a bed of grains – like whole-wheat couscous or bulgur. Drizzle with plain Greek yogurt mixed with harissa or sriracha.

2. Goat Cheese Polenta & Veggies

Make a quick pot of cheesy polenta, and serve with vegetables.

3. Pasta

Cook pasta, toss with olive oil or butter, and mix in vegetables. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and fresh ground pepper.

4. Tacos

Combine Meatless Monday and Taco Tuesday, replacing the standard ground taco meat with roasted veggies. Serve with all your favorite fixins: salsa, avocado, sour cream, pickled onions, jalapeños and cheese.

5. Pizza

Roll out homemade or store-bought pizza dough; cover with tomato sauce, roasted veggies and cheese, and bake. (If you have a cast iron skillet, I highly recommend the insanely delicious Foolproof Pan Pizza recipe from Serious Eats.)  The picture below is a variation loosely based on the flavors of tarte flambée (Alsatian tart): crème fraîche, roasted veggies, sautéed Swiss chard, queso fresco and crispy pancetta.

Roasted Veggie Pizza

6. Omelets

Jazz up a plain omelet with roasted vegetables and goat cheese.

7. Vegetarian Curry

Sauté chopped onions in olive oil until they soften. Add a few spoonfuls of curry paste or powder, and cook another minute. Mix in a can of coconut milk and roasted vegetables. Simmer for 10 minutes; serve over rice or noodles.

8. Sandwiches

Spread hearty bread with a flavorful sauce, like pesto, romesco, hummus or tapenade. Add a layer of roasted vegetables, and drizzle with olive oil and vinegar.

9. Salad

Spoon veggies onto a bowl of mixed greens, lettuce or spinach. Add nuts, crumbled cheese and vinaigrette.

10. Soup

Bring chicken or vegetable broth to a boil. Add dry pasta and cook till not quite al dente. Stir in veggies, and cook until heated through.

 

These ideas barely scratch the surface of the possibilities. What are your favorite ways to use roasted veggies?

Tomato & Peach Gazpacho

I used to have a vague prejudice against cold soups. I’d tasted several gazpachos that were more like V8 or bland salsa than a meal, so I wrote off the whole category of non-hot soups – until a fantastic chilled beet soup changed my mind completely. Now I’m all about these cool customers. Especially right now, when the produce is at its peak, and I will do anything to avoid turning on the stove.

I love a gazpacho that is well-balanced and refreshing: a little sweet, a little acidic, not too heavy on any one flavor. This recipe uses equal parts tomatoes and peaches (or any other stone fruit you have on hand; it’s also delightful with nectarines and apricots).

Tomato & Peach Gazpacho | Traveling To Taste

It’s the perfect heat-wave dinner. Add a crisp glass of white wine, and your “I hate everyone and everything” attitude will slowly start to fade.

It’s not a bad idea to double the recipe. For your future self.
Tomato & Peach Gazpacho | Traveling To Taste

Tomato & Peach Gazpacho

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs. tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 2 lbs. peaches (or a mix of stone fruit), pitted and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 pieces crusty bread
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon and a splash of sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Water
  • Fresh basil or mint, thinly chopped (optional)

Instructions

  1. Set aside 2 tomatoes and 2 peaches and roughly dice. Mix together and refrigerate.
  2. Blend all the other ingredients, except water, in a blender or food processor.
  3. Add ½ to 1 cup water to achieve the consistency you like. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, olive oil and vinegar.
  4. Put a fine mesh strainer over a bowl. Pour the soup into the strainer a bit at a time, using a spatula to press down to push the liquid through. Discard the remaining solids.
  5. Chill and serve with the reserved diced tomatoes and peaches. Sprinkle with fresh basil or mint (optional).

Notes

I used gazpacho recipes from Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix cookbook as inspiration.

http://www.travelingtotaste.com/2017/07/29/tomato-peach-gazpacho/

A Weekend in Terra Alta Wine Region

An hour into our drive, we’re already discussing our hypothetical country home. Nothing fancy. Just a modest converted farmhouse with exposed-stone walls and vaulted brick ceilings. And a little land to plant vegetables, and raise chickens and bees, and eat dinner al aire libre in the summer. I don’t ask for much.

Terra Alta Wine Region | Traveling To Taste

This happens every time we venture into the Catalan countryside. The rolling hills and blissful quiet make me momentarily forget that I love living in vibrant, noisy Barcelona. I remember what it’s like to see stars and hear crickets, and I’m ready to give it all up… at least for an occasional weekend.

Last Saturday, we rented a car and hightailed it out of town for an overnight trip to the Terra Alta region. About two hours west of Barcelona, and an hour inland from Tarragona, it’s still surprisingly wild wine country. You can drive for miles without encountering anything except vineyards, and the occasional house or village.

Wine Tasting | Traveling To Taste

Terra Alta isn’t far from the better-known Priorat or Montsant regions. Its wine is gaining a solid reputation (this Wine Enthusiast article gives a good overview), but it’s still very affordable. Most of the wine we loved had a price tag of less than 10 euros a bottle.

We had less than 36 hours in the area, but we managed to visit three wineries and eat three fantastic meals, while still feeling lazy and unrushed.

Getting There

You’ll need a car to explore the region. We’ve had positive experiences renting with Sixt, and this time we picked up the car at their location near the port (much easier than the chaos at Sants train station).

We visited three towns in the region – Batea, Gandesa and Vilalba dels Arcs. It takes about 15 minutes to drive from one to the next.

Where to Stay

Batea

Celler Piñol, a family-run winery offering organic wines, rents out four apartments above its administrative office, and around the corner from the cellar. We made our reservation through Booking.com. Our one-bedroom apartment was spotless, and featured a full kitchen, free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning and an interior patio – plus a welcome bottle of white wine. The town is tiny, so you can easily walk to other wineries, and street parking is free and plentiful.

Practical info:

Wineries to Visit

 

As with most wineries in Catalunya, you need to make reservations in advance for tours and tastings. I started sending emails on Monday for Saturday and Sunday appointments, and several places said they were either fully booked or unavailable at those times. For our next trip, I’ll plan with a bit more lead time.

Batea

 

Celler Piñol

The winemaker, Juanjo, had a weekend busy with family engagements but still found time to give us a private tour of the cellar. The space looks small from the street, but it actually extends far back, and down a few flights of stairs. The garnatxa blanca grape reigns supreme in Terra Alta, and my favorite wine from Celler Piñol was the l’Avi Arrufi: 100% garnatxa blanca from old vines, aged in barrels for seven months. Refreshing and light, but with a slight hint of oakiness.

Practical info:

  • Tours by reservation (he didn’t charge us for ours); Juanjo speaks Spanish, Catalan and English
  • Address: Av. Aragó, 9, 43786 Batea
  • Phone: +34 977 43 05 05
  • Email: info@cellerpinol.com

LaFou Celler

LaFou only opened in 2007, but the Roqueta family has a winemaking history that dates back to the 12th century. The winery is in a restored 18th-century home on Batea’s main square, and the tour leads you through the traditional and modern production areas. The tasting was in a lovely garden courtyard, and our guide, Joan, poured us generous samples of a white and two reds. We sat with a big chatty group of retirees from a nearby town, and the charming gentleman next to us wheedled a few extra pours for us all. My favorite here was the garnatxa blanca, Els Amelers, named after the almond trees planted among the vineyards.

La Fou Celler, Batea | Traveling To Taste

Practical info:

  • Tours by reservation (cost: 8 euros per person); they offer tours in Spanish, Catalan and English
  • Address: Plaça Catalunya 34, 43786 Batea
  • Phone: 34 646 85 02 77
  • Email: visites@lafou.net

La Fou Celler, Batea | Traveling To TasteLa Fou Celler, Batea | Traveling To Taste

 

Gandesa

Celler Cooperitiu Gandesa

I would recommend visiting this spectacular catedral del vino for the architecture alone; it’s a bonus that the wine is good. Our guide, Pilar, brought the winery’s history to life, describing how the residents of Gandesa – men, women and children – built it over the course of a year, from 1919 to 1920.

Celler Cooperatiu Gandesa | Traveling To Taste

Celler Cooperatiu Gandesa | Traveling To Taste

The Modernist architect, Cèsar Martinell, was a protege of Antoni Gaudí, and he designed a simple, functional and beautiful space using the limited resources the town had. We had the opportunity to taste four or five different Celler Gandesa wines, and I was impressed by the price-to-quality ratio. We bought several bottles of the garnatxa-macabeu blend, Somdinou, “a young wine produced with grapes from old vineyards” for around 5 euros a bottle.

Celler Cooperatiu Gandesa | Traveling To Taste

Celler Cooperatiu Gandesa | Traveling To Taste

Practical info: 

Where to Eat

 

These are all small towns, with only a few restaurants in each (Gandesa had the most options), so it’s wise to do a bit of advance planning.

Vilalba dels Arcs

Nou Moderno

After reading glowing TripAdvisor and Google reviews of Nou Moderno, I made a Saturday lunch reservation, but I was a little nervous that it was going to be overly fancy or pricey. We were pleased to find it was neither. The staff was warm, and there was a 12-euro menú del día, even on a Saturday. It included three courses (without drinks); a bottle of house-made white wine was an additional 12 euros. There was also a 20-euro tasting menu with a few more courses, but we weren’t quite up it.

Highlights:

The gazpacho was one of the best I’ve tasted; heavy on fresh tomatoes, and light on vinegar. The grilled meats were simply prepared but flavorful. The flan was super light and creamy; even Brian liked it, and he’s not usually a big fan.

Practical info: 

Gandesa

Sibarites

It was a happy accident that we ended up here on Saturday night. Our first choice in Batea was inexplicably closed when we arrived at 9:30, and the only other place serving food – packed during the Barça game – turned us away. We were starting to feel a little panicky, knowing that late dining options in rural areas can be few and far between. But Brian did some expert speed Googling (likely imagining the hangry monster I would become in an hour or two) and found Sibarites, which looked promising and was open till 11.

At this point, I would have been happy with some decent patatas bravas and chorizo, but we lucked out with Sibarites. Gourmet menu, fun ambiance, friendly staff. We each ordered the 20-euro menu, which included three courses and wine.

Highlights:

I don’t know where Sibarites’ octopus carpaccio has been all my life; thinly sliced, incredibly tender and generously coated in olive oil. Melt-in-your-mouth good. And then, fickle as I am, I forgot all about it when the beef cheeks arrived. The waitress told us it had been slow-cooking at very low heat for something like 30 hours. It fell apart when you got near it with a fork. We also licked the plates clean with both desserts: coconut ice cream, fresh fruit and ginger; molten chocolate cake with orange sorbet.

Practical info: 

Restaurante El Chef

El Chef is a casual restaurant around the corner from Celler Cooperatiu Gandesa, and we popped in for after our tour. Once the plates arrived, we realized we probably have ordered two instead of three… but I have no regrets. Each was between 6 and 9 euros, and a glass of house wine was only a euro.

I can’t resist buttery, garlicky escargots (caracoles or cargols here). These were plentiful and satisfying. The fideuá (thin noodles cooked in broth) with seafood was also good.

Practical info: 

Our whirlwind adventure in Terra Alta was just enough to give us a taste and leave us wanting more. We’ll be back for Round 2 soon.

 

Photo credit: Flickr/ angela_llop

 

Chicken Noodle Soup

I have a terrible cold right now, which means I will be a terrible person for at least three more days. I’ve also given it to Brian because I’m just generous like that – and who wants to wallow in feverish self-pity alone?

Of course all I want to eat is chicken noodle soup, because it’s the only thing that will make me feel better (It’s science.) And none of that salt-bomb canned stuff with soggy noodles. I want homemade chicken noodle soup.

Chicken Noodle Recipe | Traveling To Taste

Well, you can see the conundrum.

So I made a big pot of this soup to last us a few days. It tastes way better than canned – but doesn’t expect miracles from a cook who can barely get out of bed. I’m filled with rage when I see ingredients like “finely chopped parsley” in a chicken soup recipe (It’s 5 p.m., and I just managed to shower. You seriously expect me to have parsley right now?).

Adjust the following “recipe” (if you can call it that) to your circumstances. Send the healthiest person in your house to the grocery store to pick up a rotisserie chicken and all of the NyQuil. Skip all the vegetables if you don’t have any, or throw in a bag of frozen veggies right before the noodles are done. Whatever it takes to get this soup in your belly.

Feel better.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Serving Size: 6

Ingredients

  • Vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 carrots, cut into chunks
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into chunks
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, meat pulled off and shredded into pieces
  • 8 cups (2 quarts/ almost 2 liters) chicken broth
  • Dry pasta (I used 1 cup corkscrew noodles)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dried oregano, crushed red pepper and/or poultry seasoning (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, cook the onion in oil for a few minutes until it starts to soften. Add the carrots and celery; cook for another 5 minutes, until they are slightly more tender. Add garlic and cook for a minute.
  2. Add chicken broth; simmer for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are starting to get tender. Season with salt and pepper (and other herbs and spices, if using).
  3. Add noodles and chicken pieces, and cook till noodles are al dente.
http://www.travelingtotaste.com/2017/05/09/chicken-noodle-soup/

Goat Cheese Polenta with Roasted Vegetables

Goat Cheese Polenta with Roasted Veggies

If you want to offend an Italian, refer to polenta as “Italian grits.” I’m guessing. I’ve never actually had the guts to do this, after getting burned making a similar wine faux pas a few years ago:

Me: I love Primitivo wine. I think it’s made from the same grape as Zinfandel, which we produce in my hometown in California!

Primitivo Winemaker: **look of disdain/horror** We have been making Primitivo wines for thousands of years. It is not the same as this Zinfandel.

Me: …… [nods/ hangs head in shame/ holds out empty glass for more]

But really, polenta – long a staple in Northern Italian cuisine – is just coarsely ground cornmeal. Just like grits. Depending on where I’m living and what’s available at the store, I use Italian polenta and American cornmeal interchangeably. Both are easy and affordable to prepare. Both make a rich, hearty porridge when cooked in liquid. And both absolutely benefit from generous helpings of butter, salt and cheese.

Roasted Veggies

In wintertime, I love to serve polenta with braised short ribs or some other meaty sauce. But as the weather gets warmer, polenta is an ideal base for lighter vegetable-based dishes. This version combines simple roasted spring veggies with creamy, cheesy polenta. I advise making extra for leftovers.

Goat Cheese Polenta with Roasted Veggies

Goat Cheese Polenta with Roasted Vegetables

Total Time: 40 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients

    Fresh vegetables*, cut into 1-inch chunks:
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 8 oz/ 226 g snap peas
  • 16 oz/ 453 g button mushrooms
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 small zucchini
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Polenta:
  • 1 cup polenta, or coarse-ground cornmeal
  • 4 cups water
  • 6 oz/ 170 g goat cheese
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan + extra for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sauce
  • 16 oz./ 453 g jarred or homemade marinara sauce, heated

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F/ 204 degrees C.
  2. Place vegetables in 2 roasting pans: the asparagus and snap peas in one pan, and the rest of the veggies in another (the first pan might not take as long to cook as the heartier vegetables). Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until veggies are lightly caramelized and tender.
  3. Meanwhile, start the polenta. In a saucepan, bring the water to boil over medium heat. Add a dash of salt, then slowly pour in the polenta, whisking to break up lumps. Let polenta cook, stirring occasionally, until it is soft and thick and starting to pull away from the edges of the pan (around 20 minutes). Stir in butter, goat cheese and 1/4 cup grated Parmesan until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Spoon the polenta onto plates or shallow bowls. Top with marinara sauce, roasted veggies and grated Parmesan.

Notes

*You can vary the veggies depending on what you have, and what’s in season.

http://www.travelingtotaste.com/2017/04/04/goat-cheese-polenta-with-roasted-vegetables/

Barcelona Day Trip: Craft Beer Tour & Tasting at Cervesa del Montseny

It’s no easy feat wrangling a group of Barcelona dwellers for an early (read: before 1 p.m.) excursion outside the city. If I were to suggest a 9 a.m. start time for, say, a day of hiking, I’m not sure how much enthusiasm I’d receive/have. But change that into a day of tasting local craft beer, and voilà! We all learn how to use alarm clocks on a Saturday.

Cervesa del Montseny: Catalan Craft Brewery

Cervesa del Montseny – a microbrewery about an hour by train from Barcelona – offers Saturday morning tours that are well worth the journey. Montseny is one of the earlier Catalan craft breweries, opened in 2007, and it produces an eclectic and well-balanced selection of beers.

Brian and I have visited twice – once on our own, and once with a group of friends – and both times we were impressed with the friendly, knowledgeable guides. The Saturday tours are only offered in Spanish or Catalan. I spoke with Ferran at the brewery, and he said the guides would do their best to help anglophones understand during the tour (and if you’ve ever visited a brewery or know how beer is made, you’ll be able to follow along just fine). If you have a large group, it may be possible to arrange a private tour in English; contact Montseny.

Tour & Tasting Info

Tours are held most Saturdays at 11 a.m. Look at the calendar on the Cervesa del Montseny website, and click on the day you’re interested in to see if there are spots available. If there are, you can send a reservation request through the web form. Tours tend to book up a few weeks in advance, so plan early.

Worth the early Saturday wake-up call @cervesamontseny

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The visit takes about 1 ½ to 2 hours; the price is 13 euros, which includes a tour of the production facility, generous pours of several beers, and snack platters of meat, cheese and bread. After the tasting, you can buy beer to bring home – mixing and matching bottles to create your own sampler.

Visit Cervesa del Montseny | Traveling To Taste

At our last tasting, we tried the Blat (a citrusy wheat), the Malta (a pale ale), the Negra (a stout), the Lupulus (a hoppier pale ale), the Aniversari (an IPA) and a Mala Vida (one of a trio of imperial stouts). If you’re lucky, you might even get a sample of one of their seasonal beers. Their Castanya (a brown ale made with chestnuts) is available for a limited time in the fall, and it’s my favorite.

Visit Cervesa del Montseny | Traveling To Taste

How to Get There

Take the R3 Rodalies train from Barcelona to the Balenyá-Tona-Seva station (not the Balenyá-Els Hostalets station, which is the one right before you get off):

The R3 leaves from six Barcelona stations:

  • Barcelona-Sants
  • Barcelona-Plaça Catalunya
  • Barcelona-Arc de Triomf
  • Barcelona-La Sagrera-Meridiana
  • Barcelona-Sant Andreu Arenal
  • Barcelona-Torre del Baró

Google Maps will tell you to walk 13 minutes on a roundabout route to get to the brewery. Ignore this, and carefully cut across the tracks to get there in two minutes. I am risk-averse, and I watched Fried Green Tomatoes a lot growing up, so this makes me nervous every time. But you can literally see the brewery from the station, and it’s more dangerous walking on a busy road with no shoulder.

Cervesa Montseny walking map

The current Rodalies schedule has you taking the 9:11 train from Catalunya, arriving a bit early at 10:27. There isn’t another train that will get you to the tour on time, so grab a cafe and wait outside the brewery with the rest of the eager beer enthusiasts.

PSA: Barcelona Beer Festival 2017 is this weekend!

Cervesa del Montseny will be there (it won best artisan brewery in the Barcelona Beer Challenge there last year). BBF is in a new location this year in La Farga in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, and it’s supposed to be much more spacious.

Carrer Barcelona, 44, 08901 L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona

  • Friday, March 24, 2017 (11:00-23:00)
  • Saturday, March 25, 2017 (11:00-23:00)
  • Sunday, March 26, 2017 (11:00-21:00)

Access:

  • L1 metro red line
  • R1 Rodalies train

Lemony Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts

I love artichokes. I get a huge kick out of seeing their symmetrical little shapes all stacked up at the market this time of year. Growing up in California, I gorged myself on them… and I burned the roof of my mouth more times than I can count because I can never wait for them to cool down before digging in.

Until recently, I would order fresh artichoke dishes in restaurants, but I would never prepare them at home. They just seemed like too much work, and canned artichoke hearts are pretty fantastic. But it’s artichoke season, and we keep getting beautiful artichokes in our CSA basket. I am racked with guilt every time I neglect them and they go bad, so I started playing around with this pasta.

The ingredients are simple, but they complement each other so well. The artichokes are earthy and buttery, and the lemon adds a touch of brightness. And cream and Parmesan are always a good idea; use just a little for a lighter dish, or be heavy-handed for a decadent, creamy sauce.

To be clear, you can make this pasta with canned artichoke hearts, and it will be delicious. But if you have some in-season artichokes just begging to be used… well, here you go.

Lemony Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts

Yield: 3-4 servings

Ingredients

  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 3-4 T. butter
  • 8 oz./226 g dried spaghetti
  • Zest of 2-3 lemons
  • 2 T. lemon juice (plus more for cooking artichokes)
  • Generous splash of cream
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • 6-8 whole artichokes (or 1 can artichoke hearts)

Instructions

  1. Cook artichokes. If using whole, fresh artichokes, roast them with garlic, salt, olive oil and lemon juice according to this recipe. If using canned artichoke hearts, rinse and drain them. Sauté the hearts with 1 T. of butter, a spoonful of minced garlic and a splash of lemon juice. Roughly chop and set aside.
  2. Boil a large pot of salted water. Cook pasta until just shy of al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, melt 3 T. butter in a large skillet. Add lemon zest and cook for a couple minutes. Pour in cream. Use tongs to add the cooked pasta, lemon juice, artichokes and Parmesan. Toss, adding a few spoonfuls of pasta water to thin the sauce if needed.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, and a splash of olive oil. Serve with additional Parmesan and lemon zest on the side.
http://www.travelingtotaste.com/2017/03/05/lemony-spaghetti-with-artichoke-hearts/

 

Easy Veggie Ramen

All I want, all winter long, is a big bowl of body-warming, soul-soothing soup. And usually I want it instantly, with next-to-zero work on my part. Ramen is the magical concoction that satisfies both of these desires.

I make it a little differently every time, depending on what veggies and toppings we have in the house. It is delicious in its simplest form – broth and noodles – but I love it even more when we have greens, mushrooms, sprouts, soft-boiled eggs and other fixins to add for flavor and texture.

Feeling a little chilly and also a little lazy? Go fix yourself a steaming bowl of broth, noodles and veggies. You deserve it.

Easy Veggie Ramen Recipe

Veggie Ramen

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients

    Soup
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 3 T. white miso paste
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • Soy sauce to taste
  • Sriracha or other hot sauce to taste
  • 1 T. mirin, white wine or vermouth (optional)
  • 1 tsp. 5-star spice (optional)
  • About 8 oz / 227 g dried ramen noodles
  • Veggies
  • Dried shitake mushrooms
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard or spinach
  • Toppings (optional)
  • Bean sprouts
  • Green onions, diced
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds
  • 4 soft-boiled eggs

Instructions

  1. Soak mushrooms in warm water until they soften (20-30 minutes); rinse and drain. Slice mushrooms.
  2. Heat sesame oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook garlic and ginger for 2 minutes, then add miso and cook for another minute. Add broth, a splash of soy sauce and Sriracha, 5-star spice (optional) and mirin (optional).
  3. Stir in mushrooms. Bring the broth to a simmer and season to taste.
  4. While broth is heating, boil water in a separate pot and cook noodles until al dente. Drain and rinse with warm water; set aside.
  5. Add greens to the broth and cook for a few minutes until wilted.
  6. Put a serving of noodles in each bowl, ladle soup over the top, and garnish with toppings.
http://www.travelingtotaste.com/2017/02/01/easy-veggie-ramen/

Leftover Turkey Mini Pot Pies

It’s that time of year when I get a little more homesick than usual. We haven’t lived in the U.S. for six years, and it’s been even longer since we’ve spent Thanksgiving with family. I miss that a lot – but we are cultivating our own Friendsgiving tradition that I also love. We host and make the staples: turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce; our friends bring sides, desserts and many bottles of wine. This past Sunday, we celebrated our third Thanksgiving since moving to Barcelona (a little early because tomorrow is just another Thursday here).

Our first year, we prepared a 5 kg. (11 lb.) turkey for a large crowd; it was the biggest bird we could find, and I don’t think we could have fit anything else in our modest stove. Everyone had enough to eat, but we had no leftovers… which made me very, very sad.

So last year we made two turkeys. One in the oven and one on the barbecue. Problem solved! (Also, grilled turkey is amazing). We did the same this year, and now we have an abundance of leftover turkey.

Which brings me to these leftover turkey pot pies. Aren’t they adorable? turkey-pot-pies

You should make them with your leftover turkey this Thanksgiving. They are the definition of comfort food. They’re individually sized, so you don’t have to share. And the crust-to-filling ratio is so much better than a regular pot pie. Everyone wants more crust.

turkey-pot-pie-crust

For this recipe, I used four ceramic baking dishes that hold 8 oz./1 cup. You could use ramekins or any other small, ovenproof dishes.

turkey-pot-pie-filling

Pot pies with double crust always seem like a lot of work … until I take a bite and I remember that single-crust pot pies are not even worth your time. I use Joanne Chang’s easy and tasty pâte brisée recipe from her Flour, Too cookbook (do yourself a favor and buy it immediately); one batch is perfect for four mini pot pies. Or buy pre-made pie dough. Whatever it takes to get this deliciousness in your belly.

turkey-pot-pie-bite

Leftover Turkey Mini Pot Pies

Yield: 4 individual pot pies

Ingredients

  • Pie dough, enough for 2 regular pie crusts (store-bought or homemade)
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cups diced veggies (I used a mix of carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms and leeks)
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped leftover turkey
  • 4 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups turkey or chicken stock
  • A few splashes of whole milk or cream
  • Salt, pepper and herbs (poultry seasoning, thyme, oregano, etc.)
  • 1 egg, beaten

Instructions

    Prepare the dough
  1. Roll out chilled pie dough and line each baking dish with a round of dough that extends about 1/4 inch beyond the rim. Press the dough gently onto the bottom and sides of the dish. Refrigerate the baking dishes for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C. Line each of the pie shells with parchment paper and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool.
  3. Make the filling
  4. Melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add chopped veggies and cook until they start to soften, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add leftover turkey.
  5. Stir in flour until everything is evenly coated. Gradually add broth while stirring; cook for a few minutes until the filling has a thick, stew-like consistency. Add salt, pepper and herbs to taste, as well as a few splashes of milk or cream.
  6. Put it all together
  7. Divide the filling evenly among the baking dishes.
  8. Cover each dish with another round of pie dough, trimming any excess and crimping with your fingers around the rim to seal.
  9. Brush the top of the crust with the beaten egg. Poke a few small holes in the center to let steam escape.
  10. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool slightly, and enjoy.
http://www.travelingtotaste.com/2016/11/23/leftover-turkey-mini-pot-pies/

Pumpkin Crumble Tart

Unless I’m making chocolate-chip cookies or brownies, I find baking stressful. I like to experiment when I cook, even when I’m following a recipe. But apparently “winging it” and baking don’t mesh well.

Nevertheless, I want to bake around the holidays. You can’t have Thanksgiving dinner without a homemade pie, right? My mom always made amazing pies for holidays, and she insists it’s not that tricky. I can totally make a pie! All of the pies!

pumpkin-pie

So my annual pattern is:

  1. Attempt a new and complicated recipe the day 15 people are coming over for dinner
  2. Fake confidence and refuse help
  3. Freak out when something goes wrong
  4. Swear profusely and insist the holiday/the dessert are ruined
  5. Halfheartedly eat the slightly mangled finished product anyway

It’s fun. For everyone. Happy Thanksgiving!

This year, we asked several other people to bring dessert so I could start step #1 without as much pressure. And with wonderful pep talks and troubleshooting advice from friends who are better bakers than I am, this pumpkin crumble tart experiment turned out surprisingly well. I wanted the creaminess of traditional pumpkin pie, along with the crunchy texture of a crumble, and this checked both boxes.

pumpkin-pie-crumble

Before I dig into the recipe, here are some caveats:

  • This is a quick and dirty recipe; I didn’t plan to write it up until I had made it a few times and had taken more photos. But tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and this is top of mind. (Just like I always say, “Better done than perfect.” Hahahaha, just kidding, I would never say that.) The picture above Brian snapped with his phone, and I’ll update once we’ve polished the recipe and made it a second time.
  • I used David Leibovitz’s apricot crumble tart recipe (from My Paris Kitchen, which I love and highly recommend) and Sally’s Baking Addiction and The Kitchn‘s pumpkin pie recipes for inspiration.

 

  • Pumpkin Crumble Tart

    Ingredients

      Dough
    • 6 Tablespoons unsalted cold butter (85g)
    • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
    • 2 large egg yolks
    • 1 1/4 cup (175g) flour
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • Filling
    • 1 15 oz can (450g) pumpkin puree*
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 and 1/4 cups (250g) packed dark brown sugar
    • 2 Tablespoon (30g) cornstarch
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves or allspice
    • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
    • 1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
    • 1/4 cup (60ml) whole milk
    • Crumble
    • 1 cup (100g) pecans (or almonds, hazelnuts or walnuts)
    • 1/4 cup (50g) packed dark brown sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    • 6 Tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, chilled and cut in rough chunks

    Instructions

      Make the dough
    1. Let butter soften out of the fridge for about 5 minutes before you use it. Add it to the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, then add the sugar. Mix until there are no large chunks of butter.
    2. Add the egg yolks, then flour and sugar. Pulse the mixer a few times until the dough is sticking together.
    3. Grease a 9 1/2-inch (24 cm) nonstick springform pan, and place a circle of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan (cut to fit). Use your fingers and the heel of your hand to press the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan, and about halfway up the sides.
    4. Put the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
    5. Line the chilled crust with parchment paper and cover with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes, remove pie weights and set aside.
    6. Make the filling*
    7. Whisk together pumpkin puree, eggs and brown sugar. Add the cornstarch, salt, spices, cream and milk. Mix well until everything is combined.
    8. Pour filling into the crust; it will likely go past the edge of the crust.
    9. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes; it may jiggle slightly but appear mostly set.
    10. Make the crumble
    11. Pulse the ingredients in food processor (or chop the nuts and mix ingredients by hand)
    12. Place the crumble ingredients in a thin layer in a second pan. When the tart has been baking for about 20 minutes, put the crumble pan in the oven alongside the tart to start browning. Add the crumble topping to the top of the tart toward the end of the tart's baking time, when the filling is almost set (about 10 minutes before it's done).
    13. Take the tart out of the oven and set on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife along the inside edge of the pan. Let it rest for 30 minutes before removing the springform pan.
    14. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

    Notes

    * I had a difficult time working with the Trader Joe's organic pumpkin puree. It seemed to have a more watery consistency than Libby's, making the filling super thin, and I ended up using two cans of the TJ's puree – but it did set correctly in the end. If your filling seems very watery, use 1 1/2 to 2 cans of filling.

    http://www.travelingtotaste.com/2016/11/23/pumpkin-crumble-tart/