Tag Archives: extra virgin olive oil

Roasted Slaw

Once I started roasting vegetables, whether on the grill or in the oven, it became my preference. Roasting brings out natural sweetness while keeping crispness and sometimes adding a little char. In the winter, I’m not really in the mood for cold veggies, so I didn’t see why slaw had to be cold. I like cooked cabbage, but the trick for a cooked slaw is to keep it slightly crisp, and roasting can do that for you.

This slaw can be eaten warm or cold, as long as you stick to a dressing with no fats that will congeal on chilling. That means that bacon/bacon fat—which would be great in a warm slaw—might not work with cold leftovers. My dressing here only uses fruit juices for the acid, so it’s not as tart as a vinegar based dressing. As far as uses go, it would be good as a side dish or on any sandwich where you would use a traditional cold slaw. You can see it below on a fried fish sandwich with my Everything Sauce.

Mine is a simple slaw of cabbage and carrots, but you could add bits of any vegetable or fruit that would not become watery or mushy.

Roasted Slaw

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Preheat oven to 400º; line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 cups cabbage, sliced or coarsely grated—1 small head
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for roasting—enough to drizzle over all on the sheet pan
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon mashed roasted garlic
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, with zest if you have the actual lime in hand
  • I tablespoon honey—you really have to taste to see how sweet you want it
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation

  1. Spread the shredded cabbage and carrots on the baking sheet. It will be about 1/2″ thick, but you will toss it halfway through the roasting. Drizzle with olive oil—I think I used at least 1/4 cup. Sprinkle with kosher salt and coarse black pepper.
  2. Roast for about 20 minutes, then lightly toss with tongs to expose more of the vegetables to charring. Roast for another 15 minutes or until it reaches your desired doneness. Lift the parchment paper and pour the vegetables into a large bowl.
  3. Whisk the dressing ingredients—garlic, orange juice, lime juice, honey, and olive oil—until emulsified. Pour over the vegetables and toss. Add more salt to taste.
  4. Serve warm or cold or both.

Roasted Garden Panzanella Pasta

I tried to get the essentials into the title—roasting, garden harvest, classic panzanella, and pasta. From the garden, I’m roasting tomatoes and green beans. My husband doesn’t care for tomatoes, but he tends the garden—sometimes you have to eat what you sow. The green beans are meant to draw him into the dish. I’m going to roast the bread cubes, as well, instead of toasting the bread in a skillet. Then it’s just a matter of making the right dressing and tossing it all with pasta and cheese curds. I know mozzarella is traditional, but I’m in love with Yancey’s Fancy® Fresh Cheddar Cheese Curds, and I think they will be perfect.

I’m going to use rice vinegar in the dressing, because it’s the mildest of the vinegars. I’m also going to seed the tomatoes before roasting and add all that liquidy stuff to the dressing, straining out the tomato seeds. But olive oil will be the star. The bread cubes, green beans, and tomatoes will all be tossed with extra virgin olive oil before roasting, and then some more will be in the final dressing.

I’m roasting more ingredients than I will use, but nothing is lost. The extra roasted tomatoes, beans, and bread cubes, will probably end up in lunches or snacks.

Roasted Garden Panzanella Pasta

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 cups cubed crusty bread, such as from a batard or baguette—I toasted the whole loaf, but only used 2 cups in the dish
  • enough tomatoes to make about 1.5-2 cups—use any type of tomato; mine were Early Girls, the first to ripen here. I roasted 10 tomatoes, but used only 4 in the dish.
  • 1.5 cups fresh green beans
  • 4 oz. pasta cooked according to package directions—I used whole wheat penne
  • 6 oz. cheese curds—mine were fresh cheddar, which is much more mild than aged cheddar
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil for dressing
  • 4-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for roasting vegetables
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar or other mild vinegar
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely grated
  • salt & pepper

Preparation

Preheat oven to 425º; line 2-3 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

  1. Bread: Toss bread cubes in large bowl with 2-3 tablespoons olive oil—I used 3 for the whole loaf—don’t overdo it. Spread on one of the baking sheets and toast in oven for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove and set aside 2 cups for the dish.
  2. Vegetables: Core and seed the tomatoes, reserving the tomato seeds and pulp for the dressing—I had about 1 cup of liquid from the tomatoes. Place the halved tomatoes, cut side up, on one of the lined baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil. Salt and pepper.
  3. Toss the green beans with about 2 tablespoons olive oil. Spread on the second lined sheet; salt and pepper.
  4. Roast the vegetables on separate racks in the oven, about 15 minutes for the green beans and about 30 minutes for the tomatoes. I like a little caramelization on the tomatoes.
  5. Dressing: In bowl with reserved tomato seeds and pulp, add the 3/4 cup olive oil and vinegar. Whisk until combined, then pour through strainer to remove seeds—whisking helps to separate the gel from the seeds before you strain them out. Whisk in garlic. Taste and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more oil or vinegar to taste.
  6. Panzanella: In large bowl toss pasta, bread, vegetables, and cheese with dressing until well coated. Set aside and allow the dressing to be absorbed by all the ingredients. Serve at room temperature.

We also had a roasted pork tenderloin, but that was really just a bonus for the gardener, who did eat a few of the tomatoes.

Penne, Peas, and Ricotta

A dish for two, unless one of those two has lactose intolerance, in which case I get to eat it twice.

To make a sauce, half the ricotta and peas are pulsed in a food processor until green and creamy. The rest are left in their natural state for texture.

Penne, Peas, and Ricotta

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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I roasted some peppers early in the day to use in several recipes; otherwise you may use roasted peppers in a jar, which I rely on all the time.

Ingredients

  • 4 oz whole wheat penne or your favorite pasta
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta, divided
  • 1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed and divided
  • 1 generous tablespoon roasted garlic (I freeze mine in mini muffin pans to keep handy in the freezer)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1-1 1/2 roasted red pepper, cut in large dice
  • 1/4 cup grated or shaved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (I like the texture of the shaved cheese)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions and your taste. Whole wheat pasta takes a little longer to cook, about 12-15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat two tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Saute onions until translucent, season with salt and pepper, then stir in peppers and 1/2 cup of the thawed peas. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of the food processor, add 1/2 cup ricotta, garlic, and 1/2 cup thawed peas. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Process until mixture is smooth and creamy and bright green. Set aside.
  4. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water; drain off the rest.
  5. Add to the drained pasta the sauce, the vegetables, the remaining 1/2 cup ricotta, and 2 tablespoons of the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Stir to combine, adding a little cooking water if you need to thin the sauce. I added about 2 tablespoons water.
  6. Serve with more Parmesan.

 

Spicy Braised Beef Tacos with Cilantro Pesto

I had in mind some fabulous beef tacos I had a few years ago in a restaurant called Paladar Latin Kitchen and Rum Bar, near Cleveland, Ohio. A faculty member treated me for having helped her with some technology for her courses. It was more than a fair trade. I have no idea how the soft taco filling was actually made, but the memory was at least an inspiration for me.

I chose to braise the beef chuck roast on the stove, because I didn’t want to turn on the oven. I have my eye on a cast iron dutch oven for making such things on the grill, but while it’s still on my wish list, the stovetop will do. It’s a toss up as to whether the beef or the pesto was the hit of meal, or maybe it was the combination. Either way, I think these tacos are going on the menu of favorites.

Spicy Braised Beef Tacos with Cilantro Pesto

  • Servings: about 8 soft tacos
  • Difficulty: time-consuming
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Spicy Braised Beef

3 lb chuck roast

olive oil for browning

13 oz crushed tomatoes

up to 1/2 cup water or beef broth, as needed

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (canned chipotle in adobo sauce would be good, too)

1/2 teaspoon salt for cooking sauce

salt & pepper for seasoning beef

  1. Heat a dutch oven over medium-high to high heat. Add 2-3 tablespoon olive oil, then brown the seasoned chuck roast on both sides.
  2. Add the garlic and spices to the pan next to the roast and stir for a few seconds, but watch that none of them burn.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes and as much water as you think you need to keep the sauce moist for about 3 hours of simmering. I suppose it depends on the quality of your crushed tomatoes. Some crushed tomatoes seem very watery or saucy, and some are very thick and full of tomato chunks. I needed about 1/2 cup of beef broth.
  4. Bring the sauce to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a low simmer. Simmer for about 3 hours, until the meat pulls apart easily.
  5. Remove the meat to a platter or board, and pull apart. Strain out the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and add to the pulled beef.

Cilantro Pesto

2 bunches cilantro tops, cleaned and dried

1/2 cup parsley (I used my frozen, chopped parsley)

1 red onion, roasted on the grill

3 jalapeño peppers, roasted on the grill, peeled, and seeded

1 bulb roasted garlic

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/2 cup Cotija or Parmesan cheese, grated

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

*Keep in mind that roasting garlic, onion, and jalapeño produces a milder taste than the fresh versions, which may be too strong for some tastes. If you aren’t going to roast them, you might adjust the amounts to your taste.

  1. I put everything but the oil into a food processor and processed until it was all finely blended.
  2. While the processor is running, slowly add the olive oil through the feed tube until the pesto is blended.
  3. Store in the refrigerator to serve with all kinds of meats, especially in tacos.
Putting the tacos together:

Soft taco shells

Shredded cabbage—red looks nice

Spicy braised beef

Cilantro pesto

Crumbled queso fresco

Build the tacos in the order above. That was easy.