just me

Warm Winter Vegetable Salad

In Vegetables on January 28, 2010 at 5:36 pm

I can see my reflection in the balsamic reduction!

I do love vegetables, really I do! But I tend to fall into the asparagus-peas-broccoli rut, and it gets  a bit old. I mean, yeah, they’re available pretty much all year in some form or another, they’re usually pretty popular, but I don’t know – I like to keep things interesting, and the vegetable dish is where I always fall short. Lately I’ve been keeping an eye out for new veg recipes, trying to get out of my SOS comfort zone. My local green market has all this beautiful produce, but I don’t know what to do with it! I really want to start doing some new things.

I came across Bitchincamero and this gorgeous picture of a roasted salad. Yes! A roasted salad. Great idea! It has rutabaga, and leeks, and a bunch of stuff I don’t normally use. I was so excited! This was exactly what I’ve been looking for! Tonight’s dinner, I thought to myself.

Well, I did make it and it was delicious. Problem is, I didn’t have time to run out and get all these new ingredients, so I ended up using the same old standbys I always do. So it wasn’t the culinary adventure I was hoping for. But it was still delicious! Mr. Gorilla even went back for seconds – of vegetables! His mother would be so proud! I can’t wait to try this one again with the proper ingredients. Here’s my version – the original can be found on the link.

This is before roasting - looks good enough to eat already! The potatoes would be crunchy, though.

Warm Winter Vegetable Salad

Adapted from BitchinCamero

Ingredients:

4-6 petite red potatoes, diced

3 carrots, scrubbed and diced

1 lb. Brussels sprouts, ends removed and halved

1/2 Vidalia onion, wedged and sliced

2 cups kale, rinsed and torn

3 slices thick, center cut applewood smoked bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp. coarse salt

freshly ground pepper

2 teaspoons ground thyme

1 sprig fresh rosemary

1/2 lb. whole wheat orzo

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375° while you prep your vegetables. Toss the cut vegetables with the bacon, olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and rosemary and place in a big casserole dish. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. The vegetables are done when they’re tender and slightly browned or caramelized around the edges. (This actually took closer to 40 minutes for me – I guess I didn’t cut my stuff small enough. I suck.)

While the vegetables roast, cook your orzo according to package directions. You’ll want to make sure it stays al dente. After you drain the orzo, rinse it with cold water in a colander to stop it cooking. (This I failed to do, and my orzo stuck together in one huge clump while I was waiting for my veggies to finish. Luckily, it stirred out fine, but yeah, I suck again.)

Place the balsamic vinegar in a small pot and cook over low heat until it reduces by about half – 10 minutes or so. (Again, it took longer for me. Maybe my stove is just stupid. And the fumes from a balsamic reduction make my dog cower under her bed and roll on the carpet. Weird.)

When the vegetables are done, discard the thyme and rosemary sprigs and toss the orzo into the casserole dish and stir everything until well-combined and the pasta is slightly coated with the oil from the pan. (I didn’t have fresh thyme, obviously, but I did have fresh rosemary. As stated in previous posts, I am a rosemary fiend. Instead of putting the sprig in whole, I stripped off the needles and just made them part of the salad. )

Serve and drizzle with some of the balsamic reduction. (This I did. And I only spilled a little bit.)

So, yeah, folks! If I was able to pull it off despite my lack of preparation and motor control, you can too! Thanks to BitchinCamero for a great recipe. Really, try this one – even non-vegetable-eaters like it because the medley of flavors is so balanced and warm and earthy, you forget it’s all veg. And if you leave out the bacon, voila! Vegetarian. Simple.

Ignore this: WBGWH4AB8XFN

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