Redefining vegetable cooking with center-of-the-plate dishes - The Buffalo News

Share this article

print logo

Redefining vegetable cooking with center-of-the-plate dishes

This is a knife-and-fork dish, good for special occasions as well as weeknight dining, with earthy lentils, sweet and creamy carrots and bright, tangy harissa. The sauce is something of a cross between salsa verde and the classic Tunisian hot sauce, which is traditionally red.

Make ahead: The lentils and carrots can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. The harissa can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Roasted Carrots with Black Lentils and Green Harissa

For the lentils:

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ cup minced onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

3 cups no-salt-added vegetable broth, preferably homemade

2 cups dried black lentils, picked through and rinsed

For the carrots:

2 pounds jumbo carrots, scrubbed well

2 tablespoons olive oil

1½ teaspoons ground cumin

1½ teaspoons sweet paprika

½ teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon light brown sugar

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the harissa:

2 cups loosely packed cilantro leaves

1 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic

2 jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded and coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

For the lentils: Heat the oil in a medium pot over high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring, until they are lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the broth and lentils; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until the lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

For the carrots: Cut the carrots in half lengthwise. Toss them on a rimmed baking sheet with the oil, cumin, paprika, allspice, brown sugar and ginger. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until they just start to become tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

For the harissa: Combine the cilantro, onion, garlic, jalapeños, oil, vinegar, coriander, cumin and granulated sugar in a blender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Puree until smooth.

To serve, divide the lentils among individual plates, pooling them at the center. Top with the carrots, then drizzle the harissa on top or around the edges of the plate. Serves 6.

Per serving: 410 calories, 16g protein, 61g carbohydrates, 13g fat, 2g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 370mg sodium, 15g dietary fiber, 14g sugar.

This bistro dish offers elegant flavors in a minimal amount of time. Chef Rich Landau of Vedge likes to make it with maitake (hen of the woods) mushrooms and baby turnips, but when shiitakes and bigger turnips are the best option, the results are delicious as well.

Make ahead: The dish can be refrigerated for up to one week.

Roasted Turnips with Mushrooms and Wine

2 pounds shiitake mushrooms (stemmed), caps wiped clean (may substitute maitake or oyster mushrooms)

1 pound turnips, cut into quarters (may substitute baby turnips, each cut in half; see note)

1 medium carrot, scrubbed well, then sliced into ¼-inch rounds

1 cup diced onion

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons minced garlic

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

2 cups dry red wine

2 cups no-salt-added vegetable broth, preferably homemade

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Have a 9-by-13-inch baking dish at hand.

Toss the mushroom caps with the turnips, carrot, onion, oil and garlic in the baking dish. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Roast, uncovered, for 10 minutes, until the vegetables start to pick up some color. Pour the wine over the roasted vegetables, stir, then cover tightly with aluminum foil or a lid and roast for 10 minutes, until the liquid is bubbling.

Uncover; pour the broth over the vegetables. Roast, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by one-quarter to one-half. Stir in the thyme and serve. Serves 4.

Note: For a more formal presentation, use a small, sharp biscuit cutter or cookie cutter to stamp out rounds of the shiitake caps and sliced turnips. Chop up the scraps and throw them into the stew, too.

Per serving: 370 calories, 15g fat, 2 g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 220mg sodium, 34g carbohydrates, 9g dietary fiber, 12g sugar, 10g protein.

Kate Jacoby, Vedge’s pastry chef (and Rich Landau’s wife), came up with this combination after deciding one Valentine’s Day to use the beet juice that was coloring her red velvet cake as an ingredient in chocolate truffles.

She liked the combination of earthy beets and bittersweet chocolate so much that she showcased it again in these individual vegan puddings, which set up as firm as truffles in the refrigerator but are beautifully creamy at room temperature.

You’ll need individual 4- or 5-ounce ramekins or small bowls.

Make ahead: The puddings can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Chocolate Beet Pots de Creme

½ medium beet (or more as needed), scrubbed well, then grated

2 cups bittersweet vegan chocolate chips

1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons water

1 cup coconut milk (do not use low-fat)

½ teaspoon sea salt

Juice the beet by squeezing the gratings through a fine-mesh strainer set over a liquid measuring cup. You should have about ½ cup juice. Add more beet as needed.

Place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl.

Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl, stirring to create a smooth paste.

Heat the coconut milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once it is hot, stir in the cornstarch mixture and the salt, whisking until dissolved. The mixture should start to thicken in about 2 minutes; stir in the beet juice, then pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer set over the chocolate chips.

Whisk the mixture until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Divide among the ramekins or bowls and serve warm, or let cool to room temperature.

Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days, but if you want to eat the pudding soft, let it come to room temperature before serving. Serves 6.

Per serving: 290 calories, 3g protein, 29g carbohydrates, 19g fat, 14g saturated fat, no cholesterol, 190mg sodium, 3g dietary fiber, 21g sugar.

– Recipes adapted from “Vedge: 100 Plates Large and Small That Redefine Vegetable Cooking,” by Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby (The Experiment, 2013).

There are no comments - be the first to comment