Mid-week Recipe: Eat Your Veggies!

This is inspired from one of my favorite meals that we eat during summer sessions at Quillisascut Farm School: a heaping platter of lightly blanched seasonal veggies with various homemade aioli for dipping. We pass the platter around, scooping up mounds of garlicky, spicy sauce, and the veggies act as a nutritious vehicle. Since I’m always feeling nostalgia for the meals and the people of Quillisascut on some level, I like to incorporate farm-inspired recipes into my everyday life and into the lessons I teach and try to spread the spirit of eating well and eating together. Of course, there are compromises and shortcuts that are inevitable when one isn’t living on a farm or doesn’t have all day to dedicate to cooking, but I try to stay as close to the real deal as I can. In this particular recipe, I used Trader Joe’s mayo because I was teaching this recipe in a lesson alongside other time-consuming dishes and didn’t want to add homemade mayo into the mix (though if you know your egg source and feel comfortable consuming raw eggs, it really is worth the few extra minutes). Also, the veggies I used this time are organic, but they aren’t all in season, which means some of them are not coming from local sources. Those were my compromises on this recipes, but it is still a delicious way to eat lots of veggies and a quick and easy dish to make and eat with friends on a weeknight. Try it alongside Lemon-Garlic Chicken and dip the chicken in the aioli as well!

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Blanched Vegetables with Garlic-Thyme Aioli

Ingredients:

1 bag organic carrots, peeled and cut into sticks

1 lb. organic green beans

2 organic bell peppers, cut into strips

1 lb. organic broccoli, cut into long, skinny florets

2/3 cup mayonnaise (either high quality store bought or homemade)

2 tsp. dijon mustard

4 cloves garlic

olive oil

sea salt and pepper

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add broccoli to pot and let cook four minutes. Scoop out broccoli with a small strainer or slotted spoon. Run cold water over broccoli, drain, and arrange on a platter. Repeat with beans and carrots. For peppers, only let boil two minutes. Once all veggies have been arranged on platter, make your aioli: Stir mayo and mustard together in a small bowl. Chop garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes in 1 Tbs. olive oil, until just browning. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Add thyme and stir well. Turn off heat. Pour into mayo mixture and still well. Taste to see if you want to add more salt and pepper. Serve on the platter with the veggies. Make sure to put a pair of tongs on the table to pick up veggies and a spoon in the aioli to scoop out onto plates. Dig in!!

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Mid-week Recipe: Rosemary Maple Carrots

I’m back from a two-week trip to the east coast. Thus the recipe-posting hiatus. I optimistically thought I’d find myself capable of continuing to post bi-weekly recipes while dashing from Montreal to Boston to NYC to DC to Baltimore. Needless to say, I was wrong. I always seem to underestimate just how much energy traveling takes.

Now I’m home, putting my life back in order, and still digesting some of the pastries, bagels and grilled muffins (they do that in New England and it’s a revelation) I consumed on my adventures.

For a mid-week side dish, try these sweet and delicious caramelized carrots. Serve alongside roast chicken and potatoes.

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Ingredients:

1 bag of large, organic carrots

1 large sprig rosemary

1 Tbs. maple syrup

2 Tbs. brown sugar

3 Tbs. unsalted butter

1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. sea salt

Preheat oven to 400. Wash the carrots. Cut off ends and chop carrots into bite-sized chunks. There is no need to peel carrots if you’re using organic carrots. I actually prefer the texture of un-peeled carrots. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add in carrots, stir well, and cook about 3 minutes. Add maple syrup, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, rosemary and salt. Turn heat up to high. Stir well and let sugar and butter simmer for about 5 minutes, until syrup-mixture is reduced a bit. Turn off heat and transfer carrots and sauce to a baking dish unless you are using an oven-safe frying pan. Put the carrots in the oven and let roast, stirring every 15 minutes, for 35-40 minutes, or until carrots are soft, dark in color and a little wrinkly (you can see what I mean in the photo above).

Enjoy!