Tag Archives: roasted

Roasted Radishes with a Lemon Dill Yogurt Dip

3 Apr

Roasted Radishes with Lemon Dill Yogurt Dip

I am elated to proclaim that spring is in the air and certainly in the grocery stores. The sight of pristine asparagus, bok choy, young green peas and radishes facilitates my shaking out off the winter blues and euphorically embracing  this new season.

I trot into this season with a novel discovery – roasted radishes! I grew up eating plenty of radishes, but they were always pickled or just served with salt and lemon juice.  I had never dreamt of cooking radishes, let alone roasting them until I recently stumbled upon a plethora of roasted radish recipes. I roasted up my first bunch of radishes and was amazed how roasting mellows the peppery flavor of the radish and transforms in into a whole new root vegetable.  Continue reading

Crunchy & Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

4 Oct

We spent the last weekend with our friends in Hershey PA, riding the roller coasters in Hershey Park and gorging on chocolate at Chocolate World. Of course such a trip entails returning home with one too many bags of chocolate and candy. Then when snack time cravings set in you find yourself reaching for dangerous amounts of unhealthy treats. After a few days of excessive indulgence, we have finally stashed aside all the chocolate and candy for Halloween trick-or-treaters (yes it is OCTOBER already!).  Consequently, I was determined to redeem myself by creating a healthy snack that we could enjoy guilt free.

Who doesn’t like to snack at various times of the day? Since snacks are intended to be quick and convenient we often find ourselves reaching for cookies, crackers, chips and other unhealthy foods. This leads to ruining the results of tedious workouts and packing in a few extra pounds before we know it. It is important to have access to snacks that are packed with protein (keeping us fuller for longer) and yet delight our taste buds. That’s when chickpeas came to my mind. They are very low in saturated fat and sodium and are a great source or dietary fiber and protein.

Growing up in India I often munched on roasted chickpeas dressed up with some spices, lime juice, chopped onions and cilantro. This childhood snack was the inspiration behind this recipe. Unlike the store-bought hard roasted chickpeas in India this homemade variation is crunchy on the outside and still chewy on the inside. The spices embrace the chickpeas and create a smoky, lightly spiced and slightly tangy treat.

These chickpeas taste great as is or they can be tossed together with fleshly squeezed lime juice, finely diced onions and cilantro. They also add great texture and flavor to any tossed salad. It is unlikely, but if you find yourself with any leftovers, the roasted chickpeas can be stored in an airtight container in a cool and dry place for 2-3 days. Here’s to happy and healthy snacking!

Crunchy & Spicy Roasted Chickpeas
Yields: 2 .5 cups
Time:  Preparation time: 5 minutes; Cook time: 18-20 minutes

Ingredients:

2, 15oz cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans) washed, drained and patted dry. (See note)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon coriander powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon chaat masala
½teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon garlic salt

Notes:

  • If you rather not use canned garbanzo beans, you can pressure cook raw garbanzo beans till they are al dente, rinse and drain them and then follow all the steps below.

Method:

1) Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Line a cookie sheet/baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
2) Use a power towel to pat and dry the chickpeas.
3) In a mixing bowl toss the chickpeas with all the other ingredients to make sure they are well coated.
4) Roast the chickpeas in the oven for 18-20 minutes till they are crunchy on the outside. Make sure the chickpeas do not burn.
5) Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes.
6) Taste and adjust the salt if required.
7) Snack on the chickpeas as is,  or toss them with lime juice, cilantro and chopped red onions, or top your favorite salad with them.

Roasted Tomato Soup with Truffle Oil & A Herbed Goat Cheese Ball

27 Sep

We all have our lists of comfort foods; foods that warm our hearts and feed our souls. They are foods that calm our nerves and satiate our appetites on days that seem far from perfect. I have a long list of favorite comfort foods and soup is pretty high up on that list. And not just any soup – tomato soup, particularly a roasted tomato soup.

By now you know my love for tomatoes, and since tomatoes found in the cooler months of the year are often not at their best, roasting wheedles out the flavor of a less than pristine tomato. A classic roasted tomato soup is a staple around our home in the cooler months, but is an entertaining worthy soup?

This is a dilemma I found myself grappling with a few days ago. Since I profess that I feed people’s appetites, I ought to have my fancier, party worthy meals stem for classic comfort food recipes. I need to create dressed up versions of comfort classics that have both the panache of a fancy dinner and the cozy feel of comfort food. This self-imposed mandate was the foundation of this recipe.

The herbed goat cheese ball replaces the cream that would traditionally thicken a tomato soup. As it melts into the soup it creates an additional layer of flavor and texture. This coupled with a hint of white truffle oil elevates a comfort classic to celebrity status.

Roasted Tomato Soup with Truffle oil & Herbed Goat Cheese
Serves 4 people

HERBED GOAT CHEESE BALLS:

Ingredients:

4 oz goat cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon finely chopped basil
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
¼ teaspoon table salt
¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

 Method:

1) Mix together all the above ingredients.
2) Use your hands to form small balls that are just a little smaller than golf balls. Place them on a plate and chill in the refrigerator till the soup is ready.
3) If you have leftover goat cheese balls, they make a great spread for toast or crackers.

ROASTED TOMATO SOUP

Ingredients:

1 lb vine ripe tomatoes, quartered
1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
5 unpeeled whole garlic cloves
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
5 cups reduced sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ teaspoon of white truffle oil (See note)
2 tablespoons of basil, Chiffonade
Salt and pepper to taste

Note:

  • You can use more truffle oil if you want to. Be aware that it is very strong and a little bit more can have an overpowering flavor. You want to just have a hint of it when you taste the soup.

Method:

1) Pre-heat the oven to 450⁰F.
2) Cover a large sheet pan/cookie sheet with foil. Lay out all tomatoes, onion and garlic cloves on it. Drizzle the vegetables with the olive oil and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt and ½ teaspoon of cracked black pepper.
3) Roast all these vegetables in the oven for 30 minutes. Flip the vegetables over half way through to ensure even charring.
4) Once the vegetables are roasted, bring the chicken stock to a boil along with the bay leaf and oregano in a Dutch oven on the stove top.
5) Add the roasted vegetables and the tomato paste to the boiling broth. Don’t forget to remove the roasted garlic from the peels and discard the peels before adding to the broth. Let everything come up to a rolling boil.
6) Now reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 12 minutes. Turn off the heat when done.
7) Using and immersion blender or a food processor, blend everything together. Use a sieve to strain out any seeds.
8) Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the truffle oil and basil.
9) Serve the soup in your best soup bowls and top each bowl with one of the goat cheese balls.

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