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Pesto Broccolini

Pesto Broccolini // Karista's Kitchen

Some recipes garner a surprising response.  This little platter of Pesto Broccolini got loads of love on my Instagram and Facebook page which honestly, sort of surprised me.

So, I decided to post it here.  It’s just a simple side that I toss together when I’m in a hurry but I want something fresh and delicious to serve with my dinner entrée.

I was preparing a stuffed trout dish Monday night and I happened to have several bunches of Broccolini, which I typically pair with pasta or Gnocchi.  But Monday night I decided to serve it a la carte tossed with some basil pesto I had made the day before.  Voila! Pesto Broccolini.

This is something I also do with blanched broccoli or cauliflower, sautéed or grilled zucchini and on occasion, roasted baby red potatoes and carrots.  It allows me to serve a fresh seasonal side with minimal fuss – because minimal fuss is important when the day is long and dinner is late.

And who doesn’t love a crisp tender veggie lightly bathed in a spicy and herb laced pesto?  Even my picky eater loves this gorgeous Pesto Broccolini side dish.  If you don’t have the time to knock out a homemade pesto,  just buy one.  There are many excellent, high quality pesto’s in the market these days – many without any preservatives and made exclusively with extra virgin olive oil and fresh herbs.

Here’s to making dinner fresh, simple and delicious! Cheers!

Karista

Pesto Broccolini

Serving Size: 4-6

Pesto Broccolini

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs Broccolini, trimmed and larger stalks halved
  • 1/2 - 1 cup Basil Pesto (prepared or homemade)
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

Instructions

  • Fill a large pot with water and heat over high heat. Once the water has reached a boil, add about one tablespoon of salt. Then add the broccolini.
  • Let the broccolini cook for 2 1/2 - 3 minutes for crisp tender or 4 -5 minutes for tender. Drain in a colander and then place in a bowl and toss gently with 1/2 cup of pesto or more if needed. Drizzle with a squeeze of lemon and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Place on a platter and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan. Serve immediately.
  • Notes

    For this recipe, I don't place the broccolini in an ice bath once it's cooked as I'm usually serving this right away. If I were going to hold the dish for a few minutes, I'd prepare a bowl with ice and water and let the broccolini rest for a few minutes in the ice bath after cooking, before tossing it with pesto. If you do decide to let it rest in the ice bath, gently heat the pesto before tossing with the broccolini so the dish is warm when served.

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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Maple & Miso Roasted Root Vegetables

    Maple and Miso Roasted Root Vegetables // Karista's Kitchen

    I’ve been in a root vegetable rut lately and I’ve been browsing new ideas for preparing these seasonal beauties. I typically prepare root vegetables in all sorts of ways using various cooking methods to keep things interesting. I use them in Irish Beef Stew, Soups and sometimes just roasted with a honey balsamic vinaigrette. I’ve been known to finely grate them, using them in salads or slaws, and I’ve even thrown leftover roasted root vegetables in my morning omelets or top them with a poached egg.  And of course, there is nothing quite like a parsnip puree or a root veggie mash.  All lovely and delicious and palate thrilling.

    But when I stumbled onto a Maple and Miso glazed root vegetable dish recently, I was in awe.  Ranger Craig and I were dining at a restaurant in Bend, Oregon and this lovely dish was on the menu.  I was intrigued.  The combination unusual but sounded like it could totally work.

    Maple and Miso Roasted Root Vegetables // Karista's Kitchen

    I’m not a stranger to either ingredients, in fact, one of my favorite ways to use miso is preparing my Miso Sake Glazed Black Cod or Scallops.  That dish is a staple in my house and it was a huge hit with all my culinary students.  And of course, I adore using maple syrup to glaze roasted vegetables and create lush dressings to pair with spinach, bacon and mushroom salads… but honestly, where have I been?  The combination of these two ingredients doesn’t seem to be a new idea.

    After researching the use of maple syrup and miso as a glaze, I discovered all sorts of blog posts and recipes using this unique combination of flavors.  Some use miso and honey, others use miso and maple syrup.  I found loads of creative variations and after testing a few variations of my own, I decided on this simple recipe.

    I found that I completely adore the Maple Miso glaze with sweet potatoes.  It just works. But if you have a bin full of root vegetables such as parsnips, turnips, beets, golden beets, carrots, red onions and sweet potatoes, this glaze makes the loveliest vegetarian entree or side dish.

    I julienned my root vegetables for the photos but cutting them into 1 inch cubes works just as well.  And it makes prep much faster.

    I paired this simple roasted root vegetable dish with my herb roasted chicken but it would pair just as beautifully with a slow braised pork, lamb or beef roast for a gorgeous and delicious Sunday supper.  Or try pairing these veggies with braised lentils for a complete vegetarian meal.

    Once you try this fragrant and flavorful glaze you’ll be using it on everything!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Quick Note:

    Because I always have a tub of organic white miso in my frig, that is what I used for this recipe.  I prefer white miso but feel free to experiment with other types of miso if you wish.  Also, don’t forget, this glaze is fantastic with sweet potatoes.  So if you’ve got a stash of sweet potatoes only, this would make a fun and delicious roasted sweet potato dish.

    I adore sweet and savory combined so I always include red onions with my roasted root vegetables.  The red onion gives the dish a lovely layer of flavor and for me, completes the flavor profile of this recipe.

    This is truly one of those recipes that can be used as a “guideline”.  A recipe to play with and make your own, adding or subtracting ingredients to your taste.  Enjoy!

    Maple & Miso Roasted Root Vegetables

    Maple & Miso Roasted Root Vegetables

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 - 2lbs assorted root vegetables cut into 1 inch cubes (examples: sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, golden beets, parsnips, turnips, red onions)
    • 2 tablespoons organic white miso paste
    • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
    • Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, optional (I forgot the seeds for the photos!)

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
  • Line a baking sheet (or two if you need) with parchment paper.
  • Whisk together the miso paste, maple syrup and olive oil.
  • Toss the cubed vegetables with the miso/maple/olive oil blend and then sprinkle with a little sea salt and black pepper.
  • Transfer them onto the parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer, using two baking sheet if needed.
  • Place them in the oven and let them roast for about 25-35 minutes or longer, until they are done. This will depend on how large or small you diced the vegetables. They should be soft in the center and caramelized on the outside. I always check my veggies at about 25 minutes and then give it another 5-10 minutes as needed.
  • Take the vegetables out of the oven and taste for seasoning, giving them a little extra salt if needed. Transfer to a platter and serve warm.
  • For an Asian flavor twist add a tablespoon of soy sauce or sake to the miso blend and then garnish with toasted sesame seeds... or for a little spice, whisk in a splash of Sriracha.
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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Butter Braised Belgian Endive

    Butter Braised Belgian Endive // Karista's Kitchen

    Braising seems to be the essential winter cooking technique – whether it be a slow braised ragu on the stove top or an oven braised Irish Beef Stew.  Braising creates the loveliest and most intense flavors in many types of meat, poultry, veggies and even seafood.  Not too mention, all that oven heat warms up the house and infuses every room with the scent of comfort.

    Braising is definitely a preferred method of cooking for those tougher cuts of meat. It slowly breaks down the connective tissue creating a succulent texture, while bathing in sumptuous liquid and aromatics.  Braising is also a fantastic cooking method for vegetables.  Some vegetables I much prefer roasted, but many vegetables can be braised; such as leeks, root veggies, radicchio and my favorite, Belgian Endive.

    Butter Braised Endive // Karista's Kitchen

    I always begin with high quality butter.  Braising with butter allows the endive to caramelize and then creates a bit of creaminess to the dish. The end result is a bit toasty, sweet, savory and although still some firmness to the endive, it melts like butter on the taste buds.

    This is the perfect side dish to a slow cooked roast or chicken.  Although, this makes an excellent light lunch. Which is what happened to these little lovelies.  I couldn’t resist. Buttery, sweet and delicious!

    Butter Braised Belgian Endive // Karista's Kitchen

    Has it been a good first week of the new year for you?  Although it’s been a productive first week for me, I feel like I’ve been moving at mach speed with long lists to accomplish, phone calls to return, work planning to complete and workouts to squeeze in somewhere.  I did manage to stay on task and nourish my body with my 30 days of yoga plan and Tank got his walk every morning.  Honestly, he doesn’t give me a chance to forget.  Tank follows me all over the house pretending to sneeze every now and again – reminding me we haven’t taken our walk.  He’s a funny dog.

    Happy Weekend!

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

    Butter Braised Belgian Endive

    Serving Size: 4

    Butter Braised Belgian Endive

    Ingredients

    • 4 Belgian Endive, organic or pesticide free, washed and dried
    • 4 knobs of quality butter, salted or unsalted (about 4 tablespoons) diced (I admit, I'm not terribly precise with the butter - sometimes I might use a bit more)
    • Squeeze of lemon, about one tablespoon
    • Sprig or two of fresh thyme (optional)
    • A Dutch oven or oven proof pot with a lid
    • Salt and Pepper (sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper work well here)

    Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  • Snip the root ends of the endive, being careful not to snip off too much as we want them to stay together when we slice them in half. Next slice each endive lengthwise in half making eight halves.
  • Place the Dutch oven stove top over medium heat and melt a few pieces of the diced butter. Once it's melted, take it off the heat and place the endive halves in a single layer in the bottom of the Dutch oven.
  • Next, toss in the remaining butter, squeeze of lemon, sprig of thyme if using, evenly over the top of the endive. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the Dutch oven and place it over the endive. Cover the pot and place it in the oven for about 45-50 minutes.
  • When the endive are done, discard the thyme and gently transfer them from the Dutch oven to a platter and season to taste with a bit more salt if desired. Serve immediately and relish the deliciousness!
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