Posts tagged ‘roasted garlic’

June 8, 2012

Roasted Jalapeño & Garlic White Bean Dip

Who doesn’t love a good dip? That’s a serious question.

I can’t think of a single person I know who would completely pass up an opportunity to engage in some cracker/chip/veggie dunking-to-mouth action. It’s a total snacktivity that gets everyone involved, which is always nice…except if you run with a crowd of double dippers. But that’s an etiquette situation for another day.

I’m always looking for good uses for roasted garlic besides eating whole cloves straight out of their husks. (I know, I have a problem!) Sometimes I have the decency to spread them on a deserving piece of bread and other times I’ll toss them in a salad with some roasted veg. But why not combine my beloved roasted garlic with a little bit of subdued peppery heat and some savory cannellini beans? Like I said (rhetorically this time), who doesn’t love a good dip?

This is basically hummus but with white beans subbing in for the chickpeas. I love the velvety texture that the white beans lend to the base of the dip, and their creamy flavor matches up perfectly with the sweet caramelized garlic and slightly spicy, but earthy jalapeños. As with hummus, you can use a little warm water to thin out the dip gradually, until you’ve got the consistency you’re looking for. No excessive oil necessary.

Roasted Jalapeño & Garlic White Bean Dip
– 1 1/2 cups (or 1 can) cooked white beans
– 1/2 roasted head of garlic, cloves removed from the rough husks
– 1 large fresh jalapeño pepper, roasted and roughly chopped
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1/4-1/2 cup water
– salt
– toasted chopped walnuts or pepitas to garnish

To roast jalapeño pepper and garlic: Pre-heat oven to 205 C/400 F. On an oiled piece of aluminum foil, place the head of garlic (with the bottom, woody part cut off) and a split and de-seeded jalapeño. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes, and remove the jalapeño (it should be golden brown in parts). Wrap the foil around the head of garlic and continue to cook for another 15-20 minutes until fragrant and the cloves are golden brown.

For dip: Place white beans, about 5-8 roasted garlic cloves, chopped roasted pepper, olive oil and a pinch of salt in a food processor. Puree, stopping to add water – a little bit at a time until the consistency is smooth and creamy, adjust seasoning as needed. Top with toasted nuts or seeds if desired.

Refrigerate in an air tight container for up to 5 days.

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April 25, 2012

Lunch Today: Wheat Berry Sweet Potato Salad

with Za’atar and Roasted Garlic Dressing

A full 24 hours of travel awaits me and I couldn’t be more excited.

Flying over an ocean and a whole country to get to the people I love the most, is a small price to pay.

Not to brag or anything, but I’m a good flyer. I kind of love it. I mean, I don’t loooove sitting in the same spot for 12 hours. But I like airports, buying new books and magazines and in-flight entertainment. I like the excitement of going somewhere. Somewhere new or old. Loved or unknown. It’s a thrill.

And going back to New York tomorrow might be one of my biggest thrills yet. We moved to the other side of the world 8 months ago and I’ve missed my side every minute since. Missed my people, mostly.

And now I am bursting with happiness in anticipation of touching down in JFK.

New York or bust.

Za’atar and Roasted Garlic Dressing
– 4-6 cloves roasted garlic (I used 4 abnormally large cloves)
– salt
– 3 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 tablespoon za’atar
– 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

To roast garlic: Heat oven to 200 C/ 400 F. Chop off the woody bottom of a head of garlic and place on an oiled piece of foil. Wrap the foil around the head of garlic and roast for 30-40 minutes until the cloves are golden and soft.

Squeeze garlic out of the husks and mash up with a pinch of salt. Place olive oil in a small pan over a medium-low heat. Heat until oil is warm but don’t boil. Stir in za’atar and mashed garlic, remove from heat. Let stand for 5 minutes and pour in a small bowl. Whisk in vinegar.

Wheat Berry Sweet Potato Salad
(serves 2)
– 1 medium sweet potato
– 1 tablespoon za’atar
– olive oil
– 1 1/2 cups wheat berries, cooked
– 1 cup kale, shredded finely
– 2 tablespoons feta
– 1-2 tablespoons dried cranberries
– 2 tablespoons toasted almonds, roughly chopped
– 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Cook wheat berries: Place 3/4 cup dry wheat berries in a sauce pan with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 40-45 minutes until wheat berries are soft but with a chewy, al dente bite to them. Place wheat berries in a colander over the sink to dry.

Roast sweet potato: preheat oven to 220 C/425 F. Cut sweet potato into 1 inch/2.5 cm chunks. Toss with olive oil and za’atar. Cook for 20-25 minutes until sweet potato is soft.

Mix wheat berries, sweet potato, kale, feta and cranberries together with the dressing, tossing well to combine. Top with chopped almonds and sesame seeds. Serve warm, at room temp or cold.

January 9, 2012

Baked Fish with Tomatoes, Peppers & Roasted Garlic

Sometimes after Mr. F and I cook a nice seafood dinner we’ll have one small piece of fish left over. It’s not enough for another main for two, but it will make a special lunch…for one.

I am usually the lucky one who gets to reap the rewards of this humble little fillet. I make it a fancy lunch just for me.

Ok, it’s not that fancy (at all), but it tastes like a lot of time and effort went into it (it didn’t). This is the kind of lunch that makes me feel like I am treating myself right  (which I totally am).

A sweet combination of tomatoes, green peppers, onions, roasted garlic and a slosh of red wine make a light summer vegetable stew for my mild baked white fish to nestle in to.

My addition of the roasted garlic is a bit superfluous, but I love it too much not to tell you about it. If you’ve got the time to make it, do. If only for the satisfaction you get out of squeezing the fragrant, soft cloves out of their rough, dry skins.

My method for cooking both the garlic and the fish are very similar. Pretty easy stuff: olive oil, aluminum foil, bake.

Roasted Garlic (optional, but not optional for me):
– An entire head of garlic
– Olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 200 C/400 F

Cut off the base of the bulb of garlic (the woody end).

Oil a piece of aluminum foil (big enough to wrap the garlic in) and stand the bulb upright on it’s newly trimmed bottom. Loosely wrap the the bulb in foil and place on the oven rack.  Bake for 35-45 minutes until your garlic cloves take on a caramelized color.

Squeeze cloves out of skins to use.

This can be made as much as a day ahead.

Tomatoes & Peppers
– 1 medium onion, sliced into thin half-moons
– 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
– 2 medium tomatoes, diced
– 1/2 large green pepper, sliced thin in long strips
– 1/4 cup red wine
– 1/2 teaspoon of smokey paprika
– salt & pepper
– Olive oil

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until beginning to brown, about 4-5 minutes. (If at any point the pan becomes a little dry, add a tablespoon or two of water)

Add the peppers and cook another 3-4 minutes until beginning to soften.

Add tomatoes, paprika, salt and pepper. And cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.

Pour in red wine, and let it boil off and thicken until the vegetables are thick but still saucy. About 5 minutes.

Add about 5 or 6 roasted garlic cloves (squeezed out of their husks). Reduce to a simmer and cook a further 10 minutes covered.

Serve with baked fish.

Simple Baked Fish for One
– White fish fillet (I had flake fish)
– Olive oil
– Salt & Pepper

Pre-heat oven to 200 C/400 F

Lightly oil a piece of aluminum foil. Place the fish in the center and season with salt and pepper. Seal the aluminum foil around the fish, making sure it is completely enclosed, but leaving space between the closure and the fish. (This creates an air pocket for the heat and steam from the fish to circulate – which cooks the fish while keeping it moist.)

Bake for 15 minutes. Unwrap and pour off excess liquid. Your fish should be completely white and opaque in the middle. Serve on top of tomato-pepper mixture.

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