Eat Your Vegetables With A Fanciful Holiday Twist - 27 East

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Eat Your Vegetables With A Fanciful Holiday Twist

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Charred Brussels Sprouts with Garlic Chips

Charred Brussels Sprouts with Garlic Chips

Cauliflower Rice with Scallions and Saffron

Cauliflower Rice with Scallions and Saffron JANEEN SARLIN

Haricot Vert with Safflower Blossoms

Haricot Vert with Safflower Blossoms JANEEN SARLIN


Seasonal Chef

  • Publication: Food & Drink
  • Published on: Dec 6, 2019
  • Columnist: Janeen Sarlin

‘Tis the season for entertaining. It’s an ideal time to add delicious, beautiful vegetables to your dinner party menus. These shining star vegetables will work whether the entrée is fillet of sole, grilled chicken breast, or a standing rib roast.

Why not try one of these recipes out on the family this week?

Although it’s passé at the moment to serve cauliflower rice, check out this combo of scallions and saffron with a hint of turmeric. It is a picture perfect winner.

Adding sautéed lemon grass and almonds to charred Brussels sprouts and embellishing them with garlic chips elevates sprouts from ordinary to extraordinary!

Simply sprinkling safflower blossoms over haricot vert is very festive and colorful for Christmas dinner ... with basically no work involved. Safflower blossoms are available in specialty spice markets, the red/orange color look like saffron threads with herbal notes. (You can order Safflower/Osfor from Bon appetit!

Cauliflower Rice with Scallions and Saffron

(Serves 4 to 6)

1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and separated into florets

About 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or half oil and butter

1 large bunch scallions with the greens, trimmed and sliced

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 pinches saffron threads

About 1/8 teaspoon turmeric

About 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

2 or 3 scallions, sliced for garnish

To prepare:

In the food processor fitted with the stainless steel blade, add cauliflower (working in batches if necessary) and process until evenly chopped.

In a large non-reactive skillet over moderate heat, coat the bottom with oil and butter, add scallions and sauté briefly, add salt, pepper, saffron, and turmeric, sauté until aromatic, stirring often. Add cauliflower and stir until it is lightly coated with oil, add more if necessary. Add about one cup of water. When the water is bubbling along the side of the pan, cover, reduce the heat, and steam until the cauliflower is tender. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Raise the heat to reduce and evaporate any excess liquid in the pan. Stir parsley into the cauliflower and transfer to a warm serving dish. Garnish with sliced scallions.

Charred Brussels Sprouts with Garlic Chips

(Serves 6, generously)

15 large cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thin

1/2 cup grape seed or sunflower seed oil

1 1/2 to 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed and halved

1/3 cup slivered blanched almonds

4 lemon grass stalks, ends trimmed, dry outer layers removed and bottom 8 inches cut into thin rings

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 lemons, zest grated and juiced, or more to taste

To prepare:

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Place the rack in the middle position. Meanwhile in a small saucepan over medium heat, add oil and garlic and cook, stirring every now and then until the garlic is light golden brown about 4 minutes, watch closely. Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl, strain out the garlic chips and transfer them to a paper towel-lined plate. Reserve the oil.

Toss the halved Brussels sprouts in a large bowl with only enough reserved oil to lightly coat them. Place the sprouts, cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until tender when pierced with a knife and well charred on the cut sides, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile in the food processor, add almonds, sliced lemon grass, one tablespoon lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste and about 1 tablespoon reserved oil. Process until finely chopped about 1 minute.

In a small heavy skillet over high heat, add about 1 tablespoon reserved oil and heat until nearly smoking. Add almonds, immediately reduce the heat and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and deep golden brown about 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside.

When the Brussels sprouts are done, transfer them to a bowl, add the almond /lemon grass mixture and toss with about 2 tablespoons lemon juice and the remaining zest. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Transfer to a serving platter or bowl and garnish with garlic chips. Drizzle with remaining reserved garlic oil.

Haricot Vert with Safflower Blossoms

(Serves 4 to 6)

1 1/2 pounds haricot vert, washed

About 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or unsalted butter

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

About 2 teaspoons safflower blossoms, found at specialty spice stores *see intro

To prepare:

In a large pot of boiling water over high heat, add the haricot vert and cook until crunch tender, the cooking time will depend on the amount of beans and water in the pot, check about 3 minutes after the water comes to a boil to determine cooking time. If serving the beans right away, remove the tails before cooking. If blanching them ahead of time, remove the tails after they are cooked (plunge into cold water to stop the cooking process, drain and cool enough to handle) to retain the vitamins. Set aside.

To reheat just before serving, in a skillet over high heat, melt the butter or oil add salt, pepper, and beans toss until the beans are hot. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with safflower blossoms and serve at once.

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