Monday, October 3, 2011

Harvest Dinner

As the seasons begin to change we see summer vegetables fall out of season and an abundance of winter harvest vegetables fill the shelves at farmers markets and grocery stores.  To welcome this change my girlfriends and I decided to have a harvest themed dinner to inspire ourselves as we move through the changing seasons. Winter meals tend to be very hearty and warm however, because it is only the beginning of the fall season we decided it would be best to incorporate winter vegetables into a lighter meal promote a slow transition of the seasons. I made a spiced carrot puree, root vegetable soup with fresh chives and truffle oil, roasted butternut squash, and a grilled fig salad with toasted walnuts and a citrus mint vinaigrette. The meal was amazing. It was so filling but still left you feeling light.

Carrot Puree

5 fresh carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp grated ginger
squeeze of fresh lemon
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1 pinch cayenne
sea salt, to taste
1/2 cup vegetable stock
3 tbs olive oil

Boil the carrots until very tender.  Blend the carrots with the next 9 ingredients. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and a dash of paprika for presentation.

Root Vegetable Soup

3 carrots
1 turnip
1 small onion
3 parsnips
1 yellow potato
4 cups vegetable stock
3 tbs olive oil
sea salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
fresh chives
truffle oil

Dice the vegetables. Saute the onion in a large sauce pan with the olive oil until translucent. Add the remaining vegetables and saute for 5 minutes.  Add the stock, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium and simmer until the vegetables are tender.  Add the salt and pepper.  With an immersion blender or a regular blender puree the soup. Top with fresh chives and a drizzle of truffle oil. 

Grilled Fig Salad
fresh arugula
black mission figs
2 tbs mint, minced
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs fresh orange juice
1 tbs white wine vinegar

Toast the walnuts in a skillet until just browned.  Set aside.  Cut the figs in half and grill until tender. In a small bowl mix the olive oil, vinegar, orange juice and mint.  Toss the dressing with the arugula and the figs and walnuts.

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