Roasted Roots with Gribiche Dressing

Gribiche is a mayonnaise-type sauce made with hard-boiled egg(s) rather than with raw eggs. It has a tartar sauce-like consistency. It is most famously used as a dressing for steamed or roasted asparagus, but can complement many vegetable dishes. Here they dress a variety of roasted root vegetables.

Roots:
assorted roots, peeled if necessary, chopped and/or sliced
vegetable oil, as needed
salt and pepper, to taste

Gribiche Sauce:
3 – 4 large eggs, hard-boiled and peeled
2 T white vinegar
2 t mustard, Dijon if you have it
1 T drained capers, coarsely chopped if large
1 or 2 gherkins or small pickles, chopped, optional (but good)
2 T chopped onion or shallot
3 – 4 T chopped, fresh parsley and/or other herb(s)
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 – 3/4 extra-virgin olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Toss roots with oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet and roast until tender, roughly 30 minutes.

2. Prepare sauce: Remove the yolk from one of the eggs. Put into a medium sized bowl and mash. Add vinegar and combine. Now you can add each following ingredients but not the oil individually, or you can just toss them all in and combine well. Slowly add 1/2 c of the olive oil, a slow dribble until the gribiche is emulsifying, then in a steady stream. Some people just pour the oil in. Your call. Add more oil if it’s not mayo-like enough.

3. Press the remaining eggs plus egg white through a sieve or grate them. Stir into the dressing with a fork. Taste for seasonings.

4. When the roots are roasted to a delectable tenderness, remove from oven and transfer to a serving bowl or dish. In the bowl, fold in three-quarters of the gribiche, adding more if you think it’s needed. For the plate, pour the gribiche over the vegetables.

Beet and Chickpea Salad

A French recipe, from Provence. If you don’t want to use anchovies, use a couple of teaspoons of miso or soy sauce in the dressing. Lentils would be good here, too, and celeriac or other roots, along with the beets or alone. If you want to save some time, you could just grate or dice the beets raw, though I think the flavor is not as good.

4 – 5 beets
1 1/2 c cooked chickpeas, rinsed if from a can and salty
4 T chopped parsley or some green, such as arugula or tat soi
4 anchovies or 2 t anchovy paste
1 or 2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 T red wine or sherry vinegar
1 T (fresh) lemon juice, or more red wine vinegar
5 T extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Roast beets. You can wrap them in foil, place them on a baking sheet and roast at 375ºF until tender (a knife tip will go into the beet easily). Or you can put them in a covered casserole with water to cover the bottom and roast at the same temperature until tender. Remove from oven, allow to cool, peel if you wish, then slice, dice, or cut into wedges.

2. Combine beets, chickpeas and parsley in a serving bowl. Set aside while you prepare the dressing.

3. In a small bowl or with a mortar and pestle, mash the anchovies and garlic until a paste is achieved. Even if using anchovy paste, you’ll want to mash it with the garlic so the garlic is paste-like. Add the vinegar and lemon juice. Add the oil in one tablespoon increments. Taste and add salt and pepper. Toss with beets and chickpeas and serve.

Roots in Mustard Dressing

This is a French preparation for root vegetables, modeled on the well-know remoulade, which uses mayonnaise. It’s simple and tasty, with the sharpness of the mustard dressing playing off the earthiness of the roots. You can use all one root, or a combination. An elegant dish if you cut it into julienne or matchsticks, workmanlike if grated–both good.

3 c or so chopped (julienned, diced, shredded) root vegetable(s)
1 1/2 t salt
1 1/2 t lemon juice
4 T Dijon or other prepared mustard
3 T boiling water
6 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T white wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
chopped fresh herb, for garnish, optional

1. Combine chopped vegetable(s) in a bowl with the salt and lemon juice. Allow to stand for 30 minutes. Drain, then transfer to a kitchen towel to dry.

2. Swish some hot water in a serving bowl. Dry. Add mustard to warmed bowl then whisk in boiling water. Slowing add olive oil, in a slow, slim stream, whisking until incorporated. Next add the vinegar, in much the same way. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Fold in the root(s). If possible, allow to marinate for a few hours. Garnish with fresh, chopped herb.

Curried Lentil, Kohlrabi, Grain, and Greens Salad

This seems like a bit of work, and while it is a more involved recipe than I usually care to make, the results are quite impressive, not to mention delicious. It’s good for a gathering, or to take to a gathering. You can use any kind of lentil, just cook them so they still retain their shape. This applies especially for red lentils, which dissolve into a (delicious) mush quickly, so cook then until barely tender. Quickly prepared grains, such as couscous and bulgur lessen the work load, as do already-cooked grains–just bring the latter to room temperature before creating the dish.

1/2 c rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
4 1/2 t curry powder
2 garlic gloves, pressed
2/3 c sesame, safflower or other vegetable oil
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
5 – 6 c cooked lentils (from about 2 c dried)
3 c peeled, diced kohlrabi
3 c cooked grain
6 – 8 c chopped salad greens
1 c chopped scallions
fresh, chopped herb, for garnish, optional

1. Combine vinegar, curry powder, garlic, oil, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

2. Put cooked, cooled lentils, kohlrabi, cooked grain, greens, and scallions in a large bowl. Toss to combine. Pour dressing over. Toss again. Taste for seasonings. Sprinkle with some fresh, chopped herb.

Sautéed Bell Peppers with Lemon-Cumin Dressing

Lemon and cumin really work well with bell peppers, especially green bells. Lemon, of course, brightens up most ingredients and the cumin brings an earthy, herbaceous quality. This is good as a side, in sandwiches, over greens, over grain. Try this with other summer vegetables, like zucchini and eggplant. As well, experiment with other spices, or spice combinations.

1 T vegetable oil
3 – 4 bell peppers, halved, seeded, ribs removed, sliced or chopped

1/4 c finely chopped scallion or (sweet) onion

6 T extra-virgin olive oil, or other salad oil
3 T lemon juice
1 t ground cumin
1 t honey or other sweetener, optional
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T fresh, chopped herb or 2 t dried herb
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Heat oil in a skillet. Add pepper pieces and sauté until slightly soft, a few minutes, or longer for a more tender vegetable. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Add chopped scallion and combine.

2. Combine remaining ingredients until emulsified. Pour over bell peppers and scallion. Toss to combine. Taste for seasonings. Serve immediately or, better, allow to marinate for about an hour.

Asian Pear Vinaigrette/Dressing

I seldom cook with Asian pears, though recipes for cooking them abound. They’re so great fresh, that the most culinary thing I do is to chop them into a salad. Here’s a way to savor the cooked Asian pear, and it only requires one, so you’re not sacrificing too much. It’s a good vinaigrette for salads as well as steamed veggies. Sweet and spicy, in Asian culinary fashion.

1 Asian pear, peeled, quartered and cored; or other, ripe pear
1/2 c mirin (rice wine); or 1/2 c dry sherry, vermouth, white wine, or sake with 11/2 – 2 T sugar
1 – 2 T water, if needed
1/2 c vegetable oil, not too strongly flavored
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 c rice vinegar, or white wine vinegar
2 t soy sauce
1 t five spice powder
1 t powdered mustard, or 1 T prepared mustard

1. Put the Asian pear in a small saucepan with the miring and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated the the pear is very soft.

2. If there’s pear fond on the bottom of the pan, add a T or two of water to deglaze the pan, then transfer the pear to a food processor or blender.

3. Add remaining ingredients and whizz until puréed. The mixture should be somewhat thick, so if you prefer a looser dressing, stir in some water.