Casual summer meals…al fresco!
I’m always trying to come up with easy meals as summer rolls around and temperatures begin to climb. With plenty of beautiful fresh produce available it is easy to keep it simple, throwing everything together in a roasting pan, popping it into the oven, and letting the vegetables transform themselves.
Voila! A gorgeous plate of summer roasted garden delights to relish without breaking into a sweat!
Roasted Beets, Fennel, and Shallots with Horseradish Remoulade: Serves 4 to 6
- 10 medium size beets
- 2-4 fennel bulbs, depending on size
- 2 jumbo shallots (or Spanish onions), skin on
- 2 heads of garlic, cloves separated/skin on
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- flaked sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary quills
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds 2
- tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Preheat oven to 400F/210C
Wash the beets and pat dry leaving the skin on. Place the beets, fennel, shallots (or Spanish onions), and unpeeled garlic cloves into a baking pan large enough to hold all the vegetables in a single layer. Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper and scatter the rosemary and fennel seeds over all.
Using your hands toss the vegetables to coat them with oil and the seasonings evenly.
Cover the baking pan with foil and seal tightly around the edges. Place in the oven and roast for 1 hour or until the vegetables are tender, testing by inserting a sharp knife easily into the center of the largest beet.
Remove from the oven and set aside to cool, leaving the foil on until the beets are cool enough to handle. Then slip the skins off the beets and trim the stem and roots off the top and bottom. Cut the beets in half and divide each half into thirds and place in a large bowl and set aside.
Examine the fennel bulbs and remove any tough outer ribs. Slice the bulbs in half lengthwise through the center. Divide each half into thirds lengthwise, and again in half crosswise and transfer to the bowl of beets.
Peel the outer skin off the shallots (or Spanish onions) and trim the top and bottom. Divide into quarters. Separate the rings and add them to the beets and fennel.
Skin the garlic cloves and set aside to use in the remoulade recipe that follows.
Scrape the pan juices, rosemary and fenel seeds over the bowl of beets, fennel, and shallots and toss until evenly distributed. Set aside while you make the remoulade. At this point the vegetables can be refrigerated if they are to be served later.
Roasted Garlic Remoulade: makes 1 cup
- roasted garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt + more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup prepared horseradish + more to taste
Using a mini food processor, add the roasted garlic, rice vinegar, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to the work bowl. Pulse several times until the garlic is pureed. With the motor running add the olive oil in a slow steady stream. The sauce will emulsify and thicken.
Add the prepared horseradish and pulse until evenly mixed into the sauce. Taste and add more salt and horseradish to your liking.
Transfer the remoulade to a serving bowl, cover with cling film, and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
Serving: The vegetable mixture should be served at room temperature, so if refrigerated, allow 20 minutes to come to room temperature before serving.
Arrange the roasted vegetables on a serving platter or mounded onto individual plates. Spoon some remoulade over the vegetables and scatter the chopped parsley and chives over the top. Serve with a bowl of the remaining remoulade set on the table.