Quick-Roasted Beet Slices and Two Salads

I love beet chips, and that almost spoiled this recipe for me.  I got my hopes up that these would be like the sweet, crispy chips at Seven Saints that come with goat cheese dip, which I have sometimes, accidentally, embarrassingly, tried to order as "goat chips."  I actually had to go back and read through the recipe after baking these slices before I would admit that I was not promised crispiness. 

The recipe explains that the point of slicing the beets is cooking them quickly.  Once I started snacking on them, I forgave them for their texture, and also remembered that roasted beets are part of my favorite salad.
So, you know, give beets a chance.

Roasted Mushroom Quiche

Quick-roasting is becoming my go-to vegetable strategy, under the influence of Susie Middleton's Fast, Fresh & Green.  This was a fairly spontaneous dinner that only required a few relatively inexpensive pantry staples.  I'd like to take all the credit for dreaming it up, but the recipe is loosely modeled on this one from Epicurious - I am not the type of person who has quiche filling proportions memorized.

Caramelized Tomatoes

I have always firmly believed that people who make homemade ketchup are confused about their life priorities.  These roasted tomatoes might change my mind - the deep, sweet flavor makes me wonder if a roasted tomato ketchup might not be earth-shattering.

Sweet Potato Fries with Limey Dipping Sauce and Spiced Salt

These were another success story from Fresh, Fast and Green.  We really liked pairing these fries with salmon for an orange riff on fish and chips, and the dipping sauce was also delicious with the fish.  Middleton mentions that the Spiced Salt is optional, but the flavorful toppings are really what put this recipe over the top.  It's worth it.

Some of the fries did get a bit soft instead of crispy, and it turns out that this is a common problem with homemade sweet potato fries.  It's important not to crowd them on the pan.  If you really hate mushy fries and want a challenge, check out some suggestions for other sweet potato fry interventions over at The Kitchn.

Honestly, the texture issue didn't prevent us from powering through all of these before they could get cold.  We really loved these!  Check out the recipe and more pictures below:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Orange Butter

Two new cooking projects, or how we happily ate a dinner mainly consisting of Brussels sprouts.

We are about to start a Meat 101 project, a little home cooking school with the guidance of a great cookbook.  While I was browsing for a cookbook that would teach us good technique and had recipes that are accessible to meat amateurs, I stumbled onto Susie Middleton's cookbook Fast, Fresh & Green.  We've been trying to eat more vegetables, and from what I can tell so far, this cookbook seems to be a reliable sources of shockingly good vegetable recipes.  The three dishes I've made from it so far have all exceeded my expectations for being mouth-watering and delicious.  So, I found myself a second cooking project.  I'll be cooking my way through this whole book, and honestly I've never been so excited about cooking vegetables.

Fast, Fresh & GreenFast, Fresh & Green is organized around cooking methods, like roasting or braising.  Each chapter starts with a master recipe and then follows with several examples of adaptations. Not all of the recipes are what I call fast, but they are straight-forward.  Middleton pays attention to vegetables as if they are the main course, and so you could be happy making a meal out of many of the dishes.  

Right now I am in love with the chapter on roasting.  Check out the Brussels Sprouts recipe below, and look for a caramelized tomato recipe and a sweet potato fry recipe soon!