Tag Archives: roasting

Canning Adventures Continued: Roasted Red Pepper Spread

Katie:  Fully equipped with canning equipment, we decided to begin by trying Roasted Red Pepper Spread from the Ball cookbook.  Our first step was to find the ingredients.  After buying out two venders and accumulating two bags full of red bell peppers, we still needed to buy two more peppers from the store to reach six pounds.  The peppers roasted nicely in the broiler and the skins can off pretty easily.  They smelled great!

After pureeing the skinned and deseeded peppers and tomatoes in the food processor, we mixed in roasted garlic, roasted onion, fresh basil, red wine vinegar, and a little salt and sugar, and simmered it down to a thicker paste.  It became a little dangerous when the sauce started spurting really high.  My mom even got some in her hair!  But we got it back under control.

Next, we relied on the canning techniques we’ve been acquiring.  We filled jars that were sterilized in the dishwasher, measured the correct head space, cleaned the rims, and sealed the jars.  Then, we boiled them in the canner.  We were happy that they came out clean without exploding and we even heard the lovely pop of the jars sealing.  Now we have jars of delicious pepper spread to store, give away, or enjoy whenever we want.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Corn Salad

Katie:  After a warm, sunny summer, it’s hard to see the days getting shorter and the air getting chillier.  At least there’s one thing that helps make the transition to fall a bit easier:  pumpkins!!  I’ve been spotting pumpkins, or as I’m always corrected “squash”, at the farmer’s market for the last couple of weeks.  I made two batches of muffins with the ambercup squash I found.

After a difficult week, I was in need of a pumpkin to cheer me up a little.  I had a butternut squash to use, but didn’t want to make anything too wintery yet.  Since sweet corn is still in season, I was happy to find this recipe for Roasted Butternut and Corn Salad.  The roasted butternut and corn made an interesting combination.  I only used 1/2 of a chili pepper for the dressing, but it was still pretty spicy, so I’m glad I decided not to mix it in the salad.  I added extra fresh basil.  The toasted sunflower seeds and feta cheese enhanced the other flavors.  Next time, I might try adding some lime or lemon juice or even some yogurt to the dressing to balance the spiciness.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Corn Salad (adapted slightly from The First Mess)
serves: 2-4

  • 1 small-medium butternut squash, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • olive oil
  • 1/2  – 1 small chili/hot pepper (I used a Thai chili pepper)
  • 3 ears of corn, husked and cleaned
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp agave nectar
  • 1/2 clove of garlic, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted (I toasted them in a skillet over medium-high heat until they were lightly brown)
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2-4 fresh basil leaves, slivered
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix the pieces of squash with 2 teaspoons olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread out onto a baking sheet. Add the whole chili to the sheet as well. Roast until the squash is soft, about 30 minutes. The chili should be crinkly and slightly brown. Remove the seeds and stem from the chili and set aside.

While the squash is roasting, cut the corn from the cobs.  Mix with 1 teaspoon olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, or until corn begins to turn light brown. Set aside.

For the dressing, combine the apple cider vinegar, agave nectar, garlic, roasted chili, dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons oil, water, salt, and pepper in a blender. Blend mixture until well-mixed.

Combine the squash, corn, and basil in a large bowl.  Top individual servings with dressing, roasted seeds, and feta cheese.

Corn Fritters with Roasted Tomatoes and Lime Aioli

Katie:  After using fresh corn in soups and salads this summer, I was curious to try using it in a different type of dish.  I found this recipe from Cooking Light for Corn Fritters with Roasted Tomatoes and Lime Aioli, which sounded really good.  Roasting the tomatoes took awhile, and the kitchen got pretty warm cooking the fritters, but they turned out great!  They consisted of a corn fritter seasoned with green onions, topped with an oven-roasted tomato, a piece of spinach (instead of the arugula recommended in the recipe), repeated layers of these toppings, topped with a piece of prosciutto and a little dollop of lime aioli (mayonnaise/lime sauce).  The combination of flavors that the layers provided worked well together.  I made the fritters a little larger than recommended, so that they were filling enough for a meal.  These could be served for dinner with soup or salad (we had them with Fresh Pea Soup), as a fancy appetizer, or as part of a brunch buffet.

Cooking the corn fritters

Beginning the layers

Adding the final touch

 

 

Roasted Sweet Potato Soup

Matthew:  I’m getting my wisdom teeth out in a couple weeks, so I wanted to start making some soups and freezing portions of them so that I could just pull them out of the freezer to eat when the time comes.  I’ve never made soup out of sweet potatoes before, but when I searched for roasted sweet potato soup, I found this recipe that sounded good.  It’s a fairly fast recipe to make and can be done in stages.  By roasting the potatoes ahead of time, the soup gets a nice, carmelized flavor.  The rosemary is a great addition, making the soup smell wonderful.