Roasted Vegetable Tart

This is the kind of recipe that begs to be written about. It is the perfect way to welcome Fall—roasted Autumn vegetables tossed with prosciutto, surrounded by a flaky, buttery crust. Did I mention the thin layer of goat cheese underneath it all? Sure, it’s decadent, but it’s sweater season, so eat up!

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Begin by roasting a small amount of butternut squash, carrots, leeks, red bell pepper, and cauliflower with rosemary and olive oil. Once the vegetables are tender, toss them with prosciutto and set aside.

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While the veggies are in the oven, prepare the dough. This recipe also gave me an excuse to learn how to use the pastry attachment on my food processor. I was shocked to discover how easy it was, although I’m confident you can still make a delicious crust the old fashioned way. The recipe calls for a mix of potato flour, rice flour, and cornmeal. Since I had some all-purpose Cup 4 Cup on hand, I substituted it for the rice and potato flours, but kept the cornmeal because I love the flavor and texture of a cornmeal crust. Butter and cream cheese keep the dough moist and flaky.

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Once you’ve rolled the dough out into an oval, spread a thin layer of room temperature goat cheese from the center to about 1 ½ inches from the edges. Spoon the roasted vegetables into the center and fold the edges into a pleated crust, brushing with egg or olive oil to ensure it browns properly.

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This is a great meal to serve guests, because the last 35-40 minutes is entirely in the oven—plenty of time to clean up your kitchen and prepare a green salad. The author of this recipe also has a standard version and a vegan version, in case you’re curious. The recipe is versatile, beautiful, and entirely satisfying. You’re welcome!

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Roasted Vegetable Tart

Fine Cooking            August 2014

Frozen Fruit Smoothie & Baja-Style Rosemary Chicken Skewers

Welcome to the first full day of summer! As the season warms up, I like to add some cold dishes to my regular rotation. For breakfast that means making a frozen fruit smoothie. I love how the richness of the yogurt keeps me satisfied all day long. You can use whatever fruit you like, but make sure to have some sweeter fruits to balance out the tartness of the yogurt. I used ½ cup frozen blackberries, ½ cup frozen mango, and ½ of a large frozen banana. To that I added ¼ cup whole milk Greek yogurt and 2 tablespoons of almond milk. You can add honey if you like, but I found the mango and banana sweet enough on their own. Lastly, I added a hearty dash of cinnamon. The result was thick, decadent, and delicious! This recipe makes enough for two smoothies, and they also store well in the freezer. Just give it a few minutes to soften before diving in.

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For summer dinners, I am perfecting the art of grilling. It’s so pleasant cooking outside when the sun doesn’t set until 9 o’clock! These Baja-Style Rosemary Chicken Skewers couldn’t be easier. I started by cutting some fresh rosemary from our garden and removing all but the tips so the woody stem could be used as a skewer. The stem holds a ton of flavor, infusing the meat with rosemary as it cooks.

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Next, I prepared the marinade. The chicken only needs to marinate for thirty minutes, which gives just enough time for the grill to heat up. Fifteen minutes on the grill created succulent, flavorful chicken. I served this with grilled zucchini, corn on the cob, green onions, and squeezed fresh lime over the entire plate. I hope you enjoy this summery feast as much as I did!

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Baja-Style Rosemary Chicken Skewers

Food and Wine            June 2014

Crisp Quinoa Cakes with Rosemary, Almonds, and Dijon

I know quinoa has become trendy, but it’s a staple in my gluten-free diet. It’s easy to make, high in protein, and has a subtle, nutty flavor. This recipe came recommended by a friend, and although I loved the flavor and will make them again, they fell apart a little while cooking. I made the mistake of cooking the quinoa according to package directions, but the recipe calls for a little more water than is typically used. The extra moisture could have made a significant difference in holding them together. No matter—they were still delicious!

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Be careful not to overwork the cakes. Simply take a handful and gently form a patty between your hands. It’s okay if they’re a little thick, as long as you let them brown nicely on the outside. The combination of ingredients was perfect! The almonds add additional protein and a little crunch. Rosemary always pairs well with nuts, and the shallots and mustard brought a sharp, tangy flavor to the finished cakes. Top them with fresh lemon juice and they are ready to eat.

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I really wanted a protein-rich meal, so I served the patties with black beans and a side of broccoli. This recipe seems versatile to me, and I would love to hear your suggestions for side dishes in the comments. It was also fantastic leftover. Surprisingly, the cakes held up to reheating and were just as flavorful as the first time around. This fast and simple February meal was a hit!

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Crisp Quinoa Cakes with Rosemary, Almonds, and Dijon via New York Times

Mark Bittman