August 29, 2012

Tahini Thyme Root Vegetable Puree

Gosh, I've got to start making dinner a little bit earlier so that I can take pictures while the sun is still out.  The quality of these pictures is far from ideal, but - oh well - what else can you do when there is no natural sunlight?!  You'll just have to take my word for it when I say:

This vegetable puree was delicious!

You all know that I love a well-roasted vegetable better than almost anything, but I'll be the first to admit that there can be "too much of a good thing."  This puree turned out to be a great answer to still eating my vegetables, but in a new and exciting way!  And although Bo frequently faults me for wanting to puree everything (in his defense, I do make hummus, babaganoush, and/or pudding on an almost weekly basis), he thought that this dish was really good too...and (he might not admit it) he even liked his plate!

I used thyme in this recipe to liven things up a bit; but if thyme isn't one of your favorite herbs, feel free to substitute it with oregano, rosemary, basil, etc.  Almost any herb will work, as long as you like the flavor of it!

The tahini was added for creaminess and a punch of healthy fats and protein.  I WOULDN'T recommend substituting the tahini with another nut/seed butter because the flavor might be overwhelming for the delicate cauliflower and carrots.  However, you might substitute the water for almond milk (or milk of choice) for additional creaminess.  We were just out, so water was all that I had.

Tahini Thyme Root Vegetable Puree
Serves 3-4

1 large head of cauliflower, cut into chunks
4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
salt and pepper, for garnish
2T Smart Balance (or butter)
1oz. cheddar cheese
2T tahini
1tsp dried thyme (scant)
1/4C water

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • Toss the chopped/diced cauliflower and carrots with the EVOO, salt, and pepper.
  • Spread onto a baking sheet; roast for 30 minutes (flipping half way).
  • Once roasted, add the cauliflower, carrots, Smart Balance, cheddar cheese, tahini, and thyme to your food processor.
  • Pulse 10-15 times.
  • After pulsing, begin to process the ingredients on low while simultaneously pouring the water into the food processor through the hatch up top.
  • Process until desired consistency is reached (I like mine relatively smooth).
  • If desired, garnish with additional salt and pepper.

Between the cauliflower head and four carrots, this recipe made more than enough for Bo and I to have generous portions for dinner, and smaller lunch portions the next day.  Because of its seasonality and bright color, I am thinking that this would make a great side dish for Thanksgiving dinner.  I don't know about you, but I would eat this puree instead of mashed potatoes any day of the week!

Question of the Day:

What is your favorite herb and/or spice to use in the kitchen?  Obviously, I am a fan of thyme; but I also love basil, rosemary, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger (among others)!

Ally and Bo

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