Thursday, February 9, 2012

Feelin' Saucy

Healthy is healthy, but there ain't no one on earth that can convince me that steamed veggies are tastier than grilled or roasted vegetables.

Yes, aren't adding any fat to them and, if you do it quick enough, steaming can keep most of those nutrients intact.  But it always taste like...mush.

If you ask me, I'd much rather use a little bit of oil and blast those suckers with some heat (whether it be from a grill or an oven) and bring out those natural sugars to intensify their flavors.

And then hit 'em with a little (emphasis on "little") somethin' somethin' to make it feel like a meal.

So I played around in the kitchen and came up with a lovely "vinaigrette.

 Roasted Red Pepper and Sun Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

 Kalamatas and capers provide a nice briney balance to the sweetness.
The clementine juice in this velvety sauce brings a wonderful brightness making it muy delicious on veggies or fish.  I like to roast my own peppers (mainly because I love that charred smell that fills the kitchen).  Feel free to use a jarred pepper, but rinse thoroughly before blending.

1 red pepper
5 sun dried tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fresh clementine juice (about 3 clementines)
1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbl fresh tarragon
1/4 cup olive oil
salt 'n pepper

Place pepper directly on a gas burner on high heat and char all sides.  It sounds kind of like a campfire! Once the pepper is blackened, place in a shallow glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap to sweat that sucker for about 15 minutes or until it's cool enough to handle.  (You can also use an outdoor grill or broil them for 45 minutes.  I find the cook top a faster method.)

Once cooled, remove the charred, blackened skin and seeds.  Just paw at it, that should do the trick.  Give the flesh a rough chop and transfer to a food processor along with the tomatoes, garlic, juice, vinegar and tarragon.  Whir it up until it's smooth.  With the motor running, slowly drizzle olive oil until incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper.

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