Saturday, April 21, 2012

Garlic & Rosemary Roasted Warm Root Vegetable Salad di Mare

3rd Place Prize Winner for The Integrative Institute of Nutrition's "What's on Your Plate" Photo Contest

Seafood- What other ingredients are so exquisite unadorned? On their own, prawns are a star of the highest caliber, and they are so quickly and easily prepared. It's no wonder people love getting creative with them.

 Every cuisine must take color from that which comes out of the earth, and in this case, the sea, as well. I recreated a healthy salad that I enjoyed while staying on the Amalfi Coast in Italy, a region that is famous for its exquisitely fresh seafood dishes. I created a root vegetable salad of fingerling potatoes, red beets, sweet potatoes, carrots, cippolini are roasted in rosemary and garlic-infused olive oil. Prawns are lightly sauted in garlic-infused olive oil and served with heads on, traditional to the Amalfi Coast cuisine. Serving with verdant micro greens is a nice contrast to the starchiness of the root vegetables. A sprinkle of toasted pine nuts offers that unexpected crunch, and just a touch of tangy, crumbled gorgonzola cheese are like little punctuation marks throughout the dish.

Serve with a warm vinaigrette of garlic, lemon, rosemary, and extra virgin olive oil. Sauvignon Blanc is a nice wine pairing. (When you rip the heads off the shrimp, drizzle that briney juice onto the salad, as well, there's a lot of flavor in there!)

Ingredients for Root Vegetables Roast:
Root vegetable roast
  • 4 cups of fingerling, or red bliss potatoes (halved)
  • 4 small beets (peeled and halved)
  • 3 medium orange carrots (chopped into 1 inch chunks)
  • 3 medium yellow carrots  (chopped into 1 inch chunks)
  • 2 cup of sweet potatoes  (chopped into 2 inch chunks)
  • 1 cup of cippolini (miniature onions, halved)
  • 3 cups of micro greens (may use arugula, or micro blend)
  • 4 garlic cloves (2 minced finely, 2 with skins on)
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of rosemary (minced finely)
  • 1 cup of crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • ¼ cup of pine nuts
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper
Ingredients for Steaming Prawns:
  • 1 pound of jumbo prawns (peeled and cleaned)
  • ½ cup of apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup of water
  • 2 garlic cloves (smashed)
Roasted squash and herbs from our garden
Ingredients for Vinaigrette:
  • 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 cloves of roasted garlic (from root vegetable roast)
  • 1 teaspoon of rosemary (minced finely)
  • Sea salt

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Grease an 11 by 17-inch baking sheet pan with extra virgin olive oil
  3. Place vegetables and garlic cloves (with skins on) in baking sheet and toss with minced garlic, rosemary, and salt & pepper until evenly coated. Add a little more olive oil if they seem too dry
  4. Place on the middle rack and bake 45 minutes
  5. Ten minutes before the vegetables are ready to remove from the oven, prepare the prawns
  6. Place prawns in a steaming basket in a medium saucepan
  7. Add vinegar, water, and two smashed garlic cloves and bring to a boil on medium heat
  8. Steam 3-4 minutes, or just until the prawns turn pink, remove from steaming basket and set aside
  9. Remove the roasted root vegetables from the oven and remove the two whole garlic cloves from the batch
  10. Remove the garlic from their skins (the garlic will be soft from roasting) and using a mortar and pestle, combine the two garlic cloves with a pinch of sea salt and mash to a paste
  11. Add the rosemary, juice of one lemon, and extra virgin olive oil. Stir to thoroughly combine
  12. Toss the prawns with the roasted root vegetables and micro greens, then drizzle the vinaigrette over the entire salad and toss again
  13. Allow guests to add their own crumbled Gorgonzola cheese and pine nuts
   Serves 5-6 people

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