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ROASTED VEGETABLES WITH CHEDDAR CRUST
A delightful hearty and healthy recipe for those cold winter nights! Comfort food isn’t always healthy, but this recipe incorporates as many veggies as possible. This savory, country-style recipe is also EXTREMELY adaptable. It is very easy to vary the vegetables used so long as it is a root or fall vegetable that is dense enough to withstand roasting, otherwise just add the veggies at the end (i.e. tomatoes, etc.). The crust is easy to prepare in advance and comes together quickly in a Vitamix or Blendtec, but you can use a food processor as well. Making this with gluten-free flour also works, with no other adjustments; if using an alternative flour, keep in mind that the necessary liquid added may vary. The consistency should be crumbly, but able to stick when pinched. We actually tried this roasted veggie recipe TWICE, because the first one disappeared quickly at the Thanksgiving table! I look upon this recipe as Grade A+ comfort food.
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For the crust
- 1 1/4 cups white whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces
- 3 tablespoons canola or extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons ice water
For the filling
- 2 leeks white and light green parts only, coarsely chopped and rinsed
- 1 pound small broccoli florets or Brussels sprouts trimmed and cut in half
- 2 small or 1 large fennel bulb cored and thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1 head garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1/3 cup black olive tapenade
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
To prepare crust:
- Coat an 8- by 12-inch rectangular or an 11-inch round removable-bottom tart pan with cooking spray.
- Place flour, cheddar cheese and cornmeal into your blender jar; pulse to combine.
- For Vitamix: Set to Variable Speed 10 and turn off and on to pulse OR use PULSE feature, approximately three times.
- For Blendtec: Pulse approximately three times.
- Add butter one piece at a time, pulsing two or three times after each addition, until incorporated.
- Add oil and water and pulse just until the dough starts to come together.
- Turn the dough out into the prepared pan (it will be crumbly), spread evenly and press firmly into the bottom and all the way up the sides to form a crust. Refrigerate (for up to three days!) until ready to bake.
To prepare filling
- Preheat oven to 450°F (232ºC).
- Spread leeks, broccoli (or Brussels sprouts), fennel and onion in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet along with the unpeeled head of garlic. Season the vegetables with rosemary, salt and pepper. Drizzle oil over the vegetables and garlic and toss to coat.
- Place vegetables in the oven and roast until the vegetables are tender when pierced with a knife and the garlic is soft, approximately 35 to 45 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven, set aside the garlic, and toss the vegetables with vinegar. Let cool.
- When the vegetables are done, reduce oven temperature to 350°F (176°C). Bake the crust for 15 minutes, or until set (but not browned).
- Place the tart pan on a baking sheet. Spread olive tapenade over the bottom of the crust. Top with the roasted vegetables. Cut off the top of the head of garlic and squeeze out the cloves onto the vegetables. Sprinkle with goat cheese.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until edges brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting into squares. Enjoy warm!
- All done! Enjoy!! Now take a photo, rate it, and share your accomplishments! 🙂 Tag @BlenderBabes & #BlenderBabes
HEALTH BENEFITS OF LEEKS AND FENNEL
Leeks are a mild onion that add flavor to a dish, but they’re also high in vitamins and minerals. One serving of leeks is about a third of your daily recommended allowance for Vitamin C, which serves to boost immunity and improve the health of your skin, bones, teeth, and nails. Folate from leeks is heart-healthy as it prevents heart disease. Leeks are also packed with potassium, which regulates fluids as well as protects bone health and prevents osteoporosis.
Fennel has long been used as a health and culinary product. It aids in digestion and has both iron and amino acid histidine, both of which prevent anemia! Fennel is also a powerful anti-flatulent, so this meal is a great one to have at big family gatherings.