Spicy Maple Roasted Root Vegetables

Welcome to week two, friends. Continuing with the sweet and spicy theme, this time we’re pairing maple with a snazzy piri piri spice blend on some lovely roasted root vegetables perfect for cozy evenings.

Roasted Spicy Maple Veggies {{Baking Bytes}}

Sweet and spicy is my favorite combination and in my opinion nothing works quite so well on the sweet side as maple syrup. With its own robust flavor, maple is nicely complemented by a number of spicy additions, my own favorite being chipotle. I ventured slightly off my beaten path in favor of using Olivelle’s Piri Piri World Spice blend, featuring a number of different chili peppers and a hint of lemon. It packs quite a bit of heat which means the tin will last other wusses like me quite a long time.

Roasted Spicy Maple Veggies {{Baking Bytes}}

I actually made this recipe a bit differently the first time, and then promptly re-made it after the release of their Vanilla Maple Olive Oil at the end of September. I knew immediately it was perfect for this recipe and round two was even better than the first iteration. (I originally used Caramelized Garlic, which you can see in the round one pictures.)

Roasted Spicy Maple Veggies {{Baking Bytes}}

You can use any firm vegetables here, but I chose a mixture of my favorite fall options. Acorn (or butternut) squash are prolific this time of year, and go well with both sweet and savory flavors. Sweet potatoes are a staple in my world and I rounded out the festive orange ensemble with carrot. Pumpkin would also work nicely to keep monochromatic medley, or for some contrasting color add Brussels sprouts as I did in my second batch.

Roasted Spicy Maple Veggies {{Baking Bytes}}

The maple flavor of the olive oil is not sweet, but has an amazing savory profile that works perfectly with the heat of the spice blend. I rounded mine out with a bit of Cumin Spice Sea Salt, to add just a bit more depth to the whole shebang.

For that hint of sweet and a boost of maple flavor, the roasted veggies are lightly drizzled with pure maple syrup and then popped in the oven for a few more minutes to let it caramelize a bit. I kept mine more on the spicy side than the sweet side, but for a more standard glazed carrot experience just up the maple syrup to two or more tablespoons. Sweet, spicy, and cozy, this recipe is definitely going to become a go-to on cold days.

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A perfect complement to any fall dinner, the sweet and spicy combination brings some warmth and fun to any meal. It’s perfect for Thanksgiving too, going beyond those traditional sugar-filled recipes and adding a little something extra to the table. On the off chance you have any leftovers, it’s also perfect atop a spinach salad or underneath a fried egg.

Spicy Maple Roasted Root Vegetables

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 large carrots, peeled and diced1
1 small butternut or acorn squash, peeled and diced
1 medium sweet potato, diced

2 Tbsp Vanilla Maple (or Caramelized Garlic) Olive Oil
3/4 tsp Piri Piri World Spice, to taste2
1/4 tsp Cumin Spice Sea Salt

1-2 Tbsp pure maple syrup, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly spray a baking sheet with oil or non-stick spray.
  2. Combine all veggies in a medium bowl, and add olive oil and spice blend. Use a rubber scraper to toss until well coated.
  3. Spread veggies evenly on prepared baking sheet (save your bowl), and roast for 15-20 minutes, until just before done.
  4. Return veggies to the bowl and toss with maple syrup. Spread back onto the baking sheet and roast another 3-5 minutes to allow syrup to lightly caramelize.
  5. Serve promptly.

Notes

About 4-6 cups total veggies, so mix and match to your heart’s content.

For a mild experience, use 1/2 teaspoon, or if you like more heat, increase to 1 or 1 1/2 teaspoons.

Rhubarbamom Crisp Ice Cream

Week four already! Is it just me or did the month fly by? For our last ice cream adventure in National Ice Cream Month, I’ve saved my favorite of this year’s collection.

Rhubarbamom Crisp Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

I had actually set out to make another recipe (which I may still revisit another time), but lost motivation with that one after coming across the pairing of rhubarb and cardamom. I am a huge cardamom fan (second only to cinnamon) and I love the twist it brings to otherwise classic desserts. Rhubarb pie and crisp are two of my favorite things, and I personally prefer the filling unadulterated by an accompanying fruit. Tart rhubarb and a side of ice cream are a match made in delicious heaven, so I decided to roll the whole thing into one. Inspired in name by the Rhubarbian cocktail at Nordic Brewworks, rhubarbamom crisp ice cream was born.

Rhubarbamom Crisp Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

An easy rhubarb cardamom compote is the major component of this particular ice cream. Smooth, tart, and just a little spicy, it would be just as great on toast or pancakes as it is swirled into this creamy dessert. It’s also an excellent way to use up last year’s rhubarb to make room for this year’s new crop.

I mixed my standard ice cream base with a generous amount of compote, choosing not to add additional sugar. This results in a lovely tart finish, but does have the side effect of the ice cream freezing rather harder than usual. You can definitely increase the sugar if you prefer a sweeter dessert or simply want to be able to enjoy the finished product straight out of the freezer.

Rhubarbamom Crisp Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

To accompany the creamy ice cream and tart compote, I baked a small batch of oatmeal crisp topping. Baked slightly crispier than you might prefer solo, it softens slightly amidst the ice cream into the perfect crunchy and creamy combination. It’s addicting on its own so do your best not to eat all straight off the pan while it cools.

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After the ice cream churns, you’ll layer it into the container with extra compote and the crumbled topping before freezing. The pretty swirl and crispy oatmeal found in every bite are not only visually pleasing, but superbly delicious. If desired, top with a dollop of addition compote and crisp, and enjoy as the perfect end to a hot summer day.

Rhubarbamom Crisp Ice Cream

Makes about 6 cups

Ingredients

2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups rhubarb cardamom compote, divided (below)
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup egg beaters
1/4 cup sugar, optional1
1 cup oatmeal crisp topping (below)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together cream, half and half, egg beaters, and 1 1/2 cups rhubarb cardamom compote. Taste, and add sugar if desired.
  2. Chill until completely cooled, at least four fours. Place a freezer-safe bowl into your freezer.
  3. Freeze mixture according to your ice cream maker’s directions.
  4. Spoon 1/4 of the mixture into your chilled container. Drizzle with a spoonful of additional rhubarb cardamom compote and 1/4 cup oatmeal crisp topping.
  5. Repeat layers with remaining ice cream, then freeze until firm.
  6. Soften on the counter for about 20 minutes prior to serving.

Notes

I personally did not add more sugar because I like my rhubarb desserts to be quite tart. If you prefer a sweeter experience or don’t want the ice cream to freeze quite so hard, add the extra amount.

Rhubarb Cardamom Compote

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients

4 cups frozen rhubarb, thawed and drained
1 cup sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
6-10 cardamom pods, seeded
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine all ingredients.
  2. Heat over medium, stirring often, until rhubarb is softened and breaks apart.
  3. Use an immersion blender to puree the compote until smooth.
  4. Let cool on the counter briefly, then store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Notes

Words

Oatmeal Crisp Topping

Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients

1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (not quick oats)
1/2 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup butter, cold

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with a silicon mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
  3. Use a box grater to grate cold butter directly into the bowl (or dice it by hand and add it).
  4. Mix together with your hands, mashing the butter into the flour mixture until well combined.
  5. Crumble onto prepared baking sheet, then bake 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  6. Let cool completely, then crumble into an airtight container and store on the counter until ready to use.

Lavender Honey Chèvre Ice Cream

Happy July folks and welcome to round SIX of National Ice Cream Month! Crazy to think I’ve been doing this for so long but it’s honestly my favorite part of the blog year. I hope you’re ready for some new favorites because I’m pretty excited about this year’s lineup.

Honey Lavender Chevre Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Week one makes use of one of my favorite delicately sweet flavors: lavender. Since discovering lavender creme brûlée at a since-closed local restaurant, I’ve used it across many ice cream flavors. This year I was searching for something lighter and a bit more subtle, and the prevalence of lavender, honey, and goat cheese combinations inspired me to create my own version here.

Honey Lavender Chevre Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

Subtly flavored with lavender (although you can pump that up to your heart’s content) gives this ice cream a light and summery feel. Partially sweetened with honey, it has that somewhat caramel-like note I personally think blends beautiful. I added a small amount of goat cheese for a little tang, reminiscent of cheesecake without feeling heavy.

Honey Lavender Chevre Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

This ice cream is all that smooth and creamy goodness you’re craving with a light flavor that is fully capable on its own but I’m sure would also blend beautifully with your favorite blueberry dessert. I’ve yet to have both a blueberry pie and a batch of this ice cream ready at the same time, but one day I will test my hypothesis. If you get to it first, be sure to let me know your thoughts.

Honey Lavender Chevre Ice Cream {{Baking Bytes}}

 

Round out your holiday weekend with a slightly less traditional dessert, and get ready for more ice creams and salads headed your way.

Lavender Honey Chèvre Ice Cream 

Makes ~6 cups

Ingredients

1 cup whole milk
1-2 Tbsp culinary lavender1

2 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream (ish)
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup chèvre (goat cheese)

1/2 cup egg substitute
1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. Gently crush the lavender buds with a spoon (or a mortar and pestle, if you’re fancier than I am).
  2. In a small saucepan, heat milk on medium until it just starts to simmer, then remove from heat. Add lavender to the milk and allow it to steep for at least 30 minutes. Taste and when it starts to seem too strong, proceed to next step.
  3. Pour milk through a fine mesh strainer into a measuring cup to remove the lavender buds, pressing gently on the buds to release the most flavorful milk.
  4. Return to lavender milk to saucepan over medium heat and add enough heavy cream to bring the total to 3 cups.
  5. Add honey, sugar, and chèvre and whisk until smooth. (You can steep in some extra lavender at this point if it tastes too subtle.)
  6. Remove from the heat and whisk in egg and vanilla. Chill thoroughly, or overnight.
  7. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s directions, then place in a cold freezer-safe bowl to freeze for an additional four hours, or overnight.
  8. A sprinkling of lavender buds makes a beautiful topping.

Notes

1 My lavender is losing its potency so I ended up at 5 tsp and should’ve used 6, but I would start with 4 tsp and see how you feel.

Red, White, and Blueberry Salad

Happy July, folks! Halfway through the year and super psyched for the last round of posts for National Ice Cream Month! Are you excited? I’m excited. Each Frozen Friday of July will feature a new flavor, and I hope at least one of them leaves you with a new project for the weekend. (I’ll be breaking from the norm and posting the ice cream recipes in the morning, in case you need to make a grocery stop on your way from from work.)

You might be wondering how salad fits in here. For my regularly scheduled Wednesday programming, I’ll be featuring a salad series to balance a decadent month of dessert. Lots of different flavor profiles to look forward to and there should be a little something for everyone.

Beet & Blueberry Salad {{Baking Bytes}}

First up is this red, white, and blueberry salad. This salad is served chilled which makes it easy peasy to make a couple of hours ahead (just pop the whole bowl in the fridge) and you’re all set. With no lettuce to wilt it’s great for potlucks and barbecues and a festive addition to your holiday parties that isn’t completely full of sugar.

Roasted beets are something I love immensely but rarely make because they’re a bit messy. I promise you the the pink hands and counters and bowls are all worth it here. Earthy and sweet, beets are wonderful chilled and warmed alike, which makes them extremely versatile across many dishes, including my favorite breakfast hash and sandwich at Jam. I nearly always order one or the other there, depending on if I want eggs or bread with my beets.

Beet & Blueberry Salad {{Baking Bytes}}

Complementing the beets is some tart apple and fresh blueberry. I love apple in salads for the crunch, and using a green one here is a delightful juxtaposition from the sweetness of the beets and blueberries. A simple white balsamic vinegar adds a lovely tang without the heaviness of a proper vinaigrette and a little bit of mint brings a summery freshness to the whole ordeal. As it stands this recipe is vegan, but if you want to include the creamy factor, goat cheese is always the answer in my world. (For the anti-goat cheese crown, Feta or parmesan are great substitutes.)

Pop some beets in the oven this evening so they’re ready to go tomorrow, and you’ll be all set for a lovely holiday side dish in no time!

Beet & Blueberry Salad {{Baking Bytes}}

PS – If you are one of those people that can’t stand beets, I forgive you. Make it a fun fruit salad by substituting watermelon instead!

Red, White, and Blueberry Salad

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

3 large beets, roasted1, chilled, and spiralized or diced
1 medium green apple, cut into matchsticks
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup (Barrel Aged) white balsamic vinegar, to taste

4-6 oz goat cheese (or Feta or parmesan), crumbled or shaved
large handful fresh mint leaves, chiffonade cut

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, toss beets with 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar until well coated. Transfer to serving bowl(s).
  2. Rinse bowl (so it’s not pink) and toss apple and blueberries with 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar until well coated. Spread evenly over the beets.
  3. Crumble cheese and mint atop the salad and drizzle with remaining balsamic vinegar, or more to taste.
  4. Serve promptly or chill until ready to eat.

Notes

If you’ve never roasted beets before, this is the method I use!

Squash & Lemon Spiral Tart

Springtime means lemon in my brain, so when I saw this spiral tart from Bunsen Burner Bakery I knew I wanted to incorporate that flavor. A lemon hummus seemed the perfect accompaniment to a series of veggies and I set out to test this hypothesis.

Squash & Lemon Spiral Tart {{Baking Bytes}}

The bright flavor of lemon is complimented by a generous amount of garlic. I opted to use my hefty supply Olivelle products but you can use standard varieties if needed. The turmeric lifts the yellow coloring up a notch which isn’t necessary for the tart but it’s beautiful for a party platter. You’ll have plenty of leftover hummus to enjoy on its own, and it provides a lovely creamy base for this tart without any additional sogginess.

Squash & Lemon Spiral Tart {{Baking Bytes}}

My trusty no-fail pie crust recipe is the base for this delicious dish. Since I don’t have a tart pan (something I should probably rectify, pronto) I used a standard 9″ pie plate, which works just fine. I love this pie crust recipe because it never gets over browned, but you can easily substitute your own go-to pastry here if you wish.

Squash & Lemon Spiral Tart {{Baking Bytes}}

The flaky pastry and crisp lemon flavor of the hummus blend beautifully into a base for all your veggies of choice. I chose zucchini, carrot, summer squash, and eggplant, but feel free to use whatever you have laying around the kitchen that you can slice with a mandolin. You’ll want veggies thin enough to bend, but no thinner. On my mandolin I used the thinnest setting for the carrot and the next one up for the rest of the vegetables, but definitely do a test slice to see what makes sense for yours.

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Concentric rings of vegetable goodness are pleasing to the eye and the tongue. Finished with a bit of rosemary (or your favorite herb) for a spark of flavor and a pretty garnish, this tart is a prefect addition to your next brunch. This tart is inherently vegan (presuming you use a vegan pie crust) but for the rest of us a sprinkle of goat cheese is the perfect topping for each piece. To round out the meal, I enjoyed mine with a side of eggs and fruit.

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This tart would be sure to please at a Mother’s Day brunch, or to brighten any regular day too. If you have any leftovers, they are excellent cold or reheated in the oven, so be sure to enjoy every last bite!

Squash & Lemon Spiral Tart

Inspired by Bunsen Burner Bakery
Makes one 9″ tart

Ingredients

pastry for a single-crust pie

1 medium zucchini
1 small eggplant
1 small yellow squash
3 large carrots
1 Tbsp (Caramelized Garlic ) olive oil

1/2 cup lemon garlic hummus (below)

1-2 tsp fresh rosemary or other herb

lemon garlic hummus (adapted from Well and Full)
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 Tbsp (Caramelized Garlic or Sicilian Lemon) olive oil (I used 2 Tbsp Garlic and 1 Tbsp Lemon)
2 Tbsp tahini
1-3 cloves garlic (depending on if you’re using infused oil)
zest and juice from 1 large lemon
1/2 tsp (Garlic) salt
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Make ahead: add all hummus ingredients to a food processor, starting with half the lemon juice, and process until smooth. Taste and add additional lemon juice (for flavor) or oil (for consistency) as needed. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Gently lay pastry in a 9″ pie plate or tart pan. Trim and crimp the edges, as desired. Refrigerate pastry for 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Prick pastry generously all over with a fork (or use pie weights if you prefer) and bake for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool while you prepare the veggies.
  5. Use a mandolin to thinly slice all the veggies. (On mine I used setting 2 for the squash and eggplant, and setting 1 for the carrots.) Add all the slices to a large bowl and use your hands to gently toss in olive oil. Don’t add too much oil because the eggplant likes to soak it all up!
  6. Retrieve the pastry and spread 1/2 cup of hummus evenly along the bottom.
  7. Starting from the outside, layer the strips of veggies in whatever order you like; I opted for a repeating pattern of concentric circles but it’s totally up to you.
  8. Spray with olive oil (or lightly brush it on) and sprinkle with rosemary or herb of choice.
  9. Bake for 45 minutes or until vegetables are tender and starting to crisp, and crust is a golden brown. If necessary (it wasn’t for me) you can cover the crust edges with foil if they are browning too quickly.
  10. Serve warm, optionally topped with goat cheese. Goes great with a side of eggs and fruit!
  11. Store leftovers in the fridge. I suspect it’d last about 3 days but I can’t confirm because we ate it all before then. Enjoy chilled or reheat in the [toaster] oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.