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We’re going to do a roasted summer vegetable salad, those are all the rules. Roasted vegetables that you get all summer long that are available all summer long and we’re going to use it as a salad. So we’ve selected red onion, yellow bells, red bells, fresh asparagus, zucchini, you could as well use a summer squash, yellow squash, butternut squash anything that you want. When I said butternut squash I actually peel them obviously but it comes to a nice finish at the oven.
We’re going to add a little purple potatoes today, again it could be anything that works in the medley as along as you concern yourselves with color and textures and flavors that work together. I wouldn’t recommend turnips or rutabagas because they don’t cook up as nicely this way. They do roast well but you want something that’s going to stay crisp. We’re not looking for something that’s mushy and soft. We want some crunch to them because we’re also going to change them.
It’s not going to be a company with another meal, it’s going to be a pre course, its going to be a salad appetizer. We’re going to serve it with some crusty bread. It could be served warm; it could be served the next day cold. I recommend it warm. Lets finish them up right now, so I’ll take some asparagus and when you’re cleaning your asparagus, take your asparagus and bend it, wherever it breaks that’s the part where it starts being tender. So I'm just going to cut up more asparagus, we’re going to cut wedges and the red onions add some of those. I've got a way of cutting red peppers because I've always see people trying to cut the little curved part and them it get all uneven so I take the top off and take the bottom off, now we just have to cut straight down, lay your knife flat, roll it out and now we have a nice even piece to cut and you can treat those.
In this, we want to cut them not in thin strips but cut them thicker so that they roast without getting limp. And these we’re just going to cut out into thick pieces as well. we try to be uniform but more uniform t the size and the exact shapes of everything. And then potatoes, we’re going to add purple potatoes. We’re going to treat this again like it’s a salad so we’re going to add oil, liberally because we’re going to be roasting it, salt and I always use Kosher salt or sea salt because it’s a little easier for the and to feel and its less saline. There’s less salinity to the kosher salt. We’re adding oregano, sounds like normal Italian vinaigrette. We’re going to dump it all on this bigger bowl; we’re just going to toss everything. Now, its got a great color and again its going to be an appetizer.
It’s sort of like eating vegetables in dip without having to work so hard and giving a little bit more excitement to it. We’ll bake those; my jalapeño is in the back. We’re going to take a cookie sheet and line those up on that. Again, the vegetables if you wanted to put tomatoes in here I would recommend using the teardrop tomato or a cherry tomato and putting it in just before you take them out off the oven. You want them to get mushy. Thank you. We’re just going to line those in there, now there’s a lot of bulk here but it’ll cook out, it’ll cook down. In every so often if you want you could go into the oven and turn them a little bit, get those working, okay. I've got some working already. Lets just stir these little bit; you could also see some of them browning, a little caramelizing going on. That’s going to take a few minutes.
The presentation, if you wanted to pile them all like family style that would work well. If you wanted to do it individual, one of the ideas I had to show is we would put them with some ciabatta. The ciabatta is slipper bread, literally translated. When you buy these in Italy, it’s very wet dough and the bakers would take the dough and they’d pull them, and they let go. When they let go, the ends would stick up, so that would kind of look like the old fashioned slipper. I never wore them but that’s what they say about old fashioned slippers the ciabatta, that’s what that means.
We’ll take a lot of parsley and get that just for garnish. We always want to make everything look well. Now you could grill the bread, toast it over the flame. Again, if you had one of those baskets that works on your barbecue you could put that on your barbecue, throw all of your vegetables in there. Let them toast and roast them over the coals. And then you could actually grill the bread, drizzle it a little bit of garlic and oil. We’re going to top the vegetables and then sprinkle some fresh herbs on there.
In the actual cooking, you want to cook them too well done, you want to make sure that everything in there has a certain amount of crunch to it where you can recognize what it is rather than thinking roasted vegetables out that you would have surrounding a roasted beef or pot roast, you don’t want that. That’s not what we’re looking for. We’re looking for something that’s textural; you could still identify everything and identify every flavor in each one of those.
The only criteria again enhancement in critical, the critical is to not to overcook the. The enhancement is flavor them what we’re going to do talking of which flavor I've said this on a couple of my other classes; I use a Venn cookbook a lot. In Venn cook, it was cooked wine vinegar and this one happens to be infused with fresh fig, we’re going to use an extra virgin olive oil to dress our vegetable salad. And this one happens to be infused with blood oranges. So these are the flavors that we’re going to use, again these are enhancements. You can find these at any of your major gourmet shops of food stores, depending on which you already shop in. this one is fig, there is a plain cooked 918 helping, a little sweetness to it and a little thicker, little bit more of viscosity in these than what you’d notice in any regular balsamic.
I would always try to use aged balsamic vinegar. The ones you find in the store in the big jugs are red wine vinegar with caramel coloring, like you make gravies that coloring, its not really getting the benefit of balsamic vinegar. Try to find products that you can actually believe in and trust in a true balsamic, in extra virgin olive oil. Again, you can make your own infusions by just taking the zest or the peels of whatever you’re trying to work with and just let them steep into it, not hot but slightly warm and just let them steep like you would a good tea. Let’s check our vegetables.
These are just a little bit under done; I want to dress them just a little bit. Our salad, we need to toss it again to make sure that everything is flavored, just dressed there.