Sunday, March 23, 2014

Roasted Vegetables with Buttermilk Herb Sauce

Did you have a fun and festive St. Patrick’s Day?  We didn’t do too much to celebrate.  (I have a little Irish in me, but no freckles!)   I did make a cabbage dish on Monday, leaving me with half a head of green cabbage.  I love roasting wedges of cabbage, but I wanted something a little more assertive, so I decided to make an herb dressing for them.  Add in some other roasted veggies, and I came up with this recipe for Roasted Vegetables with Buttermilk Herb Sauce.
Buttermilk is not something I grew up with, so I can’t really say much about it.  It does have a pleasantly sour taste that adds complexity to baked goods (think pancakes) and sauces.   If you add a lot of dill and pepper to this recipe, you’d have something very close to ranch dressing, but without all the chemicals and preservatives in bottled or packaged varieties.  I used parsley because that’s what I had but I’d like to try it next time with a big handful of tarragon.  If you grow your own herbs, this is the perfect canvas for trying new flavor combinations!
I served the sauce over roasted cabbage wedges and roasted golden beets.  Here is a list of other vegetables I think this would taste good on:  carrots, leeks, green beans, baked potatoes, and Brussels sprouts with bacon.  I served this with balsamic-glazed salmon last night, and you know what?  The sauce went great on the fish too!  I had a little sauce left over, so this morning I used it to make chicken salad for my husband’s lunch.  Find your own way with this delightfully green and springy sauce—start here!

Roasted Vegetables with Buttermilk Herb Sauce

  • 4 beets
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 head green cabbage
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 4 green onions
  • handful of fresh herbs:  use parsley, tarragon, dill, or a combination of these
  • 1 clove garlic or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • squeeze of lemon if desired (I used a big squeeze – okay, two big squeezes!)
  1. Preheat oven to 400*F.  Prepare the beets for roasting:  Wash them and remove any greens from the top.  In a large rectangle of aluminum foil, place the beets, root tip facing up, in the middle.  Drizzle with a little olive oil, maybe a tablespoon total.  Wrap up the beets in the foil and place in a pie plate or Pyrex bowl.  Bake for one hour or until they give when you push on them.  Set aside to cool.
  2. While the beets are baking, prepare the cabbage: Cut out the core of the cabbage, then cut the cabbage into 4 wedges.  Place them on a foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle each wedge with about 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil.  After the beets have been in the oven for half an hour or so, add the cabbage.  Bake for about 15 minutes, then flip them over and bake again for about ten minutes.  (The time will vary depending on your oven, your cabbage, et cetera.  You want the cabbage to get golden and a little crispy at the edges, but not too dark!)
  3. While the vegetables are cooking, combine buttermilk, yogurt, green onions, herbs, and garlic in a food processor.  Taste it…need more garlic?  Go ahead!  Add salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon if you like and blend again.  Taste to make sure it’s yummy, and then put in the fridge until ready to serve.
  4. Skin the beets:  once they are cool enough to handle simply slip the skins off with your fingers.  If you are using red beets, you may want to wear gloves, since they will turn your fingers pink!
  5. On each plate, lay down a wedge of cabbage and a beet cut into quarters.  Serve the hot veggies with the cold buttermilk herb sauce.

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