Brown Butter Garlic Carrots

If you have read my vegetable-focused cookbook, Meat on the Side, it was probably shocking to learn on page 108 that...I don’t like carrots.

Because as much as I’m a huge veggie fan, I have to say that not all veggies are created equal.

In my mind, carrots just fall low on the list.

But that doesn’t mean I don't eat them.

I know that the more I eat them, the more I’ll get used to them and develop a taste for them.

In other words, I'll actually learn to like them.

So when thinking about a carrot side dish, I knew I wanted it to be delicious to carrot-lovers, carrot-likers, and carrot-tolerators alike. 

And I figured the best way to do this was to invite some of my favorite things like brown butter and garlic to party.

In the end I seriously LOVED these carrots—like shockingly LOVED these carrots.

YOU MUST MAKE THEM!

Brown Butter Garlic Carrots

servings: 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch small + thin carrots, with tops (about ¾ inch in diameter and 8 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cubed sourdough bread (about 1½ ounces)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place the carrots in a single layer on a baking sheet and toss them with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast the carrots until they are tender and browned in spots—about 30 minutes. Please note that if your carrots are thicker they will take longer to cook.
  2. Meanwhile, toast the bread until it is dried out and golden brown. Then transfer the bread to a food processor and pulse until breadcrumbs form. Set these aside for later.
  3. Next, in a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the butter and swirl the pan until the butter stops foaming and bubbling and you see brown specks on the bottom of the pan—about 5 minutes. Remove the butter from the heat and allow it to cool slightly, then add the garlic followed by the carrots, and toss these ingredients together.
  4. Transfer the carrots to a plate and top with the breadcrumbs and parsley.
: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking
 

Find more recipes like this in Meat on the Side!

 

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Charred Tomato Garlic Bread

Charred Tomato Garlic Bread small.jpg

I love bread.

And by that, I mean:

I. LOVE. BREAD.

Charred Tomato Garlic Bread 1.jpg

And if you have a fresh loaf of bread, according to me (or you!), of course it’s good all on it’s own.

But let me tell you how it gets even better...

Charred Tomato Garlic Bread 2.jpg

It's so simple to char the bread in a grill pan with a little olive oil—on high heat.

It will get mouth-wateringly crusty on the outside, while still remaining soft and chewy on the inside.

Charred Tomato Garlic Bread 3.jpg

And when it’s crisp and browned, take it off of the grill pan and rub it with cut garlic and tomato.

This infuses those flavors ever-so-delicately—and just so incredibly perfectly!—into the bread.

Charred Tomato Garlic Bread 4.jpg

Sprinkle this amazing bread with salt and another drizzle of olive oil, and you have definitely transported that fresh loaf of bread to a whole new level.

Charred Tomato Garlic Bread 5.jpg

Charred Tomato Garlic Bread

servings: 4 to 6

Ingredients:

  • One 8 X 5-inch loaf ciabatta bread (or other crusty bread)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, more for drizzling
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 1 medium tomato, halved
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

  1. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Cut the loaf of bread in half length-wise and drizzle all sides of it with the olive oil. Place the bread crust side-down on the pan, and cook until grill marks appear and the bread is crusty—2 to 3 minutes. Flip the bread over, then press it down to ensure good contact with the pan; continue to cook until grill marks appear and the bread is charred in spots—2 to 3 minutes more.
  2. Remove the bread from the heat and and rub the cut side with the cut side of the garlic, going over the bread a few times. Then rub the bread with the cut side of the tomato, squeezing the juice out of the tomato and onto the bread as you do so.
  3. Sprinkle the cut side of the bread with the salt and a little extra olive oil. Serve hot and enjoy!
: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking
 

Find more recipes like this in Meat on the Side!

 

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Garlic + Parmesan Mashed Cauliflower

Mashed potatoes are wonderful, am I right?!

But when you’re looking for a healthier, more nutritious option—let’s talk about mashed cauliflower!

These days, it's not uncommon to have a Thanksgiving Day guest who steers clear of gluten.

And even if you don't, we all want to cook up something that will have everyone at the Thanksgiving table seriously wanting—maybe even needing—to go back for seconds.

It just so happens that you can serve your gluten-free friends and get everyone and their brother excited about the same fabulous food. I’m talking about a mouth-watering, velvety, cheesy side dish…

mashed cauliflower!

And not only is this dish healthy and incredibly delicious, but super simple!

Start by steaming up a little cauliflower and garlic…

Puree it with some cream cheese, Parmesan, and chives… 

And you'll find your result is the creamiest, most flavorful side dish.

It’s definitely worthy of a place next to (or in place of!) your traditional mashed potatoes.

Garlic + Parmesan Mashed Cauliflower

makes: 3 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head cauliflower (2 pounds), broken or cut into bite-size florets
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

Directions:

  1. Add the cauliflower and garlic to a large pot and fill it with just enough water so that the vegetables are covered. Simmer until the veggies are tender—about 10 minutes, then drain.
  2. Next, place the cauliflower and garlic mixture in the bowl of a food processor. Add the cream cheese, parmesan, salt, and pepper, and pulse until the mixture is smooth, but with some small lumps. When you are finished, it should look similar to mashed potatoes.
  3. Add the chives to the mixture in the food processor and pulse only a few times—just to combine. Then remove the cauliflower mash from the food processor, place in your favorite serving dish, and enjoy!
: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking
 

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Rosemary + Garlic Roasted Parsnips

I think we can all agree that a good Thanksgiving Day table includes a plethora of side dishes.

I love Thanksgiving because millions of people end up eating a “Meat On The Side” meal without really thinking about it.

As much as turkey is considered the star of the meal, most of our plates end up with just a little slab or two of it--the rest of the plate is filled up with vegetable side after vegetable side.

And even though I love the way our plates automatically become veggie-focused, many of these Thanksgiving Day sides can start to taste a little repetitive.

They all seem to be on the softer, mushier side and they all seem to be doused in cinnamon and nutmeg.

So I propose bringing some spicy, chewy, vibrant roasted parsnips to the party!

They have a delightful texture and are perfectly seasoned with rosemary, garlic, and paprika.

And if your main meal menu is already full, consider serving them as an appetizer.

There is nothing like a parsnip chip and a warm cocktail!

Rosemary + Garlic Roasted Parsnips

servings: 1 ½ cups of parsnips; serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium parsnips (about 1½ pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Peel the parsnips and then cut them into ¼- to ½-inch-thick rounds.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the parsnips with the oil, rosemary, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Spread them out on a baking sheet, and bake them for 10-15 minutes. Flip the parsnips and bake them until they are brown and crispy—another 10-15 minutes. If your rounds are of varying sizes, some may be done before others; simply remove the smaller rounds as they become brown and crispy and allow the larger rounds to continue to bake. Enjoy warm!
: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking
 

Find more recipes like this in Meat on the Side!

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Creamed Spinach Garlic Bread

 

 

Sure, you could have regular old garlic bread.

 

Yes, it is warm, garlicky, and of course, buttery.

 

 

 

 

But why not throw some creamed spinach into the mix, creating a garlic bread with a creamy, spicy base that also gives you a Popeye’s dose of spinach?!

 

 

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4th of July Recipe Round Up

 

 

The 4th of July is just around the corner and that means fun, frolicking, and most importantly FOOD. Most years I find myself making sweet treats for my niece Lucy, as her birthday falls on the 4th. We all like to gather in Fire Island to celebrate as we sing happy birthday and watch the fire works.

 

To say Lucy loves dessert is an understatement, so I always try my best to put a smile on her sweet little sugar addicted face and make her some incredible treats. No matter what you are making this July 4th it should be easy, should make people smile and if it happens to also be red white and blue than even better. So here are some of my favorite July 4th recipes that will make your weekend that much more sweet.

 

 

 

 

Red, White + Blue Sangria  by Crista at Peace.Love.Quinoa

Let’s start this 4th of July with fizzy and refreshing white wine sangria's! In this recipe she finishes her sangria off with sparkling water; I think I'm going to skip that part and finish it with some bubbly champagne! The best part about sangria is you can use whatever wine, fruit and juice you like.

 

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Roasted Garlic + Broccoli Pita

 

 

I like so many different things in life; I like to have tea on my terrace while the birds are singing and the people on the streets are yelling.  I like to find a spot in yoga class which is far enough away from the smelly man who says his “om” with a bear-like grunt.

 

 

 

 

However, the things I like most of all is to make meaty tasting meals, without the actual meat and to stretch a little bit of meat with other hearty, smoky flavors.

 

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Butter Free Garlic Bread

RECIPE:

3Tbs Low-Fat Mayo

1 container Oikos Plain Greek Yogurt

1/4tsp salt

8 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped

1/8-1/4tsp Cayenne Pepper

1tsp Fresh Thyme, finely chopped

¼ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

1 loaf bread

Combine mayo, greek yogurt, salt, garlic, cayenne pepper and thyme together. Cut loaf of bread in half and spread yogurt mixture over the cut side of the bread. Top with the parmesan cheese and cook under your broiler until top is brown and bread is crisp. Serve warm and ENJOY!

 

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Roasted Garlic

Roasted Garlic

"Obsession" is a word I don’t throw around too often. But there is one thing in my life that I will easily admit I am obsessed with...

...One thing that has found its way into my heart...

...And stomach:

GARLIC.

I. LOVE. GARLIC.

And I when I say I love garlic, I love it in all its forms. Most definitely its sweeter, softer cousin--roasted garlic.

But before you can enjoy this garlicky goodness you need to make it, and here’s how...

Roasted Garlic

servings: 1 bulb

Ingredients:

  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut off the top third of the garlic bulb, exposing all the cloves on the remainder; discard the top and place the remainder cut-side-up on a square of aluminum foil. Drizzle the oil over the cut surface and then sprinkle the salt and pepper over the top. Wrap the foil around the garlic, making sure it doesn't touch the cut surface, and seal tightly. Roast the garlic until it is golden brown and soft--45 to 60 minutes.

Notes:

: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking

 

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Roasted Garlic + Basil Hummus

Roasted Garlic Basil Hummus

I have a tendency to overdo things.

Bigger. Bolder. Spicier...These are words I like!

When I first started cooking, my spice cabinet became my favorite new toy and anything I made included at least ten of my little friends. Any given day, you could especially find me hanging out with my best buddies, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, and Red Pepper Flakes.

We were having a great time. But...the romance couldn’t last.

As much as I loved the kick of flavor my friends added to my new creations, sometimes it was just too much. It took me a long time to accept that more isn’t always better.

Eventually the romance did fade and my favorite buddies and I saw each other less and less...

But the happy part is that every romance that ends--or every door that closes--allows for something new to be born...

Like this simple and perfect hummus: the new love of my life. 

Roasted Garlic + Basil Hummus

Ingredients:

  • One 15-to-19-ounce can garbanzo beans (a.k.a. chick peas)
  • 2 bulbs Roasted Garlic
  • 10 large fresh basil leaves
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • ¼ - ½ cup olive oil

Directions:

  1. Combine the garbanzo beans, Roasted Garlic, basil leaves, and salt in a food processor and pulse.
  2. Stream in the olive oil while your food processor is on until you get a smooth consistency.

Notes:

  • As with many dips, the longer this hummus sits in the fridge, the better it tastes.
  • Don’t be afraid of salt! This needs quite a bit!
  • Find more info on roasted garlic at CookNovel.com.
: @NikkiDinki

: @NikkiDinkiCooking

 

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Basil + Mint Pesto

 

 

Everybody loves herbs, basil is an Italian staple, Rosemary is meat’s best friend and parsley seems to find it’s way into everything...and mint...well mint...um mint...well mint...makes...a great cocktail?!

True enough, but let’s give poor mint a little more credit!!

 

 

 

 

Mint’s fresh and vibrant flavor simply screams summer. And quite frankly Mr. Mint is sick of being thought of as a dessert/cocktail-only herb. He is ready to please you palate and make his mark on your dinner plate.

So to celebrate him and his delightfully minty ways I bring you...this pesto!!

 

 

 

 

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