Archive for the ‘Balsamic’ Category

While I love my organic vegetable box, I am apt to find myself overloaded with root vegetables come winter. And as much as I love eating carrots, beets, carrots, carrots, turnips, carrots, parsnips, and carrots yet again, I find they easily become boring mid-winter. I’m always looking for new ways to make them more exciting.

While planning a dinner for friends (and trying to use up my accumulated root veggies collection…), I remembered a simple, yet delicious dish my aunt and uncle served me most recently at Thanksgiving (thanks Liz&Dan!). They make a fabulous 7-veggie roasted root vegetable mix, combining the earthy combination of onions, celergy root, turnip, sweet potatoes, potatoes, carrots, and parsnips. To dress up the veg, they toss them not only in oil prior to roasting, but also balsamic vinegar, which results in a delightful glaze.

This dish is easy to prepare, but requires some time to peel and chop the root veg. My aunt and uncle usually leave out beets, as the vibrant red stains other vegetables, but beets are one of my favourites, so I tried this recipe with candy cane beets.  It worked out great if you can get your hands on some (no staining!) or golden beets would also be a good work around. I’m also a fan of roasted brussel sprouts, so included them in my mix.  Feel free to use whatever mix of vegetables you love. The leftovers are great reheated or served cold with some leafy greens.


Balsamic-Glazed Roasted Root Vegetables

(serving size varies depending on the number of veggies you choose to include in the mix!)


Selection of root vegetables, peeled and cut into ~2 cm cubes:

  • Onion
  • Celery root
  • Turnip
  • Sweet Potato
  • Potato
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Beets (to avoid staining other veg, use candy cane or golden beets)
  • Brussels sprouts

Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Salt & pepper to taste

Mix of your favourite herbs, dried or fresh, finely chopped:

  • basil
  • thyme
  • oregano
  • rosemary
  • parsley

Veggies ready to roast! 


Preheat oven to 400 F.

Prepare root veggies by washing, peeling, and then chopping them into ~2 cm (3/4 inch) cubes. If using, clean and trim the Brussels sprouts and leave whole or halve if large.

In a large bowl, toss veggies with oil and vinegar and herbs to taste. Transfer to a large baking dish (e.g. 8×13 Pyrex) and bake for ~75-90 mins, or until vegetables are baked through and sides are browned. Stir roasting veggies every 20-30 minutes to cook evenly.


Bon appetit!



Read Full Post »

Halifax’s growing season continues to surprise me, if only because local strawberries are still in their prime come the end of September!  I was looking for an excuse to cook something savoury with them, when I happened upon some fishcakes in the grocery store.  The fishmonger recommended I pair it with a salsa, so, inspired, I decided to marry the strawberries with cherry yellow tomatoes and balsamic.

Gems from Halifax's market: strawberries, yellow cherry tomatoes, and kale.

The sweet cherry yellow tomatoes looked and tasted beautiful contrasted to the strawberries.  The balsamic only further deepened the flavours, while the slightly bitter cilantro piqued the salad.  My one complaint?  Against the bold flavours of the salad, the fishcake, which had too much potato and too little cod, was lost in the mix.  Next time, I’ll have to attempt my own!

If you put the balsamic glaze in a bottle, you can go wild decorating your plate!

Strawberry Tomato Salad with a Balsamic Glaze

(serves 1 strawberry and cherry tomato lover)



About a dozen strawberries, hulled and quartered

About a dozen yellow cherry tomatoes, quartered

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 shallot, finely diced

1 tablespoon balsamic reduction (you can buy balsamic vinegar already reduced at superstores, or make your own by boiling balsamic for a few minutes)

Salt and pepper to taste



Toss all the ingredients together. Adjust the strawberry,cherry, and balsamic proportion if desired.  Bon appetit!

– Catherine

Read Full Post »