Spring Dinner

As soon as we get a glimmer of nice weather I am outside- bbqing, playing in the garden and backyard. It may not actually be Spring yet, but it is March so let’s celebrate that.

I have been craving BBQ so yesterday I made this Bourbon Barbeque Sauce and marinated chicken legs in it all day. It made enough for two batches, so I marinated another pack of chicken and popped it in the freezer for another day.

I also made my favorite summer salad, which is the roasted vegetable salad from Whitewater Cooks wherein I take whatever roastable veg I have on hand and toss it in the oven. It comes with one of my favorite dressing, which i make a whole whack of and use on everything for the following week. It has Maple syrup in it. Yum! The salad also keeps for a week if you don’t add the dressing to it so I always leave the dressing off and eat it for lunch for the following week, changing it up with greens, grains and cheese.

Lastly, I made Barley and added some fennel fronds and tossed that on top of the salad after. This is a really nice and easy summer meal. The roasted veg does take some time (and coordinating!) but if you get that in the oven, then you can do the rest in the amount of time it takes the root veg to roast.

I hope you enjoy these recipes and happy (almost) spring!

Ingredients
Method

Bourbon Barbeque Sauce

 
1/2
Onion, minced (I used sweet onion)
4 cloves
Garlic, crushed
3/4 cup
Bourbon
1/2 tsp
Fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp
Salt ( I use Vancouver Island Sea Salt)
2 cups
Ketchup
1/4 cup
Tomato Paste
1/3 cup
Cider vinegar
2 Tbsp
Liquid smoke flavor
1/4 cup
Worcestershire
1/2 cup
Brown sugar
1/3 tsp
Hot sauce, your choosing



In a large sauce pot over medium heat, add a splash of oil and add the onions. Allow to saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want a nice golden brown color to add lots of flavor to sauces. Next, add the garlic and whiskey, stirring till blended. Mix in pepper, salt, ketchup, tomato paste, vinegar, liquid smoke, worcestershire, brown sugar and hot sauce.

Bring to a boil. Stirring often, so the bottom doesn't burn. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for twenty minutes. If you prefer a small sauce, run it through the blender, then a sieve. I like mine textured so I left mine and it turned out super tasty. I used mine on chicken legs, but you could used on pork loin, steak, burgers, ribs or tofu.

Recipe from: All Recipes

   
Ingredients
Method

Roasted Vegetable Salad

 
 
Salad:
2
Sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
3
Beets, peeled and cut into ¾ inch chunks
2
 Parsnips, peeled and cut into ¾ inch pieces
1
Fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced into strips
1
Red onion, chopped into 1 inch chunks
1
Zucchini, cut into 1 inch chunks
1
Eggplant, cubed into 1 inch chunks
2
Peppers, chopped into 1 inch chunks
½ cup
Olive oil
1 tsp
Salt
1 tsp
Pepper
 
Garnish with hemp hearts and any grain you may have on hand. I like to serve it with bulgar, quinoa or barley as well.
 
Dressing:
1/3 cup
Balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp
Maple syrup
2 Tbsp
Grainy Dijon mustard
1 tsp
Sea Salt
1 tsp
Black pepper
2/3 cup
Olive oil (or whichever you prefer)
1 cup
Fresh basil, chopped



First off, I get the eggplant going, as you need to peel, cut and salt the pieces. This brings out the bitterness in this versatile vegetable. I leave the salt on for about 15 minutes and in meantime prepare other veg. Once you are ready, rinse and pat dry. Add in to the bowl with onion and fennel, etc.

Wash and prepare all vegetables.  Place parsnips and sweet potatoes in one bowl, beets in their own bowl, and remaining vegetables in another bowl.

Whisk together oil, salt and pepper.  Divide oil mixture among the 3 bowls and toss to coat.

Put the parsnips, sweet potatoes and beets on one parchment lined baking sheet, leaving a gap between the beets and other vegetables.  Put the rest of the vegetables on another parchment lined baking sheet.

Roast for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  When the onions are softened, remove the onion mixture from the oven and set aside to cool.  Continue to cook the remaining vegetables until they are tender and a little crisp (another 20-25 minutes), then remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Combine all the dressing ingredients, except the basil.  When the vegetables have cooled slightly, add dressing to taste. I always take the portion I know we will eat for supper and add dressing to that portion only. Toss to cover. Garnish with the fresh basil.

Garnish with hemp hearts and any grain you may have on hand. I like to serve it with bulgar, quinoa or barley as well.

This is also really nice with a little cheese added. A soft goat tossed on the top or a strong hard cheese, like Manchego, finely grated.

 

Adapted from Whitewater Cooks at Home