Roasted beetroots, carrots, and fennel in blood orange and coriander seeds + Blue cheese-horseradish sauce

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Huuuuraaaaaah!! Finally, after years of dark, gloomy and miserable winters, this winter proved to be a quite a good one in Germany. I haven’t seen this much sunshine during winter in years! It was just too much sometimes! I’m joking obviously. Last winter was probably the worst ever. There was not even 100 hours of sunshine in three months. Imagine that! I got sick 6 times during winter and spring, which is very unusual for me. I occasionally get the common cold but not 6 times in six months. This year, none. I wasn’t sick at all! Huraaaaaaaah!  (Ooops. Knock on wood…..)

Anyways. Here’s a dish that will bring even more sunshine and zest to your plate. And especially  to those who suffer from the worst winter ever in wherever you are, probably in the States. A friend wrote me, saying it was -17 degrees fahrenheit when she woke up. That’s…. well, let’s not calculate that to celsius. Ouch.

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I like roasting vegetables during winter, as I’m sure many of you do too. It warms up the apartment, and it’s basically carefree cooking. Just chop some vegetables, coat in some oil, herbs, and whatever else, in the oven for 40 mins, then voilà! Your dinner is served. This dish I made last night involves coating carrots, beetroots, and fennel in blood orange juice and coriander seeds. Sounds weird? Not to me. Orange is a natural partner of all those vegetables in this dish. Coriander seeds, with their flowery and zesty note, pairs well with the rest of the ingredients without being too overpowering. I usually use regular orange, but blood orange was on sale at my organic store, and these oranges are blink-and-miss fruit of the season, so I thought I would make a good use out of them. They are slightly sharper than the regular orange, so I added a little maple syrup to tone the acidity down. The blue cheese-horseradish sauce gives a nice contrast to earthy, sweet, and zesty roast. I thought it was an odd idea myself when I started making it, but my boyfriend said it matched very well to the vegetables. So I trust his judgement for now. I hope you try it and tell me if they go well together. However, if you are too lazy to make the sauce, just crumble some blue cheese on the vegetables before serving.

Have a sunny day everyone!

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Roasted beetroots, carrots, and fennel in blood orange and coriander seeds +blue cheese horseradish sauce on a bed of farro

Note: Farro is called Zart Dinkel in German. You can get it at big organic stores. In Leipzig, I bought mine at Macis in the Innenstadt. If you are too lazy to make the blue cheese sauce, just crumble some on top of the vegetables before serving. Goats cheese could work as well.

Serves 2-3

For roasted veggies,

500g carrots, scrubbed, un-peeled if organic.

250g beetroots, scrubbed and peeled

1 large bulb fennel

150g small red onions, peeled

Juice of 2 blood oranges

1 tsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp toasted coriander seeds, lightly crushed

30ml olive oil

1.5 tsp salt

For Farro,

1 tsp olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove

1 cup Farro, washed in several changes of water and drained (Zart-Dinkel, can be purchased at organic stores if you are in Germany)

300ml vegetable stock

Salt

For blue cheese-horseradish sauce,

50g gorgonzola or other mild blue cheese

50ml sour cream

1-2tsp prepared horseradish cream

1 small handful dill, chopped

A squeeze of lemon

Zest of 1/2 blood orange

Salt&Pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.

2. Chop the beetroots into bite sized cubes. Cut the carrots in half crosswise, and then lengthwise. Cut the onions in half. Cut the fennel into thick wedges

3. Put the veggies in a large bowl. Add the orange juice, maple syrup, olive oil, coriander seeds, and 1.5 tsp salt. Toss to coat. Spread the veggies out on a cookie sheet or a baking tray. Roast for 40-50 mins, stirring occasionally.

4. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the finely chopped onions and garlic, and fry gently until softened. Add the farro and vegetable stock, and a big pinch of salt. Cover, bring it to boil, and let it simmer for 15-20 mins until tender. Let it stand for 5 mins before taking off the lid. If there is too much water left in the pan, drain briefly and put it back int he pan. Fluff up the grains.

5. To make the sauce, mash the blue cheese with fork. Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk to combine.

6. To serve: Either on a big platter or on individual plates, spread out the cooked farro. Add the veggies on top, including any juice that’s left in the pan. You can either serve the sauce on the side, or on top.

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