Local, Fresh & Organic

Strawberries, asparagus, potatoes, and even mangos, claim spring as their season to shine. They also help to add a lot of flavor to food, keeping a lighter, brighter feeling to meals; a welcome change after a winter of hearty feasting.

Cooking with fruits and vegetables that are in season will save you money because a variety of seasonal produce should be readily available locally. Plus, the shorter the trip from the farm to your plate, the more you benefit from the vitamins and minerals not lost in transit.

A great resource for finding what’s in season and available near you is LocalHarvest.

White Bean Cakes with Chopped Roasted Vegetable Salad and Goat Cheese Dressing
Yield: 4 servings
Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Nut-Free, Rice-Free, Corn-Free

Once you have completed preparing this vegetarian meal, it will be ready to serve in under an hour.

For the Dressing
¼ cup whole milk
4 ounces goat cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoon chives, diced
1 tablespoon parsley, diced
1 garlic clove, small, about ½ teaspoon, finely diced
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt

For the Vegetable Salad
2 beets
3 carrots, medium
1 fennel bulb
1 red onion, a cup
½ teaspoon Kosher or sea salt sprinkled over vegetable
1/ 2 teaspoon black pepper sprinkled over vegetables

For the Bean Cakes
¼ cup olive oil
½ cup yellow onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons pitted black olives, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
¾ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2, 15 ounce cans Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained
2 eggs, large
Parmesan cheese, 1 cup, shredded

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. To make the dressing, place whole milk through salt in a blender. Blend for 1 minute. Place in refrigerator until dinner is ready to serve.
  3. Cut fennel, carrot and red onion into large bite sized pieces. Spread onto a foil lined baking sheet. Then, cut beets into bite sized pieces and place on baking sheet with but away from other vegetables to avoid the beets coloring all vegetables red.
  4. Drizzle olive oil over vegetables, then generously season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 35 minutes.
  5. In a small pan over medium heat, sauté onion, black olives, garlic, thyme and cumin for 5 to 7 minutes, until vegetables soften.
  6. Remove from heat, stir olive oil, lemon and parsley. Let cool.
  7. Place beans, eggs, cheese and onion mixture into food processor, pulse until ingredients are well combined.
  8. Form bean mixture into eight patties.
  9.  In a large pan, over medium-high heat, coated with olive oil, cook patties about 2 to 3 minutes a side, until browned.
  10. Remove vegetables from oven, place on plate and drizzle with goat cheese dressing.
  11. Add bean patties to plate, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

NUTRITION: Calories per serving: 705, Total fat: 26.31g, Cholesterol: 118mg, Carbohydrate, by difference: 85.15g, Total dietary fiber: 30.70g, Protein: 34.75g, Total sugars: 15.23g, Sodium: 151mg

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