Roasted Root Vegetables with Roasted Garlic-Lime Dipping Sauce
I love roasted root vegetables. If you’ve never cooked root vegetables before, let me assure you that you can not go wrong if you toss your favorite ones in a little olive oil and sea salt, and then roast them until they caramelize into nothing less than a pure, cold-weather dish full of comfort. And because roasting root vegetables into utter perfection is easier than pie, it is no surprise that the first part of Bryant Terry’s recipe is as simple as they come. (My only standing complaint is that using rutabagas and turnips seems redundant. If you are serving children, you may want to skip those two altogether.)
But now for the second part of Terry’s recipe: Considering all that roasted roots have going for them, why would Terry add a Roasted Garlic-Lime Dipping Sauce to the mix? I looked at that recipe and wondered if the man had gone daft. Who adds additional flavors to something that is already naturally rich in flavor? I didn’t get it. Still, Terry has been a pretty reliable guide thus far, so I gave the sauce a try. And the verdict? What a revelation. The roasted garlic melded nicely with the root vegetables, while the citrus and cilantro flavors spun around and gave an old, comforting favorite a surprising, tropical and upbeat twist. The lime flavor actually brightened my mood a bit. Basically, Terry took an old steady and reliable Fall/Winter dish, and added a little dash of fun. (Or a little dash of sun, depending on your perspective.)
This is an example of what people are talking whenever they say it’s time to bring in someone with a new and fresh perspective. (I would have said new blood, but hey, this is a vegan blog, lol.) We can talk about the merits of “tried and true” all day long. I like “The Old Standards” just as much as the next guy. But frankly? Nothing get’s a joint jumpin’ like a DJ with a good remix. Serving up remixes seem to be Terry’s specialty. ‘Nuff said.
Blackened Tofu Slabs (without Succotash Salsa.)
Now, let’s talk about the tofu. originally, this was supposed to be Terry’s Blackened Tofu Slabs with Succotash Salsa. I didn’t have lima beans on hand, so I skipped the salsa. Also, I think I misread the instructions, as everyone else who has cooked this dish came up with something that looked more like this version from Chow Vegan. (Click that link. Doesn’t that look good?) Anyway…the Blackened Tofu was easy to make. The rub was tasty. I served it warm to my little ones, and the 4-year-old ate it without much complaint. (That says a lot.) The 2-year-old refused to eat anything tonight, so I sampled the tofu from her plate, and it was tasty. However, Marc and I had to wait for our opportunity to really give this dish a try. (Our food was having its “portrait” taken.) By the time Marc finished, our tofu was cold. I reheated the tofu, and much to my disappointment, the flavor had vanished. Each bite seemed like an overwhelming slog through a mouthful of desperately…plain…tofu. For that reason, I’m going to revisit this recipe. The next time I make it, I’ll cut it properly, I’ll serve it fresh, I’ll make the salsa to go with it, and then I’ll report back to you guys. Wish me luck!