Dragon Fruit Salad with Lemony Chicken & Butternut Purée

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Dragon Fruit Salad with Lemony Chicken & Butternut Purée

Enjoy this recipe recently featured in Clean Eating Magazine. Photo by Ronald Tsang.

 

Yield: 4 servings

Carrot Ginger Puree:

4 cups water

1 pound peeled and medium diced (1/2-inch) butternut squash (3 1/3 cups)

1 pound peeled and thinly sliced (1/4-inch discs) carrots (2 1/3 cups)

2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger, (grated on a Microplane)

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 20 small cubes (each tablespoon quartered)

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

In a large pot (which fits a steamer basket), add 4 cups water. Insert steamer basket and add squash and carrots to the basket. Cover with a lid and turn heat to high. Once steaming, reduce heat to medium and steam for 20 minutes. Carefully transfer steamed veggies to a blender and add ginger, butter, orange juice, lemon juice, salt and pepper and blend on medium low until smooth. Keep covered until service.

 

Roasted Chicken:

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2½ teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme

2 teaspoons grated and finely chopped lemon zest, grated on a Microplane

 

Adjust an oven rack to the top position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pat the chicken thighs dry and coat with olive oil on both sides. Season the thighs evenly (both sides) with salt and pepper followed by the thyme and lemon zest.

Line a sheet pan with foil and evenly space the chicken thighs on the sheet pan. Place, uncovered, in the oven.

Cook until the thighs reach an internal temperature between 165 and 170 degrees Fahrenheit, approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken thighs to a cutting board to rest for 10 minutes, loosely covered with foil, before slicing chicken into ½-inch strips.

 

Dragon Fruit Salad:

1 medium shallot, peeled and diced small (3 tablespoons)

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 dragon fruit (1 pound), peeled and diced into ¼-inch pieces (2 cups)

1 medium apple (6-ounces) (preferably Braeburn, Fuji, or Honeycrisp), unpeeled, cored, quartered and thinly sliced (1/16-inch slices)

¼ pound frisée, cut into 2-inch pieces (2¼ packed cups)

10 medium fresh mint leaves, finely chopped (1 tablespoon)

1/3 cup pomegranate seeds

1/3 cup roughly chopped toasted almonds

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

 

Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and gently fold to combine.

To serve, scoop ¾ cup of the puree into large shallow bowls. Top puree with 1 cup of the salad and arrange sliced chicken on top.

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Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Cilantro Puree

It’s 2016 and California is in the midst of our rainy season with the addition of El Nino weather. Although we have gotten a bit of rain, we are still in a drought and conservation efforts continue. Super Sous and I created our Drought Friendly Recipes project last year and released a handful of recipes that make the most of California water.

Continuing with this project, we have a new recipe, perfect for one our favorite root vegetables, carrots. This recipe uses not only the carrot, but the carrot tops (for the most part the tops are discarded (unless you have a pet rabbit you are feeding)). Carrot tops can be bitter and fibrous, but this method of preparation – turning the tops into a puree mixed with herbs – might just change the way you think about carrots next time you see them in the store.

Enjoy!

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Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Cilantro Puree

Yields: 2 servings

 

Roasted Carrots

 

1 bunch of large carrots, approximately 7 carrots, ¾ pounds, with tops

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves

 

Place an oven rack to the middle position. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper. Place sheet tray on rack and preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove carrot tops and reserve for puree (recipe below). Peel and cut carrots in half, lengthwise.

In a medium bowl, mix together carrots, grapeseed oil, cumin and salt. Stir to coat the carrots.

When oven is preheated, removed sheet tray and place carrots in one layer on top of the parchment-lined sheet tray.

Roast for 30-35 minutes, until carrots are nicely caramelized, flipping carrots once after 20 minutes.

Serve roasted carrots atop carrot top cilantro puree and garnish with some fresh cilantro leaves.

Serve immediately.

 

Carrot Top Cilantro Puree

Yield: 1 cup

 

2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil, divided

1 small onion, peeled and diced small (1½ cups)

5 large garlic cloves, peeled and rough chopped (3 tablespoons)

½ teaspoon ground coriander

1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder

Tops from 1 bunch of large carrots, rinsed and chopped roughly (1 packed cup)

1 cup vegetable broth

1 packed cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro

½ cup roughly chopped fresh mint

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

kosher salt, to taste

 

Place 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil and onions in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are lightly caramelized, approximately 8 to 10 minutes.

Add garlic, coriander and chipotle. Stir and cook until fragrant, approximately 1 minute.

Add carrot tops. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

Add vegetable broth and cook, stirring occasionally, until broth has reduced and only 1/3 cup of liquid remains, approximately 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove from heat.

Transfer contents of sauté pan into a blender. Add cilantro, mint, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, pepper and 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil to the blender. Blend on high for 30 seconds. Scrape insides of blender down with a rubber spatula and blend again on high for 30 to 45 seconds until fully pureed.

Season to taste with salt and serve puree with roasted carrots.

Refrigerate any remaining puree; use extra for roasted veggies, fish dishes and sandwich spreads.

Ginger Glazed Carrots

A perfect side dish for Thanksgiving, treat for kids, or a big snack. Take your pick! Oh, and did I also mention very easy to make?

Ginger Glazed Carrots

Ginger Glazed Carrots

Yield: 2 to 3 servings

 

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1/4-inch slices

1½ tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated on a Microplane

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B

⅛ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

¾ cup water

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley

 

Add the carrots, butter, ginger, maple syrup, salt, a few healthy grinds of pepper and the water in a medium-sized sauté pan over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has thickened slightly (like a glaze) and almost completely evaporated. The carrots will be just cooked through in 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped parsley.

Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Want The Best Carrot Ever? Check Out My Weekly Tip Number 8.

I had a friend tell me a few months ago that he didn’t like carrots.

When I asked him why, he shared his experience of, time and again, eating old, dried out, sugarless, pale orange carrots. He said he had never had otherwise!

I think we’ve all had a similar experience. It’s the kind of carrot that you have to immediately stop eating and find a brighter, sweeter one to replace that “off” taste in your mouth.

Well, thank Latte for learning from farmers who grow carrots how to pick the crispest, brightest, sweetest bunches off them all. And learning how to make that taste last for days on end.

When you learn how to choose the best, you’ll be hard pressed to speak about nothing but the wonders of carrots. That’s what happened to my friend.

He’s a carrot convert.

Win one for farmers. And carrots.

Chef Nathan Lyon Weekly Tip Eight