Time To Brine… Some Vegetables

After a week of basking in the sun, drinking margaritas and reading plenty of books on vacation, I was inspired by my couch potato (or beach potato for that matter) vacation style and was inspired come home and cook the vegetables that I had stored in my fridge.  Before heading out on our trip, we received beets and carrots in our bushel.  I trimmed the green tops off of the veggies (leaving the greens on with rob the vegetable of its moisture) and stored them in our fridge in a loose plastic bag to wait for our return.

The July Issue of Bon Appetit had an article about treating your vegetables like meat.  I liked the idea of brining and grilling my stored beets would be a perfect healthy come back meal after gorging myself on delicious (but not the healthiest food).  Upon arriving home, I also noticed we had a top round london broil in the freezer that I thought would compliment the vegetables nicely as a “condiment” along with a fresh green chile charmoula.

Grilled Brined Vegetables:

Ingredients:

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 1 cup unseasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons of salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 lb of beets or carrots (or both), trimmed and scrubbed, halved or quartered
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Directions:

In a large sauce pan, bring the first six ingredients to a boil.  Drop the vegetables in the boiling liquid and turn down to a simmer.  If you are cooking beets AND carrots I recommend cooking the carrots first and then the beets so the intense red color of the beets won’t discolor the nice bright orange color of the carrots.

Simmer beets for 20-30 minutes and 6-8 minutes for the carrots. Vegetables should be tender on the outside but crisp in the middle. Set vegetables aside and pat dry.  Use the brine for a second batch of vegetables if you are making them – no need for another brine.

Heat up a grill pan to medium-high heat.  In a large bowl, coat vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Once the grill is hot, place veggies on grill and turn occasionally until charred but not scorched in spots.

 

Top with marinated London Broil (I like preparing it this way for a perfect piece of meat every time) and Green Chile Charmoula (recipe below).

Green Chile Charmoula:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 scallions
  • 2 serrano peppers
  • 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup of chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • kosher salt

Directions:

Toast coriander seeds on a small dry skillet over medium high heat – shake often to prevent burning – about 2 minutes and add cumin.  Toast seeds until fragrant.  Set side to cool and grind using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.

Prepare your trusty grill (or grill pan in my case) using medium high heat.  Place the scallions and serrano chiles on the grill and cook until charred in some part but green and tender in others (about 2 minutes for the scallions and 4 minutes for the chiles).

Remove the scallions and chiles and let cool before chopping and placing in a small bowl.

Incorporate chopped cilantro, chopped basil and olive oil into the scallions and chiles.  Make sure it is mixed well. Season with kosher salt to taste.

Use to top delicious rich meats or delicious vegetables treated like meat (or in my case, both!).

The end result is a picture perfect plate that is colorful, vibrant, fresh, smoky, spicy and most of all good for you!

 

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