roasted cauliflower, carrots & shallots + red wine vinegar herb dressing

there was a bit of a hideous in my three part dinner series last week so I could share my gluten free, browned butter carrot cake with you for easter but we are back to it this week with the last dish in the series.

you can find the first two here (radicchio, chickpea and herbed balsamic quinoa salad) and here (thyme, oregano & white wine chicken). the final part of the series are these beautifully roasted carrot, cauliflower and shallots with a red wine vinegar herb dressing. this recipe is adapted from curtis stone's cookbook "good food, good life" and it is absolutely wonderful. i switched out the tarragon in his recipe for oregano and basil, the tarragon is really nice as well but i find it overpowering sometimes and really have to be in the mood for tarragon where as the oregano and basil make the dressing much lighter.  but you really can use pretty much any herb you like, thyme, cilantro, parsley...

i literally make these roasted veggies and dressing all of the time now, it is one of paul's favourite dishes. i had never really thought of putting a dressing on my roasted veggies before reading curtis stone's recipe and now i do all of the time. it is just a way to kick them up a slight notch and you can present them in such a beautifully plated way with the dressing poured over the veggies and the herbs shining through. 

i like my roasted veggies slightly crispy and charred so i leave them in the oven for longer than most may. the shallots especially, when left in a little longer than normal come out so perfectly crispy with that slight softness, mmmmm soooo good! but to each their own, if you like your veggies without the crisp and chariness take them out of the oven whenever you like!

these veggies can really be paired with any weeknight meal. they go really nice with the others in my dinner series but i have mixed and matched these with all sorts of things. the same goes for the other two dishes, they can be mains or sides with each other or with others. have fun and make them your own, have another favourite herb you want to put in the dressing do. nothing is concrete around here. 

that actually goes for all of my recipes, except of course baking, because you know baking is a science. but anything savoury can be played with, a pinch more of this or that. don't like a certain ingredient switch it up with one you know you do like. cooking should be fun, it should be your own, especially savoury cooking. there really is an alternative for everything out there so don't be afraid to switch things up a bit. and of course you can play around with baked items too as long as the propotions of things stay the same. 


roasted cauliflower, carrots & shallots + red wine vinegar herb dressing

ingredients

one head of cauliflower

1 bunch of carrots

4 shallots

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

3 tbsp fresh basil

3 tbsp fresh oregano 

(or any herbs really thyme, cilantro, parsley...)

1 large garlic clove

salt and pepper 

directions

preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

chop your cauliflower into florets and cut the carrots in half length wise. peel the shallots, cut them in half length wise an then peel apart the layers so that they are kept whole.

toss all of the veggies and shallots in some olive oil, salt and pepper. place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 35-45 minutes (depending on how crispy and charred you like them, i think the longer the better). tossing every 20 minutes. 

in a small bowl whisk together the red wine vinegar, olive oil, finely chopped garlic and freshly chopped herbs. season with salt and pepper. 

when the veggies are done plate them on a large plate and pour the dressing over top. serve immediately. 


gluten free, browned butter, carrot cake + vanilla cream cheese icing

with easter just around the corner i thought it was about time that i shared a layered carrot cake. i know nothing more cliche than a carrot cake at easter but every good food blog has to have their own version of a carrot cake at easter right?! this cake has actually been through a couple of different styles, from bundt, to cupcakes to this final version (that i love the most) a layered cake. 

this carrot cake is nicely spiced and the addition of the browned butter gives the cake the most lovely nutty flavour along with all of the spices. if you are not a fan of cloves, they can be over powering to some you can leave them out. i have used both pecans and walnuts in this cake and both are yummy, you could also add raisins if you like i prefer my carrot cake without them.

there is something so visually stunning about all kinds of baking styles but my heart always beams the most when you put that final finishing touch on a beautiful layer cake. as you can probably see from the cakes on my journal here my most favourite type of decoration is flowers. they have such a delicate natural beauty about them which I believe shines even more when placed on top of a gorgeous cake. 

right now spring is just finally starting to bloom here on the west coast. filled with fragrant cherry blossoms and all the magnolias, from shades of pretty ombre pinks to full bodied whites. the streets and park ponds are littered will all the falling petals, it is really quite dreamy. i know i talk of my love for winter all of the time, the grey clouds and stormy rainy days but i do have quite the fondness for spring as well. the air just feels so fresh and clean and earthy and full of new possibilities. 

paul and i will be having a quiet easter weekend. i will be out at the quail (aka charlotte & the quail) for a couple of days and sunday i think i will make us a roast dinner. easter weekend to me always feels like the one long weekend of the year to kinda putz around, spend some time in nature, roaming beaches and mountain side hikes, eating meals filled with all the glorious sprouting greens that so magically appear this time of year and just taking some time to be thankful for the abundance of beauty nature so elegantly bestows upon us. 

i hope you all have the most lovely of easter weekends, do try and get outside, take some deep breaths, show your gratitude and just simply take in the moment xx


gluten free, browned butter, carrot cake + vanilla cream cheese icing

ingredients

3 cups all purpose *gluten free flour 

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp powdered ginger

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups of grated carrots

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

2 1/2 cups maple syrup

3/4 cup browned butter

1/2 cup buttermilk

3 eggs

1 tbsp vanilla

vanilla cream cheese icing

3 1/2 cups icing sugar

1 1/2 cups cream cheese

1/2 cup butter

1 tbsp vanilla

directions

preheat the oven to 350. grease and flour 3 - 9 inch cake pans.

grate the carrots and chop the walnuts or pecans, set aside.

in a large bowl mix all of the dry ingredients together, mix and add in the grated carrots and chopped nuts, mix throughly. set aside

in a sauce pan on medium heat add the butter and simmer until browned. 

in a medium size bowl add the eggs and whisk, then add in the maple syrup, buttermilk and vanilla, whisking until incorporated. slowly whisk in the slightly cooled browned butter. add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients mixing completely.

pour the batter into the three cake pans and bake for 22-27 minutes. or until a toothpick comes out clean.

icing

to make the icing cream the cream cheese and butter together in a stand mixer. once creamed add in the vanilla and icing sugar, mix until incorporated. adding more icing sugar if you would like the icing thicker. keep the icing in the fridge until it is time to ice the cake. 

let the cake cool completely before icing each layer and the top and sides.

notes:

i used a premixed gluten free flour (from charlotte & the quail and nourish, which you can actually buy online here). it is a tested blend of sorghum flour, oat flour and tapioca flour and it is the best gluten free flour i have ever used. so if you are looking for something similar i would source out one with those ingredients or just buy it online!