Balsamic-Glazed Root Vegetables

An herb-packed marinade infuses fresh flavor into winter staples like carrots and parsnips.

Ingredients:
4-6 carrots, scrubbed, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 parsnips, scrubbed, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 beets, scrubbed and cut into 1-inch chunks
½ winter squash of your choice, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch wedges
1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh herbs, such as thyme and parsley
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Combine all the vegetables in a large bowl. In a smaller separate bowl, combine garlic, oil, herbs, balsamic vinegar, and brown sugar. Mix the marinade with the vegetables, tossing to coat, then cover in plastic wrap and let sit for 2 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 400°. Arrange vegetables on a baking sheet and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast 35-40 minutes until vegetables are tender and cooked through.

Variation: These vegetables are also fantastic served as a warm winter salad over greens with freshly-grated Grana cheese.

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Grilled Peaches with Mascarpone, Pistachios & Balsamic Glaze

Peaches off the grill are a true summer delight—we particularly love this salty, sticky-sweet topping.

Ingredients
4 large ripe (but not overly soft) peaches, halved and pits removed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
2 ounces mascarpone or cream cheese
¼ cup powdered sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla
2-3 teaspoons grapeseed oil (or other neutral tasting oil)
Handful of pistachios, lightly crushed

Method:
1. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, sugar and melted butter. Set aside. In another small bowl, combine mascarpone (or cream) cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla and beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Set aside.

2. Preheat grill over medium low heat. Gently brush each peach half with oil and place it flesh side down on the grill. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Use tongs to carefully rotate peaches a quarter turn and cook for another 1-2 minutes until the peaches are slightly softened and have grill marks. Remove and cool slightly.

3. When ready to serve, drizzle balsamic mixture over peaches and spoon a small scoop of cheese mixture into the hollow of each peach. Sprinkle with crushed pistachios.

Variations: Once you master the art of grilling peaches, the sky’s the limit! They are also wonderful topped with vanilla ice cream or Greek yogurt and a drizzle of honey.

Grilled Eggplant with Lemon & Mint

Tossed with fresh mint for added brightness, this barbecued eggplant boasts a wonderfully-rich and smoky flavor.

Ingredients:
2 medium eggplants
Olive oil, for basting

For dressing:
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice and zest from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1-2 teaspoons sugar
4 tablespoons very coarsely chopped mint
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Prepare the dressing: Whisk olive oil, lemon zest and juice and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. Add in sugar, salt and pepper and check for taste (it should be fairly sweet). Add in half of the chopped mint and set aside.

2. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat. Cut each eggplant lengthwise into about 8 thin slices about ¼-inch thick, then brush each liberally with olive oil. Lay on the grill, cooking each side about 2-3 minutes until golden brown and slightly charred.

3. Arrange the slices on a large platter and spoon dressing over top. Cover and set aside to allow eggplant to soak up the dressing. Sprinkle with the remaining mint and serve warm or at room temperature.

Braised Radishes with Shallots

Tender and juicy, these beautiful radishes are accented by fresh parsley and balsamic vinegar.

Ingredients:
1 bunch radishes
3 large shallots
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ cup chicken stock or water
½ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:
1. Thoroughly wash radishes. On a cutting board, trim each radish top, leaving about ½-inch of the green stem for color. Slice each radish in half from top to bottom. Peel shallots and slice into thin rings.

2. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once it has melted, add the shallots and cook, stirring, until they begin to brown slightly. Add the radishes, placing each cut-side down in the skillet. Let them cook undisturbed for about 2 minutes or until the bottoms just start to color.

3. Add the balsamic vinegar and the water or stock (the liquid should just come up around the sides of the radishes). Cover, lower heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes.

4. Remove the cover and continue to simmer for about 3-4 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced into a syrupy sauce. Add the parsley and sauté for about a minute, until wilted.

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