Recipes from staff lunch....

When our staff gets together for In-Service I make lunch. Since we have a lot of different diets to accommodate, I just start with a vegan menu and work from there. For our three-day work session a few weeks back I made a big batch of roasted red potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, and garlic and used it for a few different dishes. 

Vegan GF Roasted Veggie Gallette

This was tricky.  I love making pie crust, but I'm a a devoted butter fanatic. Baking without it makes me nervous. But I forged ahead with a gluten free baking mix and vegan shortening and.....I actually made a decent pastry. There were no leftovers. I'm sure everyone was more interested in the filling anyway. I'm gonna take it as a win though. 

2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Mix
1/2 cup vegan shortening
1/2 tsp kosher salt
a Tbsp at a time of ice water

I was afraid to use the food processor for the first bit - which I freely admit I do when I'm making regular old pie crust - and went for the pastry cutter in a big stainless bowl I'd chilled in the fridge for a half hour or so. Once the mix, shortening and salt were all nice and crumbly I added a Tbsp at a time of ice water, working with  my hands until it all came together. It never quite got to that cohesive, buttery feeling I'm used to when making pastry. It was much, I don't know, sandier than usual. It reminded me of that kinetic sand stuff my kids like to play with at the science museum. I added several more spoons of ice water than I usually do. But eventually it held enough for me to form it into a ball and wrap it in parchment. After   some consideration I decided not to refrigerate it because it felt like it might get even more crumbly if it chilled. I rolled it out into a right away between two lightly floured sheets of parchment, then carefully transferred it to a sheet pan and threw that in the fridge while I got the filling ready. You want a rough oval, about 12-14 inches in diameter, and no more than a 1/4 inch thick. 

1 medium butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cut into thin, 1 inch pieces 
2 medium red potatoes washed and cut into thin, 1 inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp each fresh thyme and rosemary, roughly chopped
handful of sliced scallions 

Preheat oven to 400 
Toss squash, potatoes, onion, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl, spread as evenly as possible on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for 7-8 minutes. You just want to give them a head start before the actual bake. 

Put it all together
Grab your pastry. Take the veggies out of the oven and sprinkle the fresh herbs and garlic on top. Toss a bit to combine. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Transfer about 3 cups of the mixture to the center of the pastry - which is still on the parchment lined baking sheet. You'll have some left over. No worries, we'll get to that. Spread it out toward the edges of the pastry, leaving yourself a few inches all around the perimeter. Gently, gently fold the edge in as you move around the oval, folding over and inch or so of the filling. 
Bake at 375 for about 35 minutes or until the filling is caramelizing in places and the crust is done everywhere, flaky and (hopefully) starting to brown.  It stayed pretty light, especially in absence of a milk or egg wash, which was tough for me since I love a good caramelized crust. But don't leave it in too long or you'll overcook the filling. 

Once it's out sprinkle the sliced scallions on top and slice it up.

Lemony French Bean Salad 

So, now you'll have some leftover roasted veggies. Here's what you do. 
Steam 4-6 cups of french beans until they are juuuuust past crisp tender. Still a bit of crispness, but not too much. Check after 4 minutes and go from there. 
Drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl. 
Add whatever remaining roasted veggies - up to 2 cups.
Now make some dressing. 

1/3 cup olive oil
3-4 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp each salt and pepper

Whisk well, drizzle over the salad, and toss it all together. If you have any more fresh thyme laying around sprinkle it on top. Serve with lemon wedges. 

Next up, roasted carrot soup with greek yogurt and za'atar. Come on back.

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