What’s For Dinner: Roasty-Toasty Edition

As I type this, there is a frost advisory out for Los Angeles County. Yes–sunny, palm-tree-lined, southerly Los Angeles. Residents of colder climes are probably laughing at me, but I’m not built for blustery, freezing weather, so I drop like a stone from hypothermia the moment I step away from the heater.

The frigidity of winter calls for recipes that will keep your house nice and warm, so crank up the oven and let’s get to roasting!

Drink: Toasted Almond Champagne Cocktail

Toasted Almond Champagne CocktailThe first one’s a cheat because there isn’t any actual roasting happening here, and–fun fact– alcohol actually lowers your core body temperature, but don’t worry, we’ll get to the hot stuff shortly.

I’m sure you’ll feel nice and toasted after two or three of Kerry Saretsky‘s champagne cocktails.

Don’t feel weird about drinking champagne without a special occasion to celebrate. Just tell yourself you’re taste-testing bubbly for New Year’s Eve.

Appetizer: Salt Roasted Chestnuts

salt roasted chestnuts _ ​my blue&white kitchenYou don’t have to do much to chestnuts to make them scrumptious, but I love the presentation of winter’s favored nut in a bed of sparkling white salt. Check out the recipe for these salt-roasted chestnuts and admire the gorgeous photos over at My Blue & White Kitchen.

Roast the chestnuts to piping hot for guests, or you, to nibble on while waiting waiting for the main course to arrive.

Side Dish: Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke and Carrot Salad

Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke and CarrotsThis season at your local farmers market, you might come across a stand brimming with what looks like ginger, but is curiously labeled either sunchoke or Jerusalem artichoke. These delightful root vegetables aren’t actually related to the artichoke, but have the flavor of their namesake.

Sunchokes can be eaten raw or cooked; you might want to try this rustic, comforting recipe from the White Pepper Project if you’re not sure what to do with them.

This dish is so layered and complete, it could stand alone as a main course for vegetarians, vegans, or on Meatless Mondays. But we have more roasting to do…

Main Course: Roast Leg of Lamb With Kashmiri Spices

Kashmiri Lamb RoastThe holiday season often results in poultry overload so let’s take a break with a less traditional roast–lamb.

Heat and spices go hand in hand, and if you have a constant hankering for Indian food, as I do, you will certainly want to try this lamb roast recipe from The Bookery Cook.

Pistachios, cloves, garlic, and saffron…your igloo will be warm and smell divine in no time.

Dessert: Cajeta with Crêpes and Roasted Pears
Roasted Pears Cajeta CrepesMaybe pears are a bit predictable in the world of roasted desserts; however, this recipe is anything but typical. Cajeta, a creamy Mexican caramelized milk confection, is poured over the roasted pears and eaten with crêpes.

Bosc pears are recommended for baking as they tend to keep their shape when cooked. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of making cajeta, pure maple syrup is a good alternative. But the cajeta makes this dish extra special so I urge you to give it a try at least once.

After polishing off this dessert, you’ll be roasty-toasty and ready to hibernate.



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  • Tasha B. (heidenkind)

    I desperately want to make that roasted Jerusalem artichoke and carrot salad now.

    • S. Zainab Williams

      I really think you should.