Thursday, November 29, 2012

Challenge Recipe #4
Roasted Root Vegetables and Sausage with Pear Walnut and Blue Cheese Arugula Salad
This culinary adventure began at the Seward Coop on Franklin Street in Minneapolis. After shopping at the House of Hanson corner store, it felt much better to be in a food coop. Everything looks so fresh and vibrant. The vegetables are also at the front of the store, so that's where I started collecting ingredients.

I knew I wanted a salad and roasted vegetables. Pears are good this time of year, and blue cheese tastes good with pear, and walnuts taste good with both of these ingredients so I bought them all. Usually blue cheese is on the pricier side, but Seward does baggies of blue cheese crumbles; I found a small one for about $3.00.

For the roots I picked up some sunchokes, carrots, potatoes and an onion. Sunchokes are so good! They taste just like artichokes! We serve them at the restaurant that I just started working in called The Union so I've been loving them a lot lately. Sunchokes come from a sunflower plant native to Minnesota and the midwest. 

I stopped by the meat counter to find a little protein and flavor for the meal and the butcher suggested the garlicy Ukranian pork sausage. I said "ok," and ended up spending almost exactly $15.00. 

The nice thing about this meal is that it could have easily fed four people, or two people with leftovers. Also the higher priced ingredients like arugula and blue cheese crumbles could be used to enhance many more meals. 
To begin, preheated the oven and put the rice on the stove while I chopped the vegetables. I tossed the vegetables with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. I sliced the sausage into half inch rounds, threw it all on a baking sheet and put it in the oven at 360. 

While the rice was cooking and vegetables roasting, I sliced the pear and arranged it around the plate. Then I added a handful of arugula and topped it off with the walnuts and blue cheese crumbles. For the dressing I used a balsamic vinaigrette I keep in the fridge made of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, maple syrup, mustard, pepper and salt.  
About 20 minutes in I give the veggies a stir and flip over all the sausages then cook for another 20 minutes.
When the vegetables were soft and sausage cooked, I spread some rice on my plate and piled on the roasted goodness. I put on some Sam Cooke, poured myself a glass of wine and enjoyed every bite of this meal. Bon Apetite!


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