Oven Roasted Broccolini and Asparagus (or any vegetable!)

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I LOVE roasting vegetables  - ALL vegetables! I find that quick roasting them at a high temperature brings out their flavour like no other cooking method. I used to grill my veggies on my barbecue - but no more. My preferred method is to now roast them at 425°-450° Fahrenheit in the oven on parchment-lined professional-quality heavy-duty baking sheets. I brush the parchment paper with good quality extra-virgin olive oil, brush the tops of the veggies with some olive oil, and depending on the vegetable, will vary the seasoning. I always use sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. I LOVE Penzey's spices: They have a fabulous Tuscan Sunset (salt -free) spice that's great on vegetables, chicken, fish. Their Singapore Seasoning (salt-free) is absolutely fabulous on squash and sweet potatoes. I feel like I could be a p.r. rep for Penzey's at times! If you don't have a Penzey's store near you, you can order online. What's lovely about these veggies, is that you can cook them ahead and serve them at room temperature. They are also great cold the next day in a salad. Sometimes, I'm tempted to eat all of the broccoli at one time! If you make parsnips, make LOTS - they shrink down and go QUICKLY! And if you make beets, use rubber gloves, peel them and then cut them.

Betsy Stone’s Carrot Kugel (or Carrot Muffins)

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These taste like the most delicious carrot muffins, but not too sweet. They are a fabulous side dish with a roast beef, or chicken or fish. Kids gobble them up. It can be made in a 9" X 13" pan and cut in squares, or in muffin tins. I love making them in my Nordicware Rose muffin tin, because they just look so beautiful! They also freeze very well.

Roasted Beet and Cilantro Gazpacho

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Summer on the north shore of Long Island is divine! Every day, the Long Island Sound provides breath-taking views, no matter if the weather is sunny or cloudy, rainy or blistering hot. The Long Island farm-stands and CSAs (Community Supported Agricultural collective) are overflowing with the most gorgeous bounty of fresh, Long-Island grown vegetables, fruits, and flowers. CSAs are now popping up across North America. What makes them so special is not only do they allow us to "eat locally," but they also allow us to reconnect with the land, they enable us to try new produce that we not have purchased otherwise, they help create community by introducing us to those around us. Perhaps one of the most important features of the CSA is that often, many CSAs contribute their extra produce to soup kitchens and shelters, providing fresh sustenance to those who usually rely on canned vegetables and fruits. This past Shabbat (Saturday), one of my congregants brought some of her extra CSA produce to our Torah study group. I was the lucky recipient of some beautiful beets: golden yellow beets, candy-cane red-and-white striped beets and ruby-red beets. I had seen some recipes for a beet and cilantro gazpacho, but wanted to try my own version of it. I love a cold soup on a hot summer's day. I think you'll find this version perfect for a summer lunch, brunch, or a light fish/chicken dinner.

Roasted Tomato-Basil Soup

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I set out to create a soup full of tomato flavour, perfect for a wintery day. By combining lots of ripe Roma tomatoes, rich sundried Italian tomatoes and a can of organic fire-roasted whole tomatoes, I was able to ramp-up the flavour and create a full-bodied and delicious soup. I have two secret ingredients that always add that little extra touch to my soups: some lemon juice to add a little brightness, and a touch of maple syrup to round out the flavours and add a little more body and richness. (Just be careful to add both in small amounts at a time and: taste, taste, taste!)