Sunday, August 8, 2010

A Light, Yet Very Satisfying Lunch

Bright Rays of sweltering Summer Sun were beating down upon us the other day, and it inspired me to come up with a light dish for lunch, that would keep us full all afternoon, but not slow us down with all of the increasingly uncomfortable heat... Vegetarian meals can be perfect for Summer, often leaving you feeling refreshed and vibrant, and full of energy for whatever endeavor comes your way!  For this lovely lunch, I layered a delightful Cannellini spread and a combination of lightly roasted summer veggies, and placed it all upon a quick and delicious homemade flat bread, the recipe of which is to follow this one! The bean spread is much like hummus, pulling it's flavor from fragrant imported extra virgin olive oil, and bright splashes of freshly squeezed lemon juice.  With a touch of seasoning it's ready: to spread, dip, spoon, or however else you can imagine enjoying it! Although the vegetables were roasted in the oven, it was fairly quick work under the broiler, and did not add to the afternoon warmth of the house.  Once finished, the delightful smell of lemon and roasted vegetables filled the house, lingering, and enticing our senses...Enjoy this flavorful dish, simple enough for any afternoon, yet lovely enough to serve to guests!
Lemony Roasted Vegetables and Cannellini Spread on Flatbread:
Serves 4
Prep Time: about 10 minutes
Cook Time: about 15-20 minutes

For the Cannellini Spread (makes plenty to have for a few lunches):
3 cups Cannellini, cooked (Italian White Kidney Beans)
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/3 cup Lemon juice, freshly squeezed (about 1 medium lemon)
1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon coriander, ground
1/2 teaspoon allspice, ground
1/2 cup Italian Parsley (flat leaf), finely chopped

For the Roasted Vegetables:
4 cups fresh Green Beans, ends trimmed
1- 14 ounce can Artichoke Hearts, drained and quartered, ( make sure to get the un-marinated variety)
2 cups Grape Tomatoes
1/4 cup Shallot, finely minced
1/4 cup Lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, to taste

4 Flatbread to serve upon

To Prepare:
1. First prepare the Cannellini spread by adding all ingredients to a food processor or blender, and blending until smooth and creamy.  Place spread into a container, cover tightly, and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
2. Trim the ends off of the green beans, and place on a large baking sheet. Add the drained and quartered artichoke hearts.  Cut the grape tomatoes into quarters and add to the baking sheet, with the minced shallot. Drizzle with the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper.  Toss well to evenly coat the vegetables.  Place under a 500 degree broiler, and roast until artichokes and shallot just begin to brown, and the green beans are tender, yet still crisp, about 15-20 minutes, stirring often. 
3. Spread about 1/4 cup (to taste) of the Cannellini spread on each flatbread, divide the veggies evenly over each, serve, and ENJOY!!
This is Delicious served with my grilled flatbread: make a batch to enjoy with this great dish, or just to dip in the Cannellini spread!!

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