Tag: Roast

Summer Vegetable Tacos

Summer Vegetable Tacos with Mariam Foods Lentil Dip // Serious Crust
Summer Vegetable Tacos with Mariam Foods Lentil Dip // Serious Crust
Summer Vegetable Tacos with Mariam Foods Lentil Dip // Serious Crust
Summer Vegetable Tacos with Mariam Foods Lentil Dip // Serious Crust

I love tacos. I really do. They’re easy to throw together. You can eat one for a snack or three for dinner (or four or five). You can put whatever you want in them, which I think is pretty great. You can make almost a variation from almost any cuisine. When my friend Elaine, who does marketing here in Portland, asked me to do some recipe development for her client Mariam Foods, my first idea was: summer vegetable tacos.

Mariam Foods makes these delicious lentil dips. I know what you’re thinking, because I thought it too. At first mention, lentil dip sounds anything but delicious. I am an adventurous eater, by no means picky, but I do not like lentils. Or didn’t, I suppose. I tend to not really like their texture, and while I know they’re great for protein and budget cooking, I can’t get myself to use them. But Elaine invited me over to taste Mariam’s lentil dips, and I was pleasantly surprised. They are similar to the consistency of refried beans, with maybe the occasional whole lentil. And the flavors she was asking me to use, black lentil with jalapeño and black lentil and curry, were really nicely flavored. I started to get excited about the ways I could play with these flavors. While the dips are Ethiopian inspired, I knew I could sneak these dips into other cuisines.

I decided to start with tacos using the most scrumptious of summer produce: zucchini, tomatoes, and corn. Toss them with some Mexican inspired spices and roast them. While they were in the oven, I decided to whip up a cilantro-sour cream with lime. Then, to assemble the tacos, I started with a spoonful of the lentil dip smeared down the center of my tortilla, topped with warm vegetables, topped with the cilantro-sour cream, and another squeeze of lime for good measure. These tacos were so delicious, and really easy to make, and they made truly awesome leftovers. I ate them at least twice more throughout the week.

A little bird also told me that Mariam Foods has two new flavors coming out early this fall: brown lentil and sesame (with garlic and ginger) and brown lentil and sriracha. I know Jonah will love the sriracha, but I’m really excited about the sesame flavor! Mariam lentil dips were created by the Andemariam family, inspired by Afiza, a lentil salad that their Ethiopian and Eritrean grandmothers used to make. They source their ingredients as locally as possible, which I like. The dips can be found at various New Seasons, Whole Foods, and other markets and co-ops in the greater Portland area.

Summer Vegetable Tacos


Roasted Vegetables

2 ears corn, kernels sliced from the cob
2 small zucchini, diced into ½ inch pieces
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
½ medium-sized red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced

Cilantro Cream

1 cup sour cream
¼ – 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
juice of ½ lime

Taco Assembly

Mariam Black Lentil and Jalapeño Dip
Small tortillas (corn or flour)
Optional: grated cheddar cheese, queso fresco, salsa, additional cilantro, lime wedges


Roasted Vegetables

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the corn, zucchini, grape tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, olive oil, salt, cumin, and garlic. Toss until all of the vegetables are evenly coated with the spices and oil. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Spread vegetables on the baking sheet, and roast for 20 minutes. Toss, and roast for another 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and starting to brown.

Cilantro Cream

While the vegetables are in the oven, make the cilantro cream. Combine sour cream, cilantro, and lime juice in a bowl, stir well. Feel free to add more cilantro, lime juice, salt, or pepper to your taste.

Taco Assembly

To assemble the tacos, spread a spoonful of Mariam’s Black Lentil and Jalapeño Dip down the center of a tortilla. Top with roasted vegetables, and a dollop of cilantro cream. Enjoy!

This is a sponsored post. All of the opinions below are my own.

Weekend Finds 2:16:14

It’s time for weekend finds! It has been a quite a week – the snow melted, I made a trip to the coast with friends where I baked some delicious food (more testing and then a recipe to come). And then… it was Valentine’s Day. We visited Expatriate after I got off of work, which I had been wanting to try for a long time! And now I’m baking for Carmelle’s birthday – details in find #1!

1. Ice cream cake

Ice Cream Cake on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Ice Cream Cake! Photo from Not Without Salt

I’m making ice cream cake for my roommate’s birthday tonight! Her birthday was on Friday, but today was the first day I’ve had to bake her something. We’re going to the Amos Lee concert tonight with her (her boyfriend got her tickets for Christmas, and I got Jonah tickets for his birthday), so we’ll eat it after listening to an evening of sweet crooning. It’s kind of a mixture of a bunch of recipes, including chocolate wafers from Smitten Kitchen and fudge sauce and assembly tips from Not Without Salt.

2. Interview with Rachel Cole

Rachel Cole Interview from The Kitchn on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Rachel Cole Interview from The Kitchn

I’ve never heard of Rachel Cole before, but after reading this interview with her on The Kitchn, I am loving what she has to say about food and eating. I particularly like what she says about having your compass needle point towards pleasure, fear of food, and the importance of fresh food.

3. Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

Homemade Cocoa Mix from Food 52 on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Homemade Cocoa Mix from Food 52

I love hot cocoa, and I love the convenience of hot cocoa packets, but I don’t love that I don’t always know what the ingredients listed on the packets are. I am really into making this homemade cocoa mix, especially to go with the vanilla marshmallows I got for Christmas!

4. Miso Roasted Vegetables

Miso Roasted Vegetables from Food 52 on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Miso Roasted Vegetables from Food 52

More, I say, more! Remember when I told you about those miso and harissa roasted vegetables? And how amazing they are? This seems like another great recipe to try, and I love the addition of the maple syrup and rice vinegar.

5. DIY Puff Pastry

DIY Puff Pastry from Food 52 on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
DIY Puff Pastry from Food 52

Ok, so making your own puff pastry takes a lot of time, many hours of rolling and chilling and rolling and chilling, but wouldn’t it be cool to make it yourself instead of buying it at the store in the freezer aisle?! I don’t know when exactly I’m going to try this puff pastry recipe, but I’m going to try it, darn it!

Weekend Finds 2:2:14

I’m writing this weekend finds quickly as I bake my cornbread for the Superbowl party. This past week was a busy one! It included 3 really good meals (chile rellenos for Grandma’s birthday, steak with balsamic reduction sauce, and cleanse chicken), and lots of new adventures. This morning, I also had breakfast (at The Sugar Cube, one of my favorite places) with some lovely Portland bloggers, specifically Rachel from Love, Rachel, Brooke from Babbling Brookelyn, Spencer from 12 oz Beehouse, Sarah from Will Run for Pasta, Erika from A Tiny Rocket, and Erin from Bakery Bingo. I love slowly getting to know more people in this community I am now a part of – everyone is so friendly, and it’s really nice to be able to talk shop with some of these ladies. Here are some of my discoveries from this week:

1. Superbowl

Superbowl food madness on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
At least I’m not making a stadium out of deli meats…

What are you making? I gotta say, I wasn’t really wanting to attend a Superbowl party, but then the restaurant decided to close (notoriously one of the slowest days of the year), and now I find myself making cornbread to take to a friend’s house. What a bizarre day that is just as much about football as it is about food.

2. Sarah Illenberger

Sarah Illenberger on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Three of my favorites of Illenberger’s work.

I love her imagination and use of food! I WILL have one of these in my kitchen one day. I swear. You can buy prints of her work here.

3. Kayden + Rain

Kayden + rain video on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
This Kayden + rain video is the sweetest. My new go to for when I’m feeling down.

I know this has nothing to do with food, but this video is perhaps the most heartwarming thing I’ve ever seen. A little reminder to enjoy the simple things in life.

4. Cleanse Chicken

Cleanse Chicken on Weekend Finds // Serious Crust by Annie Fassler
Beautiful cleanse chicken, roasted to golden perfection.

Jonah made this cleanse chicken, and it was really really good. I think we decided that next time we’d add a little salt and minus a little cayenne, but the long marinade (we went for close to 48 hours) made it so incredibly moist.

Lamb & Love

Look! We did it! The lamb out of the oven, ready for a little rest.

Yes, this is what arrived to my office. It was very exciting and bizarre.
Prepping the baking dish while the lamb gets rolled

Clockwise starting at the top: brussels sprouts cooked in lamb fat/oil, salad, fingerling potatoes gremolata, and the star of the meal, the roasted lamb!

Did you know that February is Lamb Lover’s Month? Neither did I, until I was contacted by the American Lamb Board to participate in a lamb cooking contest (you can vote here, starting February 14th: www.lambloversmonth.com). Yes, that’s right folks. How could I possibly say no? So I filled out my registration, and got a boneless leg of lamb in the mail last Friday.

I immediately started researching lamb cooking techniques, and ended up kind of combining a few recipes. Because lamb is often used in Greek/Mediterranean cuisine, most recipes have lots of rosemary, lemon, mint, and even some yogurt sauces. I didn’t want to get too fancy because I wanted it to be something that we all could easily pull off. I wanted to do some kind of spice rub or marinade where I could leave the lamb overnight to really absorb the flavors of whatever I ended up going with.

So after some research, I decided to go with an adapted version of a recipe from The Herbfarm Cookbook. I used varied amounts of all of the ingredients to go for a little more of the taste I wanted (more lavender, thyme, adding lemon, etc.) and was very happy with the result: a strongly herb-flavored (but not overpowering), perfectly cooked piece of lamb.

For our sides, we cooked brussels sprouts in a combination of melted lamb fat and oil: slice each sprout, top to bottom, into 3-4 pieces, heat the fat/oil, toss in a layer of sprouts (careful, it will spit and it will hurt – long sleeves are your friend), and sprinkle with salt. Cook until the bottoms are nice and dark, tossing occasionally if desired. We also made a rough version of fingerling potatoes gremolata: slice up your potatoes, toss in oil and salt, sprinkle with some chopped garlic, roast them until tender, and then when you’ve removed them, top them with some melted butter and chopped parsley. And salad. We had salad too. If you like this recipe, the blog post, even just the pictures, head over to www.lambloversmonth.com to vote for our little blog to win the Lamb Lover’s Month cooking contest! It would be super awesome, and maybe I’d even invite you over to enjoy some free lamb…

Hope you all have a lovely Valentine’s day, featuring some kind of delicious food! (A latte with your loved one? A sexy seafood dinner? Roasted lamb? The possibilities are endless – get out there and try something new and adventurous!)

Herb Rubbed Lamb



1/2 cup fresh rosemary pines
4 tsp fresh or 2 1/2 tsp dried lavender buds
4 tsp fresh thyme leaves
6 cloves garlic, peeled
1 Tbl Dijon mustard
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
zest of one meyer lemon
6 Tbl olive oil
1 boneless leg of lamb (about 3 pounds, though more also definitely works)
6 woody branches of rosemary
1 meyer lemon, sliced into thin rounds (and seeded, if necessary)
optional: a few more cloves of garlic, number is dependent on your passion for the garlic


1/4 cup red wine
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp balsamic vinegar



Start by processing all the herb paste ingredients except for the olive oil in a food processor until the herbs (particularly the rosemary leaves) are chopped. Now, with the machine running, slowly pour in the oil. Most machines have a spout type thing at the top you can remove so that you can pour ingredients in while blending. Continue to blend until it has reached a thick sauce consistency, scraping down the sides when necessary. There will still be little chunks of rosemary and garlic, you can’t make a complete paste out of it, but do the best you can.

If the lamb is tied, untie it. Spread the lamb out, and with a sharp knife, trim as much fat as you can from both sides of the meat. Think that fat is gross and that you’re going to toss it in the trash? Don’t! Fat can be used for lots of things. Melt it down and use it to cook veggies in or make a broth (I think? I’m not sure how well that would actually work if you haven’t got ANY meat attached, but it’s worth a shot.) Find a baking dish where the lamb will fit snugly. Rub the top of the lamb with about half of the herb paste, flip it over, and rub the other side. Set it in the dish, cover with plastic wrap, and stick it in the fridge for 8-24 hours (the longer the better). Now, I am not particularly a fan of recipes where you have to refrigerate anything for more than an hour – planning ahead is not my forte. But you know what I’m learning? It’s so worth it. When you let anything (particularly meat) absorb the flavors of your marinade or rub for a long time, it makes such a big, flavorful difference.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Remove your lamb from the dish and, attempting to remove as little of the herb rub as possible, roll the lamb back into it’s original shape. If this seems relatively impossible (as it did for Jonah when he was rolling it), just roll it into whatever shape makes sense – you just want it to be kind of spiraled and uniform in size. Hopefully that makes sense. We also took some whole cloves of garlic and stuck them in little crevices in the lamb before rolling it up. They got gently cooked, and made for a nice look when the lamb was sliced for serving. Take a few pieces of kitchen twine and tie the lamb snugly in three places (or more, whatever you need to do to make it work – just as few as possible, mostly). Put the rosemary branches and lemon slices in the bottom of the baking dish and gently set the lamb on top. Roast the lamb at 425 for 10 minutes before reducing the heat to 350 degrees. Roast for about an hour and a half, or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center registers 130-135 degrees. Note: ours DID NOT take an hour and a half. It was done a little over an hour at 350. Take the temperature in a few places and use the lowest . Remove the roast from the oven, transfer it to a board (preferably one with those grooves around the edges as it will be releasing lots of juices), cover it loosely with foil, and let it rest for about 10 minutes.


While the meat is resting, whip up the sauce. Take the rosemary branches and lemon slices out of the baking dish, and tilt the dish so the drippings all run into one corner. Skim off as much fat as you can, transfer the remaining juices to a little saucepan. Add the wine and put it over low heat. Use a whisk to stir in the mustard and vinegar, and season to taste with salt and pepper if you’d like. Remove the strings from the meat and slice it thinly. Arrange on a platter (or just throw a couple slices on each plate) and pour the sauce over. Voila! A delicious dinner.