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lemon rosemary vegetable stack with lentils + creamy horseradish vinaigrette


“Just go with it!” has never been an expression that I’ve enjoyed hearing. It’s most definitely in my top 10-phrases-I-don’t-wanna-be-told-right-now list. I had a very specific plan for this pre-Valentine’s day post. The recipe was going to be delicious + wholesome (duh), but also adorably quaint in a not-too-try-hard sort of way. I ordered a crucial ingredient from Amazon. To avoid shipping costs I had the item sent to my man’s American postal box just a short drive away. Then there was a snow storm, which I’m sure a lot of you became very familiar with. I couldn’t get to there, that place with the thing that I needed (actually!). I had to toss my 110% laid out plan and… go with it. Bleh.

I had the loose idea for this winter vegetable stack thingy in my mind, so I went to work on it instead. And by “went to work on it” I mean: I raged. Like hard. I still hadn’t accepted that my tiny plans for my tiny website on the huge internet on this gigantic earth had gone awry. I slapped it all together, made a huge mess, enjoyed eating it in a hurried way, but then started wondering if this was the kind of thing that only I could enjoy (just adding to my ridiculous rage-pile, you know). Sometimes when Mark and I are thinking about going out to eat somewhere and he asks me what I feel like, I put my hands up and huff out “I just want a plate of vegetables!” (likely cranky from way too much sugar at that point). He’s usually good at sorting a tangible plan out of my ambiguous wishes for fibre and vitamins, making me realize that I’m being a huge pain, and eventually forging a way ahead. It takes two to make the meal-time satiation thing go right sometimes.

So if you’re like me and you enjoy just a bunch of vegetables for dinner/any meal, this could definitely be your thing. It’s pretty easy in a make-ahead sense too. Roast the veggie slices, make the lentils, blend the dressing, keep everything warm until you’re ready to serve, build, drizzle, garnish, voila! Fancy healthy-happy dinner time for you and the total babe in your life. To go along with your amorous or perhaps self-love motivated cooking adventures (the second one is more important), my friend Michelle made TWO music mixes for you to enjoy, one highlighting the glow-y, lightbulb-level-warm heart fullness of love, the other speaking more to some straight-up heartbreak. Click the picture at the bottom of the post for the two separate downloads!

All my kisses, hugs, songs + plates of vegetables,
Laura

lemon rosemary winter vegetable stacks w/ lentils + creamy horseradish vinaigrette
serves: 2
notes: Do remember to cover the beets for two thirds of the cooking process. I’ve had beets shrivel up so horribly because I forgot to cover them while roasting. You can also make all of these components ahead of time and just re-warm them for serving, making meal time a little quicker and less harried.

vegetables:
2 sprigs of rosemary, leaves removed + chopped
juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 small celery root, peeled
1 fat sweet potato, peeled
1 large beet, peeled
1 head of cauliflower, trimmed

lentils:
2 tsp grapeseed oil
1 shallot, diced fine
1/2 cup lentils (I used a mix of French + brown), rinsed
1 cup filtered water + extra
salt to taste

horseradish + maple vinaigrette:
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
splash of filtered water
1 tsp dijon mustard
1.5 tbsp maple syrup
horseradish to taste (I used 2 heaped tsp of fresh grated horseradish root)
salt + pepper
heavy 1/3 cup grapeseed or olive oil

to serve:
black olives
very roughly chopped parsley (I keep it rough because I like it as a separate, leafy kind of component-not just a garnish kinda thing)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line 2 medium-large baking sheets with parchment + 1 extra, smaller baking sheet. Set aside.

Combine the rosemary, lemon juice and oil in a small bowl. Set aside.

Slice the celery root + sweet potato about an inch thick across. You want to cut them so that you get a large cross section for stacking. Cut one little portion off of the bottom of each vegetable so that you have a flat and steady surface for the vegetable to rest on the cutting board. Proceed to make slices from there. Lay the celery root + sweet potato slices on one of the medium-large baking sheets. Brush both sides of all vegetables with the rosemary and lemon oil, season with salt and pepper, and slide baking sheet into the oven. These should take about 35-40 minutes to brown up and soften. Remove and set aside.

Slice the beets about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Lay the slices on the smaller sheet. Brush with the lemon, rosemary and oil mixture, season with salt and pepper. Cover baking sheet with foil and place in the oven. Slide baking sheet into the oven. Roast for 20 minutes covered. Remove the foil and roast for another 10-15 minutes. Remove and set aside.

Slice the cauliflower into 1 inch thick cross sections with the core intact. Lay the slices on the last baking sheet and brush with the rosemary + lemon oil on both sides. Season with salt and pepper and slide into the oven. The cauliflower should take about 20-25 minutes, so make sure you prep this one last. Remove and set aside.

While the vegetables are roasting, start the lentils. Heat the 2 tsp grapeseed oil over medium heat. Add the diced shallots. Stir them around until they become translucent and soft, about 3 minutes. Add the rinsed lentils to the pan and stir them around in the oil and shallots. Add the water to the pan. bring lentils to a very faint simmer, like just a couple bubbles coming to the surface here and there. Cook until the lentils are soft with a tiny bit of bite intact, topping up the pot with more water as necessary, about 25-30 minutes. Season lentils with salt and stir in a glug of olive oil to keep the lentils individual.

Make the vinaigrette: Combine all of the vinaigrette ingredients in a blender and blend on medium-high until mixture is creamy and incorporated. Check for seasoning, adjust to your liking and set aside. I tend to like vinaigrettes on the more acidic side, so you may wish to add more oil.

To serve, divide the warm lentils among 2 dinner plates, pressing down on them with the back of a spoon to make a flat surface. Stack the roasted vegetables on top of the flattened lentils. Drizzle the whole thing with horseradish vinaigrette. Garnish with olives and chopped parsley. Serve warm.

Click the picture below for mixes!

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Caitlin13/02/2013 - 8:01 am

i’m not a fan of “just go with it” either. i feel like that is usually a recipe for disaster(for me). but this vegetable stack is proof that it can also work out for the best.

i loved the part “i just want a plate of vegetables!” i am the same exact way ;)

thelittleloaf13/02/2013 - 9:25 am

I hate it when plans become out of your control – so frustrating! This looks like a pretty delicious dish to be holed up against the snow with. And hoping you’ll post your other recipe sometime soon anyway? :-)

Ashlae13/02/2013 - 9:57 am

I have to admit, when I “just go with it” things turn out in a disastrous form. Yours, however, turned out beautifully and I am l-o-v-i-n’ the shots, girl. Also loving these stacks and thinking I might be able to pull them off despite not being the greatest cook (ahem, I made sweet potato fries last night and burnt them – ’nuff said).

Sunny13/02/2013 - 9:58 am

That looks and sounds absolutely heavenly! Can’t wait to try it out myself!

Sunny :)
arcticgrub.com

Grace13/02/2013 - 10:17 am

I’m learning how to “just go with it” but it hasn’t been without some hangry mini meltdowns or flinging my arms in the air in surrender. I often find myself eating roasted vegetables with hummus for dinner. This dish looks perfect!

tara13/02/2013 - 10:17 am

I know it’s such a funny thing to say, but how beautiful those lentils look! It’s amazing the difference mixing the brown + French make, in showing each off. Lovely.

carey13/02/2013 - 12:09 pm

Oh my god, I understand that “I just want a plate of vegetables!” crankiness all too well! I think (nope, I know) that I drive Johnny insane whenever we’re trying to agree on any sort of formal, respectable dinner, be it at a restaurant, take-out, or making something at home. (I harbor an unjustified level of resentment towards him for being an ex-vegetarian-turned-meat-enthusiast, while I’m an ex-vegetarian that still pretty much eats like one anyway. It feels like we’ll never understand each other!) (:

So yeah, this is pretty much exactly what I want to eat, all the time. I love it.

(We were lucky enough to only get an average snowfall from that storm — around 6–8 inches. I saw pictures a friend in Maine posted, and it looked like they had over 2 feet. Stupid snow!)

Christine13/02/2013 - 1:19 pm

This recipe sounds delicious, and your pictures are lovely! Even though it’s not what you had set out to make, I think you should still be pretty proud of it :)

Joanne13/02/2013 - 1:48 pm

I am not that great at just winging it in the kitchen, especially when I have my heart set on something! So I totally get it. And I always want a huge plate of veggies. ALWAYS. This stack looks marvelous to me.

[...] Dinner & 2 (!) V-Day mixes for your listening pleasure. [...]

Kathryn13/02/2013 - 3:16 pm

I, for one, am glad that you decided to wing it. These flavours are pretty epic and the pictures? Breathtakingly gorgeous. You nailed this one.

Eileen13/02/2013 - 3:39 pm

This stack sounds like the perfect escape from the stodge of winter stews and root veg. I love the idea of basing the whole thing on a big bed of delicious lentils!

sandra13/02/2013 - 4:29 pm

what a lovely mess. so creative and full of fun flavors. i love it.

Sonja13/02/2013 - 8:47 pm

Girl, this is amazing! I would never have guessed that this was not your original idea. These photos are GORgeous. And may I ask, what was the original plan?

Tiffany13/02/2013 - 9:08 pm

I just found you and I am SO GLAD I did. Beautiful photography and great recipes! Love what you’ve got going on here.

Sofia14/02/2013 - 12:55 am

I’m totally with you on the plate full of vegetables, it’s what I crave most of the time. Gorgeous photos! Can’t wait to try this.

Shira14/02/2013 - 1:02 am

Super beautiful! Loving the stacked idea … and regardless of the first try (which I am sure was delicious) – you nailed it! YUM.

Alexa14/02/2013 - 2:22 pm

There is nothing more satisfying than vegetables! I’m def making this!

Kathryne14/02/2013 - 5:43 pm

I can totally imagine you raging hard in the kitchen, furiously chopping up those vegetables… It’s making me smile now! I don’t know exactly what you had in mind for Vday, but I think this recipe looks perfect. Seriously, Laura, those photos are magazine worthy.

Ashley14/02/2013 - 5:50 pm

This is beautiful! Love the stack idea. :)

Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)14/02/2013 - 7:18 pm

This is beautiful! I love the stack of vegetables. It looks incredibly hearty and yummy. And the photography is beautiful, as always.

Manu15/02/2013 - 10:10 am

wow this looks delicious!! cauliflower is so underrated!! i love your pictures too!

[...] been eating them every day, mostly in salads. I can’t wait to try them in Laura’s Lemon Rosemary Vegetable Stack with Lentils and Creamy Horseradish Vinaigrette, Marla’s Rustic Roasted Beet & Sweet Potato Salad, or Debi’s Baja Style Tofu Tacos [...]

sara forte15/02/2013 - 10:07 pm

i feel you. I usually want the same thing, lots of tasty vegetables, but seems it nearly impossible to find that done creatively around here. Always easier to get what I want at home but so fun to go out. Beautiful plating, i love things stacked up. xo

Searchable Saturdays | V16/02/2013 - 9:06 am

[...]     [...]

Judie Keech17/02/2013 - 7:27 pm

Made the roasted veggies today and wow is that good! Thank you!
I did add one thing, roasted red peppers. Otherwise stuck to the recipe. I will definitely make this again!

sarah18/02/2013 - 11:08 pm

I’m pretty sure I’ve never put up my hands and exclaimed, “I just want a plate of vegetables!” But, as always, I come here and wish that I did say that frequently, and ate this delicious vegetable stack all weekend instead of chocolate heart cake. I think I need you for a neighbor. :)

Beautiful photos!! as always. I just love those beets.

Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough18/02/2013 - 11:44 pm

This. Is. Stunning. New reader here and I am definitely hooked!

[...] eggplant rollatini by thepassionateparsley.com Lemon rosemary vegetable stack with lentils and creamy horseradish vinaigrette by thefirstmess.com Chickpea tacos with guacamole by coffeeandquinoa.com Creamy zucchini, lemon and [...]

hugin20/02/2013 - 6:41 pm

i was a little uncertain about this, ’cause i’m not the biggest fan of cauliflower, but in the end, it was so delicious, and the cauliflower was the best part! thank you so much for posting this, even if it wasn’t quite what you’d originally been set on! :)

Top 10s - 80twenty22/02/2013 - 6:42 pm

[...] This past weekend we had a little dinner party where, to our great delight, we ate big, beautiful plates of veggies. [...]

[...] Lemon Rosemary Vegetable Stack With Lentils. [...]

[...] Running around the Indonesian supermarket, I was surprised to find a bunch of beets and cauliflower and an abundance of sweet potatoes.  Our host had an abundance of lentils, and so I prepared an adaptation of the following recipe from The First Mess. [...]

Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche03/08/2013 - 8:18 am

WOW! This is stunning! Looks delicious :)

Pami31/08/2013 - 4:53 am

This is stunning and sounds delicious. As fall is right around the corner, this will definitely be on the menu soon. There are definitely times when you just need a big plate of vegetables!

[…] Lemon Rosemary Winter Vegetable Stacks with Lentils and creamy horseradish vinaigrette, via The First Mess […]

cheri06/02/2014 - 6:54 pm

What a great post and pics, love this recipe!

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