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Late Summer Veggie Bowl

We made an early Summer veggie bowl a few months ago, and it was such a huge hit around here that we decided to make that a seasonal thing. Like it's predecessor, add whatever you have on hand, but for this version we used roasted beets, eggplant and cherry tomatoes with steamed kale as the base, and made a peach vinaigrette to top it all. Add cooked black beans or steamed brown/wild rice to make it a complete meal.

 1 bunch beets, scrubbed tops removed (save for your juicer)
 1 pint cherry tomatoes
 1 small eggplant
 1 red onion
 1 head kale, tough center ribs removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
 1/2 lb green beans, ends trimmed and cut into thirds
 Bulagrian or our Black Pepper Feta, crumbled as garnish (optional)
For Dressing
 1 large, soft peach
 1 tbsp honey (or maple syrup)
 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
 1/4 cup sunflower oil
Other great add-ins:
 Steamed/roasted broccoli
 Sweet corn kernels
 Radicchio or fennel (for a nice bitter bite)
 Shredded cabbage
 1 cup cooked black beans

Set the oven to 375 and get out two baking sheets. Scrub the beets, and then peel them. Once peeled (you can use a sharp paring knife to cut off just the very outside skin), cut them into your desired shape (we made ours roughly the size of clementine wedges.) In a bowl, toss with a little bit of oil, salt and pepper and then spread out on half of one baking sheets.


Do the same with the eggplant (for those who hate eggplant, try peeling it first) and add to the other half. Make sure when you put the oil-tossed cubes on the baking sheet that there is plenty of room in between. Chop the red onion into wedges and intersperse among the eggplant cubes.


Toss the cherry tomatoes in a little oil (just so they're barely glistening) and add to the other baking sheet. Any other veggie you're using can be added to the other side of the tomato baking sheet.


Put all the trays into the oven for about 40 minutes, rotating and turning the trays halfway through for even cooking. Test periodically after about 30 minutes to make sure nothing gets burned or to crispy.


In the meantime, prep your kale and heat up your beans or grains (if using.) Once the kale is washed and torn up, bring about an inch of water to a simmer in a skillet that has a lid and all at once toss in the kale and cover. Wait about 2 minutes, then remove the cover and stir a bit. The kale should be bright green. If you're doing this step ahead of time, then drop into an ice water bath for another 2 minutes. Drain and squeeze out any extra moisture. Do the same thing to the green beans.


Make the dressing-- using either a blender, a food processor or a food mill (the best option, and if you don't have one they're a super useful kitchen tool and can be found onlinerelatively inexpensively), purée your peach. Add in the honey and the apple cider vinegar, and a small pinch of pink salt. Start to whisk, and very slowly pour into your oil-- starting with just a few drops, and then in a slow and skinny stream. You're going for creamy, so after you've used about half your oil taste and see how much more you need to keep going so that the vinegar flavor is balance.


Assemble your bowl- kale on the bottom, then beans or grains, and then add the roasted veggies around the top in different sections like a color wheel. Top with a few crumbles of cheese, if using, or toasted pepitas or sunflower seeds. Add some dressing and toss. Serve!