Galentine's Day Lunch

In gratitude of the love that is female friendships, I can't wait to celebrate the wonderful women in my life on February 13. 

This eve of Valentine’s Day is gaining traction as a new pseudo-holiday known as “Galentines Day.” The term, coined on the television series “Parks and Recreation” is all about acknowledging the importance of having friends. 

As a massive fan of both puns and friendships, I’m all for a day with a clever name and a goal of honoring gal pals. It isn’t possible to see all my friends on this day, but for those I’m able to gather, we’ll have a lunch, wine and happiness.

I’m serving warmth and exotic flavor. Parsnip and cauliflower ginger soup and a goat cheese and olive bake is on the menu. For dessert, chocolate pots de cremes with raspberries.

Parsnip and Cauliflower Ginger Soup

  • 3 medium parsnips, washed, peeled, diced
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, washed and broken into individual florets
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 inch nob of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 6 cups water or vegetable broth
  • Pinch of saffron
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • Creme fraiche for serving
Saffron Gives a Luxurious Somewhat Unnameable Flavor

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place parsnips and cauliflower into a bowl. Add olive oil, cumin, turmeric and allspice and toss to even coat. Pour vegetables onto baking sheet and season with a pinch of salt and about 20 cranks of the pepper-mill. Place vegetables in oven and roast for 25 minutes. This step add depth of flavor to the soup, but you could also make the recipe by skipping roasting the vegetables and simply cooking them in the soup pot.

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion. Saute for five to seven minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the pinch of saffron. 

Pour the vegetable broth (or water) into the pot and then add the roasted vegetables. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for roughly 30 minutes. 

Take pot off the heat and then puree soup by using and immersion blender or pour soup in batches into a traditional blender. When soup is nearly fully blended, add the butter to give a glossy finish and texture. You'll see that the butter pulls the soup together.

Top with creme fraiche and fresh cracked pepper. Serve immediately.

Goat Cheese and Olive Bake

  • 8-10 oz of chevre 
  • 1 1/2 cup of marinara sauce (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 whole roasted pepper from a jar, diced
  • 8 oz mixed, pitted olives (I like using a mix of Kalamata and green)
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • Fresh basil and toasted bread for service

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly oil an oven-safe dish. Pour marinara, olives, diced pepper into dish and gently toss. Break chevre into chucks over the sauce mixture. Sprinkle red pepper flakes over the top of the dish and drizzle olive oil over everything. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. 

Serve hot or at room temperature with toasted bread, bread sticks or crackers. 


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