Saturday, December 5, 2009

Roasted Vegetables and Ramen Noodle Salad

Tonight is our annual staff Christmas Party. It's always a gala event that both Jim and I look forward to. Especially the crazy gift exchange. I refuse to get stuck with the edible underpants ever again. I love sampling all of my colleagues fares. Last year, Sandy Kowalski's husband had the most incredible recipe for a mushroom dish made of several varieties of mushrooms. This year I am taking two tried-and-true recipes I inherited from friends and family. My roasted vegetables recipe was given to me by my beautiful, talented and smart sister-in-law, Linda Blizzard. This dish can stand alone as the main entree or as a lovely side-dish at a potluck. It is ALWAYS a winner and every time I make it I am asked for the recipe.

1 large eggplant, diced into 1 1/2" cubes
1 pint pearl onions
1 pint small button mushrooms
1 lb. asparagus
1 red, yellow and green bell pepper cut into bite size pieces
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup olive oil
3 TBSP minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste.

Lightly spray a large roasting pan with non-stick spray. Toss in all vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Combine butter, olive oil and garlic. Pour over veggies to coat and toss. Roast in the oven for 1 hour at 400.

Next up is a Ramen Noodle Salad recipe that I got from my friend Lauri Capps in Cloudcroft, NM. Who knew Ramen Noodles could be used in something other than soup? This is a do-ahead recipe that actually needs some time for the flavors to marry and the noodles to soften (yes, without cooking them!) The dressing must be made the day before you plan on serving it, and the salad is mixed with the dressing and needs to sit for a few more hours before serving.

The Dressing:
2/3 cups salad oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup vinegar (I used rice vinegar but I am sure you can choose)

The Salad:
1 pkg. coleslaw mix
2 bunches green onions, chopped or sliced thin (I also include some of the tops)
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup sunflower seeds, roasted and salted
2 pkg. Chicken Ramen Noodles (broken up with the seasoning packets)

Mix the dressing ingredients and let sit overnight. DO NOT REFRIGERATE THIS. The next day, mix all salad ingredients together, add dressing and toss. Let stand for a few hours before serving.

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