Chocolate Port Sauce over Grilled Vegetables
To capture the elegant and complex flavor of this sauce, use the very best ingredients you can afford—and these humble winter vegetables will satisfy the most discerning guest. The sauce is also terrific on grilled chicken or drizzled atop fluffy scrambled eggs.
2 large green zucchini, cut into ½-inch-thick and 2-inch-long strips
1 acorn squash, sliced crosswise into four 1-inch slabs
2 large parsnips, cut into ½-inch-thick and 2-inch-long diagonal strips
2 large carrots, cut into ½-inch-thick and 2-inch-long diagonal strips
8 yellow baby carrots
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon of vegetable, canola, or other neutral oil
2 tablespoons shallots or red onion, finely minced
1 tablespoon whole wheat pastry flour
½ cup mushroom or beef stock
¾ cup fine port
1½ ounces quality 85 percent dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
Freshly ground pepper
Nutrition FactsPer serving: 307 calories, 15 g fat, (4 saturated), 40 carbohydrates, 5 g protein, 7.6 g fiber, 422 mg sodium (19% Daily Value).
Directions1. Preheat oven to 425˚F. Prepare the vegetables, setting aside the zucchini, then place squash, parsnips, carrots, and baby carrots on a large baking sheet. Toss with 1V tablespoons of olive oil to coat and place evenly on the sheet so the vegetables aren’t touching. Sprinkle with sea salt and place in oven for about 15 minutes.
2. Toss the zucchini in the remaining olive oil. After 15 minutes check the vegetables and move or flip them so they caramelize evenly, then fit the zucchini onto the sheet. Put the vegetables back in the oven for another 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the oil and add the shallots or red onion. Sauté for about 1 minute. Add the flour and whisk to create a paste and heat for about 1 minute so the flour cooks, but does not brown. Add the stock and whisk until it’s incorporated smoothly and thickens.
4. Slowly add the port wine, whisking to combine, then add the chocolate and whisk gently until it melts and is incorporated into the mixture. Add a pinch of sea salt and a few grindings of the pepper mill.
5. Turn the heat down to very low and whisk occasionally, allowing the sauce to reduce by W to V, about 8 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning if necessary. It should be thick like a gravy, and have a very glossy, deep chocolate color. It can sit on very low heat until you are ready to serve, but whisk it occasionally so a skin doesn’t form on top.
6. Arrange the vegetables on the plate, with the squash on one side, and the strips of vegetables fanning out from it. Drizzle the sauce over the vegetables, dripping a few drops of sauce on the empty areas of the plate. Garnish the dish with a pinch of very coarse sea salt.