Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Perfect Roasted Vegetables

I love vegetables. Love them. I've come a long way from hiding broccoli under my plate or trying to feed it to the dog. My mom and I used to go tit for tat over finishing a serving of steamed vegetables (she would always win, but it was painful for all parties). My sister or I or both would be sitting in solitude on our booster seat at the kitchen table long after the dishes had been put away, sulking over soggy carrots. We would plug our nose, gulp down the last bite and chase it with a chug of milk.

As Chef O'Donnell said in class on the first day of class, "Animals don't want to be eaten--they run away, but vegetables were made to be consumed." And they can put on quite a show, even with the simplest of accoutrements. For example, these roasted root vegetables. To me, they might as well be candy. When we made them in class on roasting/baking day, I couldn't stop eating them, diving in with my fingers. Divinely crunchy but densely chewy. A faint sweetness from the beets and carrots. Earthy substance straight from the ground. These bite-size morsels go down oh so easily.

These vegetables need little help to coax them into deliciousness, just some heat, olive oil, salt and pepper, and a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme. After peeling and chopping, I sat down to play spider solitaire (a dangerous addiction I'm now fessing up to) for 45 minutes until they were fork tender and golden brown. I took them to a Sunday-night potluck with friends where we shared South African fare from Robyn, squash and red-bean salad from Sarah and Matthew, lamb kabobs with apricot sauce, cheesey potatoes, and cranberry-crumble pie in a dimly-lit home whilst listening to records. There could be no better way to usher in the shorter days of winter.

Roasted Root Vegetables:
1/4 pound parsnips
1/4 pound carrots
1/4 pound beets
1/4 pound turnips
1/4 pound red potatoes
1/4 pound celery root
olive oil
salt and pepper
2 sprigs rosemary
2 sprigs thyme

Preheat oven to 400. Peel and coarsely chop the root vegetables. Arrange on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add rosemary and thyme sprigs. Bake until fork tender, about 40 minutes.

1 comment:

Allison said...

funnily enough, i told a story about hiding vegetables and feeding them to the dog just the day that i read your post! we've come a long way since then...