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Roasted sweet potato, turnip, and onion from the 4/3/13 cooking demonstration

Roasted sweet potato, turnip, and onion from the 4/3/13 cooking demonstration

Roasted Vegetables

Community meeting cooking demonstration, 3/6/13 and 4/3/13

The simplest (and often tastiest) way to cook most vegetables is to roast them. We’ve done this before (broccoli and cauliflower, sweet potatoes, squash, and more), but here are some general instructions for pretty much any vegetable.

Choose any of the following vegetables:

  • root vegetables: potato, sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, turnip, rutabaga, beet, etc
  • squash: butternut, acorn, pumpkin, etc
  • “cole crops” (the broccoli family): broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage (wedges with the core attached works best), kohlrabi
  • onions
  • asparagus
  • green beans
  • almost anything you can think of

Preheat oven to 400. Gather as many baking sheets or dishes as you have kinds of vegetables (it can be fine to mix them, but sometimes they cook at different speeds).

Cut the vegetable into whatever size pieces you want. They can be bite-sized, or you can take a knife and fork to them later. If you’re mixing different vegetables together to roast on the same pan, make sure the pieces are the same size so they cook at about the same speed.

Place vegetables in a bowl (keep different vegetables separate if you have enough baking dishes) and add a pinch of salt and just enough oil to coat them lightly. Toss or mix to combine.

Spread oiled vegetables on baking sheet and place in oven. The amount of time your vegetables will take depends on the vegetable and the size of the pieces. After about 20 minutes, begin checking your vegetables. They are done when a knife or fork slides in with no resistance and the edges are medium to dark brown.

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roasted broccoli & cauliflower

Roasted Broccoli or Cauliflower

Community demonstration, 1/23/13

Tired of the same old boring vegetables? Roasting is a really easy, really tasty way to make vegetables more exciting. You can use fresh or frozen vegetables – both work very well.

  • 1 pound broccoli, cauliflower, or a combination, cut into florets – fresh or frozen
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable, canola, or olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, toss all ingredients until vegetables are evenly coated with oil and salt. (Frozen vegetables can go straight from the freezer to the bowl – just remove any extra ice.) Spread on a baking sheet.

Bake for 25-35 minutes if fresh, 35-45 minutes if frozen, until stems are tender when pierced with a knife and edges are browned.

Serves 4 as a side dish.

VARIATIONS: This simple preparation is easy to dress up however you like:

  • Add 1 teaspoon chili powder or any other favorite spice blend before roasting
  • Bake until almost done, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese and return to oven until just melted
  • Toss cooked vegetables with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar before serving

Broccoli, Bacon, Pasta, and Parmesan Frittata (Spaghetti Omelet)

Committee meeting working lunch, 5/17/12

Frittatas are a great way to use up leftovers. The basic idea is that you can combine any pre-cooked ingredients (broccoli, bacon, and pasta, in this case) with enough eggs to cover them, then add seasonings (parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper, here) and cook until set. A different recipe that follows this basic idea is the Spanish Potato Omelet. Feel free to experiment with this recipe to see what vegetables and starches you like best with your eggs.

  • 4 slices bacon, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups cooked broccoli (steamed, boiled, roasted, leftover – it all works)*
  • 3 cups cooked pasta, any shape (leftovers are perfect for this)
  • 10 eggs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper, to taste

Heat a large skillet. Add bacon and cook on medium heat until bacon is crisp. Remove bacon to a large bowl and leave grease in the pan. Turn off the heat while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

To the bowl with the bacon, add broccoli and pasta. Add eggs, cracking each into a small bowl or cup before adding it to the large bowl (this is to make sure that a bad egg or pieces of shell won’t ruin your whole mixture). Add cheese, salt, and pepper.

Turn the heat back on under the skillet with the bacon grease. When the grease is very hot, add the egg mixture and allow to cook over medium heat until cooked about halfway through, about 7-10 minutes.

Flipping the frittata: using potholders or oven mitts, place a large plate over the skillet. Take the whole business over the sink (just in case) and flip the half-cooked frittata out of skillet and onto the plate. Put the skillet back on the stove, then slide the frittata back into the pan, raw side down.

Continue to cook until fully cooked through, 5-7 minutes, then flip or slide onto a plate.

Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.

Serves 8.

*Broccoli can be grown in your Nebraska garden.

Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables

Committee meeting working lunch, 1/11/12

Pasta salads can incorporate any seasonal vegetables, and they don’t have to be drenched in mayonnaise – a little bit in a flavorful dressing goes a long way. This salad comes together very quickly once the prep work cutting and roasting the vegetables is done.

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes*
  • 1 small head cauliflower**
  • 1 small head broccoli (in the photo, there are kale stems rather than broccoli, as I had some frozen from my garden)**
  • 2 parsnips*
  • 4 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil, divided
  • Salt
  • 1 pound pasta, small shape
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced rosemary***
  • ½ tablespoon minced sage***
  • Black pepper

Preheat oven to 400º.

Cut each vegetable into ½” rough cubes and put into separate bowls. Add one teaspoon oil and a pinch of salt to each. Spread each vegetable on a separate baking sheet and roast until tender, 20-30 minutes. (Can be made in advance – refrigerate until ready to use.)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta as directed, then drain and rinse with cold water.

While pasta is cooking, whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, cider vinegar, and herbs to make a dressing.

Stir together cooked pasta, roasted vegetables, and dressing. Add more salt and black pepper to taste.

Serves 10-12 as a side dish or meal component, or 6-8 as a main course

*Sweet potatoes and parsnips can be grown in Nebraska and stored into winter

**Broccoli and cauliflower can be grown here, then blanched and frozen for winter use. In this recipe, you can roast them directly from frozen.

***Herbs can be grown outside in the summer or in a pot indoors during the winter.