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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.

Salad with Roasted Beets

In this recipe, the beets are into bite-sized pieces before roasting. This helps them cook faster, and it also creates more delicious caramelized edges. This salad is another version of the basic “salad with roasted vegetables.”

Roasted beets:

  • 2 medium or 4 small beets*
  • 1 teaspoon olive, canola, or vegetable oil
  • 1 large pinch salt

Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 large pinch salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup olive, canola, or vegetable oil

Salad:

  • 6 ounces lettuce or mixed baby greens*, washed and dried
  • 2 ounces goat, feta, or blue cheese, crumbled (optional)
  • 2 ounces walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped (optional)
  • roasted beets
  • vinaigrette

Roasted beets: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and peel the beets. Cut into bite-sized pieces and place in a small bowl. Add oil and salt, then toss to coat. Place beets on a baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes, until a fork or knife inserted in the beets meets no resistance. Allow to cool.

Vinaigrette: In a small bowl (you can use the same one as above), whisk together vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add the oil in a slow stream while whisking.

Salad: To a large bowl, add the washed and dried lettuce, cheese, nut, and cooled beets. Add about ¾ of the vinaigrette (whisk it up again if it has separated) and toss to coat. If you want heavier dressing, add the rest. If not, save it for another salad.

Serves 4-6.

*Beets and lettuce can both be grown in your own garden.

Herb-Grilled Potatoes
Adapted from Gourmet

Par-boiling the potatoes in advance helps them cook quickly and evenly on the grill. Use a mix of your favorite herbs from the garden or farmers market in this recipe. If you don’t feel like firing up the grill for these, you can also roast them.

  • herb-grilled potatoes2 lbs potatoes*, any variety
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped herbs* (any combination, including basil, parsley, thyme, oregano, rosemary, mint, etc)
  • 2 cloves garlic*, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Cut potatoes into slices about 1/2 inch thick. Cook in boiling salted water for 10 minutes (the potatoes won’t be done yet).

In the meantime, prepare the grill. (Or, if roasting, preheat oven to 350 degrees.)

Also in the meantime, prepare herb oil. In a large bowl, combine chopped herbs, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and olive oil. Mix well.

After 10 minutes, drain the potatoes. Add them to the bowl with the herb oil and toss or gently stir to completely coat potato slices.

When grill is ready, remove potato slices from oil and place on the grill. (Or, place on baking sheet in oven.) Cook, turning occasionally, until tender, about 5-10 minutes. When done, remove from grill (/oven), toss with remaining herb oil if desired, and serve.

Serves 4.

*You can grow these ingredients in your own garden.

Roasted Red Peppers

Removing the skin from roasted peppers can be an annoying and messy task, but that smoky, charred taste combined with the sweetness of the roasted peppers makes it well worth the effort.

Preheat a broiler or grill to high heat. Place peppers directly under broiler or on grill. Allow the skin facing the heat to blacken and blister, 1-2 minutes. Turn the peppers and allow the next side to blacken. Continue rotating until the skin is completely blackened. Transfer peppers to a bowl or container and cover tightly with a lid or plastic wrap. Allow to sit, covered, for at least 20 minutes (steam helps the skin come off).

When peppers are cool enough to handle, use your hands to carefully open the pepper and remove the seeds, stem, and any liquid inside. Then, place the pepper (pieces, by now) skin-side up on a cutting board and use your fingers or a knife to scrape off the skin. It should come off easily. Do not rinse the peppers.

Green Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Cilantro

Community meeting training session dinner, 3/26/12, 2/6/13

Remember the roasted sweet potatoes from last meeting’s dinner? This time, they’re in smaller pieces in a salad, but the technique to cook them is exactly the same. As for the lettuce, you can use any variety, including lettuce you grow in your own garden. When you use head lettuce from the store or lettuce from your garden, remember to wash it in plenty of cold water to get any dirt off.

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