Well I guess I am on a roasting kick - must be the weather. When I was growing up vegetables were boring. Being of good Irish German American stock, our main vegetable was the potato. Nowadays, I look at it more as a starch and lump it in with others like squash, rice, corn. We also had beans (green, yellow and wax - which I hated), beets, carrots, peas - nothing out of the ordinary. Unfortunately they were all canned. And when I say that I mean tin cans bought at the store, not my great-grandmother's vegetables that she would can herself.
I eat a lot more vegetables these days and it must because we have more opportunities to get fresh and organic ones. There are farmer's markets and organic grocery stores.
Here's a recipe I developed and it is what I call "flexible" - measurements don't need to be exact, you can add other ingredients or remove what you don't like. Sort of like Gypsy Soup (I'll discuss that in a later post).
4 large russet potatoes
3 red, green or yellow bell peppers
1 large butternet squash
3 large yellow onions
1 lb baby carrots
2 bulbs fennel or sweet anise
1 lb large white mushrooms
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Sprinkle 4 tbsp olive oil in a large, deep roasting pan.
3. Wash potatoes but do not peel. Cut into large slices so that you have 6 pieces for each potato. Place in roasting pan.
4. Remove seeds and ribs from peppers. Cut into quarters and place in roasting pan.
5. Remove stem and seeds from squash. Cut into large pieces (about 3 inches long by 1 inch wide) and place in roasting pan.
6. Cut onions into quarters and place in roasting pan.
7. Place baby carrots in roasting pan.
8. Cut green stems off of fennel bulbs (use for salad later) and cut into quarters. Place in roasting pan.
9. Clean mushrooms and place whole in roasting pan.
10. Sprinkle vegetables with 1 tbsp salt and 1 tsp black pepper - use more or less as you see fit.
11. Chop about 3 tbsp fresh rosemary and sprinkle over vegetables.
12. Toss with hands - vegetables should be coated with oil so they don't burn but there shouldn't be excess oil.
13. Place in oven and roast for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 45 minutes, if larger pieces such as potatoes are not soft yet, keep roasting and checking vegetables. Remove when potatoes are soft but not mushy.
14. Sprinkle 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar over vegetables. Adjust salt and pepper.
Serving: This makes a lot of vegetables! They work well with lamb, chicken or a roast beef or pork. Later on in the week, I like to eat them cold or throw them into a soup.
Photo: Roast Vegetable Goodness by Pat Kight on Flickr