Roasted veggies

Crispy roasted veggies go well with a hearty breakfast, and they also make a great side dish, or main dish, for dinner. So they're versatile, and they're also simple. If you try to eat in season and you either have your own storage vegetables or get them from your farmers market it's good to have a lot of ways to prepare them, as they'll be the same veggies you'll eat for months. Dicing them into big chunks, tossing them with oil and spices, and throwing them in the oven is the way I most frequently keep myself eating a lot of veggies through the winter.

As I chop them up, I put the veggies into a bowl that I’ve got a mixture of olive oil, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and a bit of honey in, and when all the chopped veggies are in the bowl I stir it all up to coat everything in the oil-spice mix. Sometimes I get more creative with spices - I’ll add rosemary, oregano, thyme - but other than the absolutely necessary salt and pepper it’s really up to you. I like to add a little bit of honey, which really makes the roasted vegetable flavor pop, but they'll still be delicious without it, so it's up to you. 

Remember, if you don't have storage veggies from your own garden, get them at your local farmers market!

Remember, if you don't have storage veggies from your own garden, get them at your local farmers market!

As I’m doing this, I’ve got a baking sheet (preferably higher sided than the one I have in the pictures) on the bottom rack of an oven preheating to 450. Once it’s preheated, I spread the veggies out on the hot baking sheet (they should start sizzling immediately) making sure there’s space between them - if they’re all piled on top of each other, or if they’re all touching, they’ll steam more than they'll roast. I loosely place tin foil over the pan to prevent oil from splattering and filling the kitchen with smoke. Then I let it cook for about seven or eight minutes before stirring it up and flipping it as best I can. After another seven or eight minutes and another stir, I leave the foil off and turn the broiler on. Now, this is sort of weird, but I leave the pan on the bottom rack after I turn the broiler on. Mostly because I almost always overcook veggies that I put directly under the broiler, and partly because it further avoids a smoke filled kitchen.

I keep a close eye on it after I turn the broiler on, and take it out when the veggies have one or two sides browned, and the rest is nice and toasty looking. Don’t be afraid of darkened sides on your veggie chunks! This is not burning, this is the Maillard reaction, and it makes your food delicious. Trust me. Don’t go overboard, though, chunks of ash don’t make a good meal. 

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