Monday, December 28, 2009

Winter Roasted Side

Excuse my extended leave, just keeping my priorities in check. I hope you found wonderfully nourishing whole food recipes to fill your bellies through the holidays.

This month, one particular recipe has been made over and over again. It is so versatile, so easy, so delicious and so healthy. I have to admit to eating an entire batch by myself and have started making double batches to feed my family of 5. I have written about roasting vegetables before and it is nothing new in technique, but lately I have been amazed at how we can enjoy vegetables that we typically avoid.

Beets and eggplant; never like them much. I have been getting baskets from Bountiful Baskets (see right for link) for a couple years and now and then I come across them again. I have tried them in this and that and cooked many recipes from salads to spreads to cakes, never liking the results much with these ingredients. Beets are so earthy, they give everything the taste of dirt. Eggplant is so watery making food bland and soggy. In this recipe, the beets caramelize and the earthiness is gone, while the eggplant shrivels to nothing but little bits of delicious garlic flavor.

You will want to peel the eggplant, the peel does not soften when cooked. I don’t peel anything else since the highest concentration of nutrients lies just beneath the peel. If you don’t have convection, I would recommend spreading one batch between two sheet pans to help with browning.

Try a new vegetable, or use what you have on hand. The only vegetable I have tried and not liked so much is broccoli. Great options are;

Sweet potatoes
*in this particular batch

5 cups vegetables, julienne
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried herbs
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425, convection is best. Combine garlic, oil, herbs (I like rosemary, thyme and oregano) and pepper. Drizzle over vegetables and toss to coat. Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes; remove from oven and toss, moving the vegetables from the center towards the edges of the pan. Return to oven for 5 to 10 minutes until vegetables are thoroughly browned. Salt, toss and serve.

Winter Roasted Side on Foodista


  1. I tried roasting my veggies for the 1st time after reading your post about roasting them (awhile back)and I am hooked. I served asparagus roasted on Christmas and was dying at how good it was. I will never steam again!! I can't wait to try this. I'm pretty boring with my selections of veggies because I don't know how to cook them, but I'm excited to try these. Yum!!

  2. Mmmm, asparagus, I have not tried that one! Thanks for sharing. Any ideas for vegetables are welcome here as they have become the center of our diet.

  3. Love checking on your site Kara. We tried your sweet potato fries tonight and loved them. Our special sauce is usually vegennaise, tomato paste, stone ground mustard and a little agave. We have also been really liking roasted broccoli lately. My kids will eat it by the platefulls. Check here for the recipe we use (minus the lemon, my kids aren't found of it).

  4. Broccoli? really? I will have to play around with that some more. Every time I try it, it is bitter. Maybe it's the convection heat, or maybe I just need to roast it alone because it cooks faster. Thanks for the link and the special sauce idea too.

  5. This was great. I used celery root (and some other new-to-me ingredients)for the first time with this and it was lovely. We actually put these over some quinoa and added a white cheese sauce. It was our main course.

  6. I love it, April! That is what I have been doing too. I have never used celery root, I will have to look for it. It is fun to find new ways to make/serve the same thing. We roasted vegetables like in this recipe and threw them in a tortilla with eggs and cheese, it was a delicious breakfast burrito for dinner. The quinoa is a great idea, thanks for sharing!

  7. yum...i love roasted vegetables. it is one of the only ways i truly enjoy eating vegetables. i love to do broccoli, cauliflower, red onion, asparagus and brussels sprouts. i will have to give the eggplant and beets a try!

    how do you feel about the olive oil since it is roasting at a high temperature? i have tried a few things with coconut oil but with roasted vegetables i am nervous...mostly because i like the italian taste the olive oil gives and when i use coconut oil it seems too asian.

  8. I use pure olive oil here, not extra virgin. Pure olive oil, though more processed, can handle more heat. Coconut oil is a really good option if you can get used to the flavor in this situation. Also, the extra step of melting it in the winter time, makes me more apt to use olive oil.


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