Monday, April 04, 2005

versatile roasted vegetables

Sorry for not posting much last week. The blogger interface was a bit hosed all week so it was a bit too frustrating to try to put stuff up.

Today's topic is a brief discussion about the wonders of roasted vegetables. First, how to make them:

1) Find an assortment of vegetables that are good roasted. These can include bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms (yeah, technically not a veg), carrots, sweet potato, cauliflower, asparagus, etc. Broccoli is not so good, nor are leafy greens like kale or bok choy.
2) Chop your selected veggies up into bite-sized chunks or slightly larger (they shrink when roasted).
3) Mix together equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar (cheap stuff, not good stuff)with some salt and pepper. Be liberal with the salt.
4) Dump this dressing all over veggies in a large bowl, toss to coat thoroughly and let marinade for up to an hour.
5) Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet, one layer thick (do NOT pile or veggies will steam instead of roast and be mushy and yucky). Roast for 1/2 hour or so at 400F. Toss with fresh minced garlic and lots of basil while warm.

Now you have a delightful mélange of tasty, sweet vegetables that can be used in about a billion different dishes. Here are some ideas:

- In a lasagne, with a béchamel sauce and lots of parmesan
- On a pizza
- As part of sandwiches
- Stirred into a risotto
- Tossed with bow-tie noodles
- Combined with chicken stock and blended into a smooth creamy soup (for a tasty change, omit the basil and add cumin and yogurt to the soup)
- serve as a simple side dish

If you make a big batch, you can store them in the fridge for up to a week. You also don't have to necessarily do bite-sized pieces - do slices for sandwiches, or a finer dice if you're going to be making sauce or soup.


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