I came across this article that started me thinking.
It talks about how the 'traditional' method of treating veggies has been the wet cooking methods; boiling or steaming. With few exceptions, that is how we all grew up eating them, except for the occasional baked potatoes.
A few years ago, I read a Celebrity Chef Thanksgiving article where the Chef recommended that the turkey be roasted on a bed of vegetables, rather than a rack. The veggies would flavor the drippings for the gravy. I tried it. And liked it. The drippings were flavored , the vegetables were flavored, and surprisingly tasty. I repeated the 'trick' with other meats and veggies with great success. From a start of the classic 'mirepoix' ingredients, I added potatoes, turnips, and sweet potatoes until the pile of veggies is larger than some of the roasts.
Then one evening, I decided to play with some baby red potatoes that needed to be used up. I cut them up into small bite size pieces, quarter or thirds, coated them in olive oil, and just rummaged through the spice rack before tossing them in the oven. There were some left from the meal, but they disappeared mysteriously over the next couple hours. A few by my own hand admittedly, but these were good.
The article got me to thinking over the last few weeks: What's wrong with roasting the vegetables? They taste wonderful, you only need a sheet pan and some oil, you have a hot oven. Why not intensify the flavors instead of diluting them? We still get them hot enough to break down the fibers for easy chewing, so where's the downside? It could even be done on a grill.
Here are a couple of simple things that I've done, you are free to adapt as you see fit.
Slice a sweet onion (Vidalia, Arizona Sweet, etc...) into thick rounds, about 3/8 to 1/2 inch.
Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place on the 'cool' side of the coal bed until done, flipping halfway through. Serve as a side.
Slice zucchini (or other squash) lengthwise, coat with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper, and grill until cooked. Turn if you want grill marks.
Heat a regular oven to 350 or convection oven to 325.
Baby Red potatoes, cut into small bite size pieces; 2, 3, or 4 per spud depending on size.
Put into large bowl, sprinkle with olive oil and toss until all are thinly coated.
Spread out on a sheet pan or cookie sheet in a single layer.
Rummage through your spice collection for whatever seems like it might work, and sprinkle over the potato bits. I settled on a Greek Seasoning that had somehow gotten into mine, plus garlic powder, sweet basil, a lemon pepper seasoning, salt and pepper.
The lemon in the Greek and lemon pepper seasoning mixes seems to work really well with the potatoes. Maybe I'll try some grated lemon zest when the lemon tree comes on next fall.
Bake for 20 - 25 min convection or 30 - 35 min conventional oven, stirring about halfway through. Check about 5 to 10 minutes before end time in case they're already doe.
This is a "wing it" recipe, that can be adjusted for circumstances, such as number of potatoes, their size, and oven conditions. One suggestion that I want to try is to sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese on them for the last few minutes.
Let's start giving the veggies a little love and respect instead of boiling them into soggy mush.
Add your ideas and recipes, we're all in this together.
Not unlike cabbage rolls, except that I don't bake them *in* the liquid.
I do steam the "wrappers" to make them a bit easier to roll: kale, cabbage, sometimes mustard greens.
I cut the "filling" veggies to a small dice or julienne, and mix them in a bowl with the seasonings, sometimes add nuts, crumbly cheese, or (for some Asian variations,) a little shoyu and/or peanut butter liquefied with some water), then roll them into the wrappers, brush the rolls with oil, and put them in on a cookie sheet lined with a silpat.
Then I can serve them with a homemade (or, if pressed for time, a good bottled) dipping sauce.
These are nummy.
One of my most requested dishes at work is roasted potato salad. Roast red potatoes as you described and add a sour cream/mayo mix while they're warm. I stir in chopped crisp bacon but you can add your favorites! I also make a roasted root vegetable medley that's very popular. I think the best pie I've ever made consisted of roasted apples, pears, sweet potatoes, and a small pumpkin. Puree, add milk, eggs, brown sugar, and preferred spices...very nice!
Enjoy experimenting with roasting and please share your results
I set up my stew meat or pot roast in the slow cooker with a variety of vegetables - sometimes just the frozen mixed vegetables and a chopped onion - a little liquid and whatever assortment of seasonings I'm in the mood for.
Then I cut up the rest of the vegetables I like with stew - this last time it was very simple: carrots, red potatoes and onion. The carrots and potatoes were cut in 1" pieces, the onions were cut in wedges. Put them into a big roasting pan, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled herbs and spices over them, and tossed the whole mess to coat well. Roasted the vegetables at 350 F for 40 minutes, then let sit in the oven for another 15-20 minutes (because I wasn't quite ready to get them out but had something else I had to do).
When I make stew, I freeze batches of it for later, so I distributed the vegetables among the containers and put them into the fridge until the meat was done. Then I cut up the meat, distribute it in the containers and divide up the gravy from the slow cooker.
This last time, I used:
4 pound boneless chuck roast
16 ounces frozen mixed vegetables
5 yellow onions, one chopped, rest quartered
2 pounds carrots
5 pounds red potatoes
4 stalks celery
herbs & spices
sparkling grape juice (leftover from something and instead of wine since I didn't have wine)
I ended up with 4 large containers, each will make a number of meals for the two of us.
When I roast the vegetables separately, they don't get mushy even after they are frozen and they still have a lot of flavor that adds to the stew.
i just recently started roasting the chicken on the veggies and now i wonder what took me so long to start. i'll have to give the roasted tater salad a try, that sounds tasty.
(google pic, not quite the same)
A friend had a fresh salmon filet with the skin on one side, some lettuce, potatoes, onions, lemons, olive oil and pepper.
He put a little oil on a baking sheet, then the lettuce, thin sliced potatoes and onions, with the filet skin side up and cooked it until it was done.
It worked with the thin slices and the filet wasn't that thick, either. The fish lent flavor to the veggies. He lifted it all up with a spatula, discarding some of the lettuce, then flipped it over and unto a platter.
Then garnished it with fresh lemon slices and black ground pepper. It was quick, easy and tasted good.
When I made it, I added some fresh parsley.
* It took me quite a while to type this out and doing so I realized it looked daunting But it really is not. It took nearly as much time to type this as it does cooking the menu. When everything is prepped, the cooking time goes smoothly. It just takes tenderness and care and concentration during the process. Personally, I rarely eat flesh and I have plenty of friends who eat none. But the majority of our friends do eat meat so we set up 3 grills to accommodate all. The process that I've outlined below is for me and my vegan and vegetarian friends which I cook on one of the grills and dishes that my meat eating friends also enjoy. So much so that I've had to increase the proportions over the years.
So here goes...
I read this process once in an italian cookbook and added some things and I do it every year at our MAJOR (up to 100 people) bbq..
Red, yellow or orange bell peppers
Waxy potatoes (sliced, in foil smallish packets, with olive oil, a smidge of butter, salt and pepper and herbs I love thyme with potatoes- optional, very thinly sliced scallions, very thinly sliced red bell pepper.)
Bread thinly sliced for bruschetta.
Toasted sesame oil
Aioli or full fat greek yogurt
Salt and pepper
Use the chimney to light the coals. When the top coals show white ash around the edges, pour them into the center of the grill and add some more to build a pyramid near the top of the grill grate.
Close the lid, leave the air vents at 1/3+ and let the coals heat up to fire red.
Open lid. Start with squat onions halved brushed with olive oil and salt and peppered. Flat side down down on the perimeter of the grill . Place a few bell peppers closer to the coals but not directly Close lid. Open in 5 minutes.
Rotate onions. Turn bell peppers. Close lid. Open in 5 minutes.
Turn onions and stud one or 2 with cloves and turn bell peppers over move onions toward pyramid of coals but not directly over.
Place the eggplants, halved or quartered longways and brushed with oil and salt and peppered (I usually use thin Japanese eggplants but the fat ones work too. and I season with toasted sesame oil, soy sauce and pepper) flesh side down on the perimeter of the grill. Close lid Open in 5 minutes.
Rotate eggplants. Check to see of bell peppers are blistered on all sides and if not, turn to blister the last side. Onions will be bubbling like crazy. Close grill open in 5 minutes.
Open lid. Bell peppers should be blistered and easy to peal. Remove from grill and toss into a paper bag.
Move onions closer to the coal pyramid which is now cooling down a bit. The outer layers might be looking a tad crisp but that is a good thing.
Turn the eggplants with skin side down and leave them on the outside perimeter and lay down the potato packets in a circle closer to the coal pyramid. Close the lid. Open in 10 minutes. Meanwhile, remove skin and seeds from bell pepper (use a cutting board with a deep well on the edges to capture the liquid and discard.) Put in a covered bowl to retain some cooking heat.
Open lid. Eggplant should be soft. Remove (close lid), cut into 2 inch chunks, dab with a good full fat yogurt or a homemade lemon aioli and some plain for vegans. Garnish with raw gold bell pepper.
Open lid. All that is left is the onions and potato packets but they are not quite ready yet. So, remove the onions, remove the grill grate, spread the coals. Close the lid for 2 minutes. Open the lid. If you can keep your hand over the grill for more than five seconds without feeling discomfort, add more coals to the center. Put the onions and potato packets back on.
Place meaty sliced in half tomatoes seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper on the grill, sliced side down on the outside perimeter of the grill. Close lid. Open in five minutes.
Open grill and rotate tomatoes. Close lid and open in 5 minutes.
Open grill and turn tomatoes over liberally sprinkle with thyme, marjoram, and oregano. Close lid and open in 10 minutes.
Open grill and test the tenderness of the potatoes in their packets with a toothpick. They should be done. Remove potato packets and leave unopened.
Tomatoes should be ready to take off the grill. Take off the onions studded with cloves and leave those not. Chop the tomato and clove studded onion and add to the same bowl. Add a few more herbs (parsley is good here) and salt and pepper to taste. Vegans and veterans love this mixture as a stand alone with a good crusty bread as do meat eaters as a condiment or sauce.
Drain the liquid (and discard) from the bell pepper bowl, return bell peppers to bowl add capers.
Add corn and scallions to the grill. With the corn on the hottest part of the grill and the scallions on the coolest. Close the grill. I prefer to have the corn cut in thirds and wrapped in foil. Close lid. Open in 2 minutes.
Open lid. lay down bruschetta on the coolest part of the grill painted with olive oil. Remove the last onions. Close lid. Open in 2 minutes. Turn bruschetta. Open in 2 minutes. Remove corn, scallions and bruschetta.
Chop the now totally soft and sweet onions with their crispy outside layers. Discard any layers that look "too crispy" because they will be bitter.
Add the onions to the bowl of bell peppers and capers and serve with bruschetta.
Open potato packets and transfer to a bowl.
Present corn wrapped in foil with a side of mexican pepper spice, lime and butter.
And, of course, taste everything and salt and pepper to adjust.
Roasting is good: lightly oiled, seasoned, and at 400 degrees.
Grilling is excellent.
Sauteeing in a skillet with a little olive oil and some seasoning.
I'm always looking for recipes that will work for large amounts, since I help feed the homeless in my city. Roasted vegetables is always a good choice.
One of the volunteers makes that, but she cuts the vegetables into very small portions, and I don't think that's a very good way to go. But I won't complain or criticize, because she does the work and our guests do appreciate the result.
However, I'd like a good recipe for roasted vegetables, where the different vegetables retain their integrity. I want something I can put into the oven and take out an hour or so later, ready to serve.
...with some poultry seasoning sprinkled on. It works great.
Plus a little black pepper. They turn out great!
I rested the roast directly in a baking dish, surrounded by about a cup total of a simple mirepoix mix. I added maybe an 1/8th of a cup of water to the dish and roasted away...
The water evaporated by the time the roast was complete, and this allowed the mirepoix to caramelize just a little bit to the bottom of the pan.
Removed the roast and let it rest for about 20.
I took the pan and discarded the mirepoix, and deglazed the baking dish with about a cup of water. I moved that mixture to a sauce-pot, skimmed the fat out and added about (I use "about" a lot since I rarely measure) a cup and a 1/2 of red wine (Merlot). I reduced it down to about 1 cup of jus and then added fresh thyme. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes and then removed the stems from the thyme.
A simple mirepoix + meat drippings = awesome no matter if you are making a jus, gravy, BBQ sauce, etc...
When making stock, I will usually roast the bones and the veggies together for about 45 minutes before adding them all to the stock pot.