From harvest to table ~ what's cooking now?

This blog shows where all those garden goodies I grow end up. I call this little eating area next to the stove my "chef's table" because at all the best restaurants it's a privilege to be invited to dine in the kitchen where the chef reigns supreme. So here I am "reigning" and you are all invited. :-D

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Boasting about Roasting

The 'Spring' weather has been nasty for the past couple of days - barely in the 40s, raining, windy.  Just really depressing.  It seemed like the perfect day to play in the kitchen.  I decided I had time AND inclination to prepare something I love, but seldom get around to.

Roast vegetables.

I kept 4 butternut squash in my closet for the past 7 months.  High time to use them up.  (Harvest info on the VEG PAGE.

The 2 half-trays on the left are the bottoms of the 3 largest squash as well as the 2nd smallest neck.  These have been seeded and chopped, but unpeeled and liberally tossed with EVOO.  The roaster on the right holds the chopped & peeled necks from the 2 largest fruit.


First in the oven - the 2 on the left.  I got the oven up to 425 and put them both on the top rack.  About 20 minutes into it I tossed them with a turner and let them go another 10 minutes.  They came out all brown and carmelly and smelled like sugar.  I transferred them to a Pyrex casserole to cool. I had to hold myself back from over-sampling, they were so creamy under the crisp.

 
While the first 2 trays roasted, I added other vegs to the remaining roaster: red potatoes, radishes, green onions, and thick ribs from napa cabbage (it's like making soup - anything in the 'fridge is fair game here!).  Then I sprinkled on roasted garlic granules, celery seed, and coated everything with EVOO.  



Now here's a tip.  Do NOT try to roast vegs when piled this deep in a pan.  They will not roast, only STEAM.  I re-apportioned these into single layers by putting 1/3 each onto the now-empty half-trays.  Then all 3 pans went into the oven, 2 on the top shelf, 1 on the bottom.  Since the heating element roasted the bottom pan quickly, those vegs came out within 20 minutes.  That let more heat reach the 2 top trays and within 10 minutes they were savory and sweet and roasted to perfection.  Then they all went back into the roaster.

When COMPLETELY COOL (else they will steam in the bag), I'll freeze these in nice sized portions for later use.  There so many ways to use roasted vegs: cold over rice or quinoa makes a great summer salad, grilled (on a Foreman) makes for a great side dish, or (one of my winter favorites) is a roasted stew.  Mmmm.  Stew.....? 


Wonder if I have any meat in the freezer.

Stay tuned.


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5 comments:

  1. That looks yummy! I am new to the world of roasted vegetables all due to the internet.

    I stir fried the Early Wonder beet thinnings for a side with our lunch-time chili. Just tossed them in a very hot skillet with a bit of bacon grease; cooked a couple of minutes until they were well wilted. I served them with a little Balsamic vinegar. They tasted super delicious. I have never done that before either. You are a good influence on me!

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  2. Those beet thinnings in bacon drippings sound divine. And I, too, have become a big fan of balsamic vinegar. A little goes a long way, but it's bright tart flavor really perks up heavier flavors. I'll have to pull up some of the beets from the greens bins and try them like you did.

    I've got lots of roast veg now for different dishes. :-D

    I did braise some pork today so I can make roasted stew tomorrow. I'll post about it in a day or two.

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  3. I will be lookng forward to more food ideas and recipes. I seem to get stuck doing the same things over and over.

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  4. Yum yum... I feel hungry looking at those stuff!

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  5. Yum...

    I have learned you can't use an electric roaster (which is really nothing more than an extra-large crockpot) in which to roast veggies, as the same steam process happens.

    These look very good and made me hungry. I haven't had breakfast yet!

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