Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Roasted Root Vegetables

We had the pleasure and good fortune of finding beautiful herbs, vegetables and organic meats at our local Farmer's Market over the summer and although the selection available these past couple of weeks has lessened some, there is still an outstanding choice of Autumn root veggies and thick leaved, late season greens to choose from.  These beets and carrots are just two examples.

Down through the generations many of us grew up repulsed by the flavorless, over-boiled, mushy, colorless veggies piled unceremoniously next to our meatloaf or pot roast. Now, I can't in good conscious lay the blame for that on my mother. She learned how to cook from her mother and naturally, grandma learned from hers, etc. Today, we've (thankfully) realized how much better it is not to boil the heck out of them.

Steaming or roasting most veggies, is more nutritious and frankly, it's easy. They can be seasoned beautifully either before or after the cooking process and most importantly, show up as a bright, crisp/tender and delicious addition to the meals we serve our families. Even if you're not vegetarian or vegan, hearty vegetable dishes can make for comforting, filling and delicious main courses.

That being said, the Hubbers and I enjoy all types of veggie preparations, but more often than not we generally go with simple. Simple is really the best way to go when preparing fresh produce, especially when you're looking to get the purest flavors and the highest nutritional values that they have to offer. Of course, who doesn't love broccoli or cauliflower (among other veggies) with a rich, creamy cheese sauce dripping from every decadent fork full? (I'm drooling just a little bit at the thought...)  But in the grand scheme of things, even the simple methods of preparation can still be slathered with cheese when that's what you're in the mood for.

Today's recipe is about as simple as it gets, but it's also about as delicious as it gets. If you have about 25 minutes to spare and want to see our inspiration for this dish, see the video at the bottom of this post. (In my opinion, it's well worth the time.) So, without further ado...

Oven Roasted Beets and Carrots

Wash and peel (if needed) vegetables

Choose the seasoning(s) that you like the most - just try to include something acidic (citrus juices or vinegars)  along with an herb or spice and a good oil that you have a preference for.

You can season each variety of veggie  that you have differently and still roast them in the same pan. We chose Orange Juice, Tarragon and Olive Oil for the more delicately flavored Carrots and for the Beets we decided on BalsamicVinegar, Thyme, Garlic and Olive Oil because they can handle the bolder flavors. 

To ensure more even cooking, you may need to cut your larger or thicker vegetables to a size that's similar to the others, then in a mixing bowl, toss each of the veggies with the seasonings you've chosen specifically for them. 

Place each grouping of your seasoned vegetables next to each other in a large roasting pan or baking dish and roast them in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 1 to 1 and 1/2 hours or until they are just tender, turning them every 1/2 hour to help them roast evenly. It's OK if a bit of the juices from one veg runs into the others. They all come out delish!

Et,Voila! You now have rich, caramelized and outstandingly delicious vegetables to serve with just about any meat or even on their own as a main dish.  The leftovers (if you have any) are a fantastic addition to soups, stews or casseroles. You can even freeze them and take them out at a later date to add to other dishes.
(Sorry about the crappy picture quality of this shot. Someone was rushing me. I think he was hungry! LOL)

We had these with the baby-back ribs that I posted a few days ago. They were a really nice change from the coleslaw and baked beans that we usually have with barbecue. Scroll down or click here for that post. 

So, there you have it.  I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.!

Jamie At Home S01E06 [Carrots & Beets] by AddictedChefXtra

Don't forget that you can print this (or any) recipe using the "Print Friendly" button at the foot of each post. It's a great little feature that allows you to remove any pictures (or any of my jibber-jabber) before printing. That can save lots of ink and paper & in today's economy, why not save a little bit wherever you can?!

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  1. Love roasted veggies. Had carrots, butternut squash and celery root roasted the other day. Yummy. Is there a veggie that exists that doesn't taste better roasted?

  2. I've never been a veggie person. I was the kid who gave my mom fits because I utterly hated veggies...unless it was a salad. I downed salads like none other. But, when it came to things like green beans, broccoli, etc, I hated them.

    They're not my favorite today, but I do LOVE them roasted. This recipe looks delicious. Anything to make veggies taste better is good with me. lol

  3. Liza: That sounds so good! I always roast my butternut squash before I puree it at Thanksgiving. I'd have to say that it's in my top 5 overall veggies. Just started getting into Celery Root and we're finding all kinds of great ways to prepare it.

    TFV: You're not alone in that, girl. I have a cousin who is just the same. She likes salads, but put green beans or broccoli in front of her and she'll turn up her nose every time. One of my culinary triumphs was to serve Brussle Sprouts (of all things) that she tried and loved! I couldn't believe it! She even had seconds! I'd be happy to give you the recipe, if you're ever feeling adventurous. ;~)

  4. I just ate breakfast, but you've made me hungry again! I love roasted vegetables!!! The caramelizing, the depth of flavor ... sigh. The burgundy-colored carrots are so lovely, too ... :)

  5. Just roasted broccoli for the first time a little while back and loved it. I may have to try beets this way. I had only tried beets when my mother made them from a can when I was younger, didn't care for them. Roasted beets may fix that.


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