A Roasting Extravaganza

Roasting vegetables is a simple, and delicious, side dish to make and it’s naturally gluten-free.  I love roasting vegetables because the meal changes as the seasons change.  If you have a CSA or go to a farmer’s market, just pick up what’s fresh and local and you’re ready to go.  The only steps involved are scrubbing, chopping, tossing in olive oil and baking.  Beautiful on the plate and delicious!  Goes well with pretty much any meal or it can be a meal on its own.

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Our go to weeknight roasting vegetable is the sweet potato.  David sees sweet potatoes almost daily, but they’re just so fresh, delicious and easy!  On Sunday night, as we decorated our Christmas tree, I shook things up a little bit and added some other veggies to my roasting pan.  In between putting up the Christmas tree lights and the ornaments, we ate a dinner completely composed of fresh, roasted vegetables.  So delicious!

What did we roast last night?  Sweet potatoes (of course!), a variety of baby turnips, and sunchokes.  We also roasted romanesco cauliflower, as well as beets. A great meal and super easy cleanup!

Simple Winter Roasted Root Vegetables:

Select your desired vegetables.  For this recipe, I used baby turnips, sunchokes and two varieties of sweet potatoes.

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Preheat oven to 425.  Clean vegetables.  I didn’t even peel mine but you can if you prefer not to eat the skin.  Since mine were fresh from Crystal Organic Farm I knew that I didn’t need to worry about chemicals and the skins are so good for you!  Chop root veggies, depending on what size they are and how big you would like them.  The key is to have them all around the same size.

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Put vegetables on pan and drizzle with olive oil, about 2 tablespoons.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Last night I added fresh rosemary because we had some extra in the fridge that needed to be used.  Toss vegetables to coat with olive oil.

Cook vegetables for 20 minutes, then flip and cook for another 20 minutes.  Add more salt and pepper before serving.

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Roasted Beets:

I’ve developed an appreciation for beets in the last two years, thanks to my in-laws, Bob and Elaine, who grow beets in their garden.  Nothing beats fresh beets!  I enjoy them cooked and served simply.

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Preheat oven to 375.  Clean beets and cut off greens and long stems.  (Don’t peel them.)  Put beets on tin foil and drizzle with a little olive oil.  Wrap beets in tin foil.  Bake for 45to 90 minutes, depending on the size of the beets.  Remove from oven, let cool.  Peel beets.  (The peel should come off pretty easily when they’re done cooking.  Be careful, your fingers can turn purple as you peel!)  Slice beets or leave whole.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Other ingredients that go nicely with beets are goat cheese, walnuts, and balsamic vinegar.

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I used two varieties of beets, your typical beet that you find in a grocery store and the ‘candy cane’ variety.  You can see they’re red and white striped, like a candy cane!  Perfect for a night of Christmas tree decorating!

Roasted Romenesco Cauliflower:

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What a cool looking vegetable!  I love looking at it so I had to experiment with cooking with it.  You can boil romanesco or steam it just like you would regular cauliflower, but I decided to stick with the theme of the meal and roast it.

Preheat oven to 400.  Cut cauliflower into florets like you would broccoli or cauliflower and put on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Toss to coat romanesco with olive oil.  Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, flip with spatula, and cook for another 10 minutes.

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Add ¼ cup of pine nuts  and 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese for the last 4 minutes of cooking.  Toss with a little red wine vinegar before serving.  (If you don’t feel like including this final step, the cauliflower is delicious simply roasted with olive oil too!)

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Since I made all three of these recipes in one night, I tweaked the cooking temps and baked everything at 400 and they turned out just fine.  You can judge how well you want your vegetables roasted.  I like a good brown crust on my roasted root vegetables so I keep an eye on them as they bake and just keep them in a little longer if need be.

So do you see a common theme with these recipes?  Vegetables and olive oil.  What more could you need?  Fresh, simple, delicious.  In one evening, we made a yummy, seasonal, vegetarian meal, put up the Christmas tree, and continued working on my ‘perfect chocolate chip cookie’ recipe.  Stay tuned for more details!

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