I am a huge fan of roasting vegetables. Its one of the simplest ways to prepare fresh vegetables that I’ve found and your seasonings can be as simple as olive oil, salt and pepper (fresh ground and black is my personal preference). Roasting can really bring out a deeper flavor in vegetables from brussel sprouts to cauliflower to beets that you won’t find if you boil or saute vegetables. Plus you get a lovely texture that is tender with a light crispy edge. Some of my personal favorites are roasted beets, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and kale (yes kale!).
Although during the summer months turning on the oven might be the last thing you want to do, the final result will be well worth the extra sweating. It might be a good reason to eat your dinner outside or get your money’s worth out of your fans. While on my family beach trip we took a trip out to the Poplar Grove Farmer’s market near Wilmington, NC where we picked up some fresh beets, carrots, and sweet potatoes. The carrots were a slight disappointment once we brought them home. They had grown too big and lost their sweetness so I figured we could just through them in a pan and roast some extra flavor out of them, since we were already planning on roasting the beets and sweet potatoes. My cousin had also brought along some leftover asparagus from her Father’s day barbecue that I threw in the mix.
We ended up fixing roasted vegetables two nights in a row because they tasted so good. So here’s a tentative recipe that is hopefully easy to work with. Since I don’t have exact measurements you can adapt the seasonings to your tastes and the rest of the meal your fixing.
Roasted Beets, Asparagus and Carrots
6-8 whole beets
1/2 bunch of asparagus
For Dressing: (I make this to taste so I’ll just give ingredients and proportions. Its basically a Balsamic Vinaigrette with extra balsamic, I made about 3/4 c. which we used for two nights)
2 parts Balsamic Vinegar to 1 part olive oil
stone ground mustard ~ 1 T.
3 cloves garlic chopped or minced
Salt and Pepper
(might be good with some lemon juice, too!)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, place rack on the top rung. Slice the beets and carrots around 1/4 in. thick(careful with the beets they get messy!). Feel free to hold onto the beet greens and roast them as well if they are still good. Cover a baking pan with tin foil (for an easier clean-up), then spread the beets, carrots and asparagus over the pan. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Roast vegetables for about 30 minutes or until tender, tossing half way through.
2. While vegetables roast prepare dressing. Combine ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.
3. Once vegetables are tender remove from oven. Stir dressing well and then drizzle on vegetables. Toss to coat and serve.
Cumin Dusted Roasted Sweet Potatoes
4-5 sm-med sweet potatoes
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice sweet potatoes (if you prefer to peel them go ahead, I like to keep the peel myself its where most of the nutrients from the potato are stored) about 1/4 in. thick. Spread slices over two baking pans, so there is only one level of potatoes. Drizzle with olive oil sprinkle on pepper, salt, and cumin. I probably use at least a 1/2 T or more of each spice spread over two pans. Toss to coat the potatoes in oil and spices.
2. Roast in top half of oven for about 30 minutes or until tender. Flip potatoes and rotate pans half way through. Remove from oven and serve!