Sunday, January 8, 2012

Roasted Root Vegetables

It's time to get back to basics on this easy to prepare side dish.  Root vegetables get their name because they grow underground and are essentially, the root to the plants growing on the surface.  Some of the most well known root vegetables are potatoes, carrots, beets, parsnips, radishes, rutabaga and celery root.  Some root vegetables are used more for their flavor than just roasting to eat.  Examples of this are horseradish,  burdock root, salsify, black salsify, diakon and wasabi.



My absolute favorite memory of root vegetables would have to come from my childhood when my dad grew the largest garden known to mankind.  OK.  OK.  I know that is probably an exaggeration, but if you see it's footprint, it was nothing to shake a stick at.  It took up about  1/2 of our very large yard and all of us kids where grateful because that meant there was less grass to mow.  We were also grateful for it on those hot summer days when we were playing outside and just wanted a little snack.  How easy it was to grab a few carrots out of the ground or peas in a pod, rinse them off on the garden hose, and continue with whatever adventure we had planned for the day.  I really cannot wait until I have a place where I can have a garden of my own.

Well, on to the easy part...Roasting Root Vegetables..



















Roasted Root Vegetables

Ingredients:
  • 4 lbs root vegetable, cleaned and chopped into equal pieces
  • 1 small onion, chopped - optional - I like onions for the flavor they add
  • 3 Tbls good olive oil
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • Fresh diced herbs - also optional.  Roasted veggies are great with with your favorite herbs, like Rosemary, Oregano or Thyme.
Preparation:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Clean and chop root vegetables and onion.
  • Toss on a sheet pan with olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs.
  • Cook for 30-40 minutes, tossing occasionally, till light brown (or crispier) on all sides.
This truly is a recipe that can be altered to you liking.  Personally, I like when there is one side that gets really dark and adds that crisp texture to the smoothness of the veggies once they're cooked.  I suggest making this one your own!


Happy Cooking!!!

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