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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Roasting Veggies

My kids love vegetables.  Yes, I know it is crazy but seriously they will fight over a pan of broccoli.  Last month Liv sat down to dinner and noticed we were one plate short.  "Where's Haley?"  she asked.  "At a friends, she won't be home for dinner."  I told her.  Her eyes lit up and she turned to Jeff.  "More broccoli for us!!!!"

Now I will say my kids do not like canned veggies or frozen veggies.  They like roasted vegetables and I roast them all.  I have roasted broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, peppers, squash, zucchini....pretty much whatever is in season gets roasted in our house. 

Here's the method.  It works on all of them but the cooking time will vary. 

Clean and prep your veggies.  For broccoli and cauliflower that means cutting into bite sized florets, for asparagus that means snapping off the woody ends, for peppers just chunk into bite sized pieces, you get the point. 

Spread the veggies onto a cookie sheet or bar pan, its best to use something with a lip just so the oil doesn't run off or the veggies don't go sliding off when you move the pan in and out of the oven.

Drizzle the veggies with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  We also sometimes use a McCormick Grinder that has salt and garlic in it instead of kosher salt.  (if you aren't familiar with the McCormick grinders check them out in your spice aisle.) 

Next put the pan in a HOT oven (400 or even 425) and cook until the desired doneness.  For my family  that means they still have a little bite to them.  Approximate cooking times at 400 degrees is 15-20 minutes for broccoli, 12-15 minutes for asparagus, cauliflower is longer - about 30 minutes, Brussels spouts take a good 35-40 minutes. 

You can also experiment with adding other flavors especially to cauliflower which doesn't have a lot of flavor on its own.  Sprinkle them with rosemary, oregano or crushed red pepper flakes.  You can also toss the hot, roasted veggies with a little balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and/or Parmesan cheese.  Experiment!  Try mixing veggies for a roasted blend, like butternut squash and green and yellow zucchini or broccoli and red peppers.  If you are buying in season the most you will be out is a couple of bucks if you don't like how it turned out.  But honestly my family always goes back to the basics -- salt, pepper, olive oil.

I have had people who said they didn't like broccoli try the roasted version and love it.  It definitely gives it a whole new flavor, really nutty almost.

1 comment:

Mary Ann said...

Oh, I'm going to try this, Laurel, we are trying not to eat canned veggies. this sounds good!