I love a good roast.You know, in that old school Celebrity Roast style, with Dean Martin at the helm? And even beyond a good-natured roast, it can be so satisfying when someone who deserves it gets a good come-uppance. However, here at Miami Dish, I prefer roasting vegetables to skewering characters.
Roasting is a simple way to use many vegetables when you don’t feel like doing a lot of prep work. You basically quarter or halve the vegetables. If they are tomatoes, you can just use them whole.Only the simplest of flavoring is necessary, but it’s also fun to try various infused oils, flavored vinegars, and combinations of herbs.
It’s starting to get warm again, but the nights have been cool enough over the past few weeks to roast my farm share vegetables. The vivid photographs in my current favorite cookbook, Tyler’s Ultimate, by Tyler Florence have inspired me to fire up the oven.
A note:I’ve never viewed Tyler’s show, but just seeing him in those Applebee’s commercials made me want to stay far, far away.However, I thought I would give him a chance until someone gave me the book for Christmas. I’ve tried a handful of the recipes so far and the dishes have tasted wonderful. There are dozens more in the book that look enticing.
A couple of weeks ago, I made the Roasted Summer Vegetables recipe from Florence’s cookbook, using the zucchini, yellow squash, and parsley from my farm share. I also used some extra tomatoes I had on hand.The recipe is basic: Toss the veggies with some olive oil, ground black pepper and salt, and roast them at 425 degrees.It depends on your oven, but it should take about 20 to 25 minutes.
Yesterday, I used some left over kohlrabi and turnips from last week’s CSA farm share to make Roasted Root Vegetables with Honey, Balsamic Vinegar, and Fresh Goat Cheese. Florence calls for carrots, beets, turnips, parsnips, and shallots. I added summer squash from the farm, as well as an onion, a yam, and some whole carrots.Again, you toss them with olive oil, black pepper and salt. You roast the vegetables for 25 minutes, and then remove them from the oven.Mix ¼ cup of honey and ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar (I used fig flavored balsamic vinegar) and drizzle over the vegetables.Then roast them for 30 minutes longer or until tender.
Florence’s recipe calls for 350 degrees and 25 minutes/drizzle/20 minutes of roasting.However, I found that I had to turn the heat up to 400 degrees for these hardy vegetables, at least for the second go-round. When the vegetables are tender, remove them from the oven and crumble some goat cheese over them.
The sweet fig flavor from the vinegar and the goat cheese added sweetness and creaminess to the caramelized vegetables.I pan-fried some catfish to accompany this hearty side dish.
I’ll be doing some more experimenting, in my continuing effort to wean myself from recipes. I’ll try adding some cut herbs from my garden or try experimenting with spices from the cabinet. Simpler is better, so limiting the flavorings I use each time is important. Let me know if you have any ideas.