Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Roasted Root Vegetables

Of all the posts I've written on D&O (almost 250!), the one that gets the most hits, by far, according to the Blogger statistics is this one: What to do with those winter vegetables?

Turns out, people are really interested in ideas for who to use up all those roots. And so, I figured another post on the topic was due.  Most of the time, root vegetables in our house end up looking like this:
 

Or like this:

There's some yellow squash, beets, parsnip/rutabaga/turnip mix, and some cauliflower thrown in for good measure.  I've never met a root vegetable that didn't get along with my roasting pan.

A thin slice or dice, a dash of oil and salt (at the simplest--though feel free to dress them up with any of your favorite herbs/spices/vinegars, sauces), and into the oven at high heat, until soft, and beginning to brown and caramelize at the edges (often in the range of 400 degrees F for about 45 minutes, depending on the size of your chunks).

And then these roasted winter vegetables can be used in so many different ways. We love eating them plain, with beans and a crunchy cabbage salad. We love them tossed with a bit of creamy dressing and served for breakfast with a fried egg.  We love them wrapped up in tortillas for a filling burrito. We love them here or there, or anywhere.

I'll try to report back with some specific uses before too long...

Happy winter!

3 comments:

  1. I'm curious - do you know anything about the energy efficiency of roasting things rather than, say, steaming them? Koreans tend to be a little more careful about energy use than Americans, and few of them have an oven or use it when other cooking methods are available.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Mike--I have looked this up before, and I remember that using the oven, if you're filling it up and using it to capacity, as we do when roasting vegetables, is a bit less energy efficient than using the stovetop. I looked up a few comparison charts and found this one http://michaelbluejay.com/electricity/cooking.html and this one http://www.pickyourown.org/costsofcookingmethods_ovens.php to be useful. There is a difference, but it's fairly insignificant in the scheme of things. And given how much more delicious root vegetables are after roasting than after steaming, I think it's worth it. (I have to admit that I don't really love many of these root vegetables, especially the white ones, so I need a bit of caramelization to power me through). But I sure do admire those energy-efficient Koreans... (you included)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Koreans do have some pretty awesome low-energy techniques. In particular:

    Fermenting, which substantially alters taste without any extra energy input at all,

    Blanching, which only takes a minute and makes leafy stuff susceptible to:

    Hand-squishing, where you add either sesame oil and garlic, red pepper paste and vinegar, or fermented soybean paste to the vegetables in question and then massage everything together.

    Then again, there are also the recipes where they cook potatoes, lotus roots, beans, or peanuts in soy sauce and rice syrup for several hours, or however long they take to reach maximal stickiness.

    ReplyDelete