Normally, Sunday is my day to reset. Eggs and bacon, several espresso-based beverages and a few hours set aside for the New York Times and footsie with Quinn. But the cats decided, at 5:21am, that I’d slept long enough, and so I found my day starting much earlier than usual.
With only one fresh cappuccino under my belt, I left my wife asleep and headed off to see the only other guy around I knew would be up, Tonopah Rob, a local farmer and the operator of the Sunday Farmer’s Market a few miles from me.
Table after table was filled with the latest fresh produce…kale, bunches of fresh dill, parsnips, Swiss chard…mouthwatering even at that hour of the day. I filled up a few tote bags and headed home – it was time for a big ol’ batch of oven-roasted veg.
4 red bell peppers, cored, halved
3 green bell peppers, cored, halved
2 big fistfuls of green beans, trimmed, left whole
5 carrots, peeled, sliced thick on the diagonal
1 pound of asparagus, trimmed, left whole
I put all of this in a big bowl, and gave it a heavy drizzle of good quality olive oil. Next, I chopped up 3 freshly picked sprigs of rosemary and tossed that in. Some kosher salt, some fresh coarse-grind black pepper and a few shakes of Montreal seasoning. I spread it out on two good size sheet pans (half pans, actually) and roasted them in a 375F oven for about 30 minutes. I turned them and continued to roast them for about 20 more minutes.
You can use just about any fresh vegetable for this recipe, but try to avoid the softer ones like summer squash and zucchini. The heartier the better. Garlic? If you like, certainly. Ditto mushrooms.
Over the next few days, the veggies will appear in a few dinner salads, heated gently for various side dishes, and in omelets.
The next time you think you can’t look another plain, steamed vegetable in the face, fire up the oven and give this a try. Oven-roasted veggies are delicious and fit into just about anyone’s diet.
Yum…the word you’re looking for is yum.
Kent McDonald is a Certified Personal Chef, living and working in Phoenix, AZ. (c) All Rights Reserved, 2013.