“What I Did Before Coffee”… Or, Roasted Veggies & Drying Spinach
Every day I try and pick something from the garden for eating and preservation. On my visit there this morning I decided that it was cool enough to run the dehydrator for a while, so I loaded up on New Zealand Spinach (check my blog for a whole write up on this wonderful green!), freshly pre-washed from yesterday’s rainfall.
Back to the kitchen with my bounty and I filled 5 trays with greens for safe keeping for Autumn and Winter cuisine. I also decided to use the oven before it heats up and clean out the veggies drawers in preparation for a farmers market run.
Out come cookies sheets and a sharp knife. Out come all of the half green peppers and partially cut onion. Some celery that was beginning to wilt and a large sweet potato, plus a handful or red potatoes.
I cut them all up, tossed them lightly in olive oil, and fired up the oven to 375 degrees. The potatoes went on one tray and the other, smaller veggies onto the other tray. In they go for 30 minutes. I checked and stirred them around, and then put them back in for another 15 minutes or so. Different vegetables will be ready before others, so its a good idea to check in and remove anything that is done.
I use roasted veggies like cold cuts., as side dishes, to dress up “meal” salads and in home made quickie soups and stews. It can really speed dinner making time along when you have something to work with already made and ready to heat up! AND, if you and the hubby eat differently (I eat mostly vegetarian meals), it makes dinner a snap… Rice and veggies for us both, add some chicken for him… and you are all done!
This is a technique that I learned from a book that a dear friend recommend to me, and that I’ll now never be without called
‘The Roasted Vegetable: How to Roast Everything from Artichokes to Zucchini for Bold Flavors in Pasta, Pizza, Risotto, Side Dishes, Couscous, Salsa, Dips, Sandwiches and Salads” by Andrea Chesman. I think that the title pretty much says it all, but what it does not allude to is how roasting vegetables sweetens and changes their flavors and makes them so much more delicious than the good old boiled and buttered slop we are so unfortunately accustomed to!
Once you get used to having a convenient tupper of roasted veggies in the fridge, you and your family won’t want to go back to canned ever again! Besides, these two little “chores” really took only about 5 minutes, if that!, of prep time and could be allowed to do their thing while you are getting your morning routine going.