Saturday, August 11, 2012

Get Ready for Sunday Roast

Dear Lauren,

When I was growing up, it was common to have roast beef on Sunday. When you were growing up, I'm not sure if we ever had a roast beef on Sunday! I guess times change!

I've started a Sunday roast of another kind and I think you might want to try it.

On Sundays, I check the vegetables on my counter and in the refrigerator bins. Some will look past their
prime but still edible. Some I bought for a dish and decided against making it. Some I have no idea why I bought them at all! I round up those veggies, chop them up, and roast them! I end up using them during the week in any number of ways. That is, if Dad and I don't eat them as soon as they're cooked!

I chopped these zucchinis, onions, and bell peppers in similar sizes. I chopped the carrots a little smaller than my potatoes because I like to get a darker roast on the carrots. If you're a first-timer, cut all your vegetables the same size for an even roast.

Once you toss the vegetables with olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper, you will spread them in a single layer and not in an overcrowded manner. If they're crowded, you will steam them which we don't want!

Roasted Vegetables
By Mom 

Any raw vegetables past their prime or that you have no other use for, chopped in similar size pieces
olive oil
kosher salt
herbs, fresh or dried (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425. You need a rimmed baking sheet or two. Lining them with parchment paper makes for an easier clean-up.

If you aren't quite sure if different vegetables will cook at the same rate, don't mix them. Simply arrange them on different baking sheets or on different sections of the same sheet so they can be taken off easily when done. I usually put root vegetables like carrots and potatoes on the same pan and "softer" vegetables like zucchini, onion, and bell pepper on a separate pan.

You can chop the vegetables and put them on the baking sheet and then drizzle about a tablespoon or so of olive oil over them. Add a pinch of kosher salt and some freshly ground pepper (and optional herbs) and then toss the vegetables on the baking sheet(s) with your hands. Spread the vegetables out in a single later and don't overcrowd them. If there are too many vegetables on the pan they will steam. We want a nice brown roast on them, no steaming!

Ovens vary, so once you put them in the oven, start watching them at the 10-15 minute mark. There's a fine line between just done and burned, so use your timer.

Here's an Open-Faced Roasted Vegetable Sandwich. It was made with leftover roasted vegetables. I just toasted a slice of this bread and took the roasted leftover vegetables out of the refrigerator and heated about 1/2 cup of them in the microwave for 10 seconds. Just enough to bring them to room temperature. Then I put them on top of the bread and that was lunch! You can add a little homemade vinaigrette or hummus or anything you think sounds good to this if you want. Or just eat it as is.

Roasted vegetables are wonderful as a side dish but can also be used in omelets, in homemade fried rice, or even mixed into ground beef for a veggie-beef burger! The possibilities are endless! I'm seriously starting to sound like Forrest Gump, am I not? Yes, you can eat them with shrimp!

If you're eating them immediately, they can be served out of the oven. If you're using them later in the week, let them cool to room temperature and then refrigerate them in a covered dish.


P.S. Hey, one last thing. You know yesterday, you did something that made me extremely happy. Like over the top and I tried to act cool and not cry happy tears and I did keep it together, which as we both know is rare! You signed up for an email subscription for this blog and you proceeded to brag about it to your friend Brittney for 30 minutes when she came over last night. You got my laptop and showed her post after post! I just want to say...I love you. Biggest compliment you could've given me. xoxo.

P.P.S. I took 4 cups of roasted vegetables and heated them up in 6 cups of homemade vegetable stock and then used a stick blender to puree the soup. Added two big pinches of kosher salt and some freshly group pepper and you've got yourself some Roasted Vegetable Soup. Serve it with a little pesto or a dollop of sour cream or just as is. I had some for lunch and then I let the rest come to room temperature and bagged it and froze it.

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