Thursday, April 24, 2008

Savory Roasted Spring Vegetables

Roasted Vegetables are my quick fix dinner. Their versatility makes them appropriate for any season, they are easy and quick to prepare, delicious, and beautiful. All you need are sturdy seasonal vegetables, a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkling of herbs, salt and fresh ground pepper, 30 minutes in the oven, and you have a great side dish or even full dinner. I don't know anyone who does not enjoy roasted vegetables.

Since they can be suited to any season, it is hard for a dish of roasted vegetables to become boring. Here is quick list of options for each season, along with good accompanying fresh herbs:

  • Beets, Cauliflower, Carrots (whole when small), New Potatoes, Baby Artichokes, Fennel, Spring Onions, Butter Turnips, Whole Red Radishes, Asparagus.

  • Herbs: Thyme, Oregano, and/or Savory added at the beginning. Parsley, Tarragon, Chive, and/or Fennel Frond added when the veggies come out of the oven.


  • Summer Squash (just wash and cut in half), Fennel, Potatoes, Peppers (in large chunks), Eggplant, Corn Cob Pieces, Garlic Cloves, Halved Plum Tomatoes.

  • Herbs and Seasonings: Thyme, Marjoram (really good with summer squash), Minced Garlic (the garlic works here because most summer vegetables need little roasting time), all added at the beginning. Parsley, Basil, Cilantro, added at the end.


  • Sweet Potatoes, Any kind of Potato, Winter Squash (butternut chunks, acorn round, kobacha, sweet dumpling, pumpkin), Beets, Cauliflower, Carrots, Chunks of Peppers, Eggplant, Whole Garlic Cloves.

  • Herbs and Seasonings: Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Marjoram, Whole Bay Leaves, Fresh Ground Dried Chilies, Fresh Ground Cumin, all added at the beginning. Parsley and Basil added at the end with Eggplant and Peppers.


  • Potatoes, Onion Pieces, Winter Squash, Sweet Potato, Celery Root, Turnips, Rutabagas, Whole Garlic Cloves, Carrots, Cauliflower, Cabbage Wedges, Fennel (if you have good winter weather).

  • Herbs and Seasonings: Rosemary, Sage, Oregano, Thyme, Whole Bay Leaves, Paprika, Mustard, Winter Savory, all added at the beginning.

I'm sure there are other options I have missed, so be creative. It is hard to mess up roasted vegetables. A few rules to follow are; always cut the vegetables in larger chunks so they do not dry out, drizzle with olive oil for moistness and flavor, salt right before putting in the oven (if you add salt an hour before roasting, the salt will pull out moisture from the veggies, making them crisp up more in the oven, which can be good for potatoes if you like oven fries), and cut everything the same size so they cook in the same amount of time. Roast vegetables between 350 degrees (for harder, denser vegetables that need longer cooking) and 400-425 degrees for shorter cooking vegetables.

Savory Roasted Spring Vegetables

-1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

- 1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into large florets

-3 medium sized carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise

-2 large spring onions, cut in quarters through the root

-3 red or golden beets, peeled and cut in quarters

-2 bulbs fennel, cut in quarters through the root

-1 tablespoon fresh chopped savory

-salt and fresh ground pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss all the cut vegetables, except the beets, in a large bowl with the olive oil, most of the savory, a sprinkling of salt, and fresh ground pepper. Pour out onto a sheet tray lined with baking paper and arrange in a single layer (use two sheet trays if you need to). Toss the beets with the left over savory, a little more olive oil if the bowl is dry, and salt and pepper, arrange on the sheet trays as well, away from the other vegetables (the beets will turn everything red or yellow). Roast in the oven, stirring about every 10-15 minutes, until tender and caramelized, about 25-30 minutes. Serve hot.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am really liking your Savory Roasted Spring Vegetables! the picture looks awesome! Juliet and I want to try it out. I alos like how you put up the vegetables for each season! I love you and hope i can see you soon!

love, nikki