Thursday, December 4, 2014

Winter Jewels

Photo via Perpetual Feast
This week's box is a classic mixture of winter root vegetables.  I'd love to give you some elegant suggestions you can use to show off your cooking techniques, but unfortunately this week doesn't lend itself to fancy-fancy.  This week is about home and hearth, comfort food.  From a cooking perspective, I think of a plate of root vegetables like this not as a dish to make better, but to avoid messing up.   The ingredients are going to work so well together, Mother Nature was our chef this week.

How does one "avoid messing up?"  Simple.  Peel it, cut into bite sized pieces, and toss with olive oil.  Generous salt and pepper and in the oven.  Around 350˚ for half an hour or so, put it on a plate.  Ta-da.  The "big secret" is to chop up all of the vegetables into equal size pieces as best you can.  They all have that hard texture, and they're all going to cook at pretty much the same rate.  By using equal pieces, they all cook in the same amount of time.
Photo via Food & Wine
Yes, there are some avenues for creativity.

  • After you roast them, toss with some finely chopped herbs, like parsley.  A little thyme can work too.  Keep it simple.
  • Glaze sparingly with something sweet, like honey or maple syrup.  Prepared this way, my 5-year-old thinks they're dessert.
  • Toss with a little vinaigrette.  Again, use sparingly.  While that link only uses parsnips, any of these vegetables can substitute for each other.
  • Roast them with an apple or some other winter fruit (cranberries, for example).
I guess the arrival of winter isn't all bad!

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