What I like about living and traveling abroad is, assuming you are food-adventurous, is that you get to discover new dishes, new ingredients, new use for ingredients you have been used to eating one way (and one way only) while in your home country (gratin de choux fleur anyone?) Granted, the US is not notable for its food in general... but if you live there long enough you come to appreciate some of their culinary heritage (and ignore the rest!) Among the dishes I have come to embrace after living here for so long, is the way Americans cook their vegetables. Either they cook them aldente : for my French readers, think of cooked but crunchy (as opposed to overcooked) green beans or brocoli for instance. Or they eat them roasted with olive oil and fresh herbs (when available).
I just think that there is nothing better than a side dish (or a whole dish) of roasted vegetables. And (and that should tell you something), even my meat-lover husband has been heard to say "c'est super bon les légumes cuisinés comme cela!!!) Mais attention: "roasted" not "grilled' (I like grilled vegetables but they definitively taste different than roasted ones...)
Despite a warmer-than-average winter and a mid-March-Summer, when it comes to in-season vegetables, I had to come up with many ways to cook roots vegetables if I wanted to make sure we were eating fresh vegetables every day. That's when rosting them came into play... I found it easy to make (easier if you get some help pealing the veggies!!) , easy to re-heat (while not optimal, I have done it a few times to put in the kids lunchboxes) and healthy. I also found that if I could add a few potatoes among the turnips, parnsnips, rutabaga, or other funny-tasting vegetables, my childen were not complaining as much as if I left the potatoes out. Especially if I was serving a soupe de legumes... if I were adding a few roasted vegetables on top, there were hardly any complaints... So yes, I am proud to say that I have fully adopted the American way of roasting vegetables. And I am sure I convince some of you to give up your overcooked veggies! Your turn to try? Bon Appétit!
- Olive oil
- Fresh herbs (I like thyme or rosemary best)
- Salt, pepper
- Garlic cloves (optional)
- Shallots (optional)
- In a roasting pan, put the vegetables (cut in small pieces or strips), add a little bit of olive oil (enough to coat them nicely), salt and pepper
- Roast in the oven at 400F (200 C) for about 20mns (depending on the veggies) and stirring frequently