Saturday, August 28, 2010

Roasted Vegetable Medley

I quite like the word "medley". Certainly I don't like it when it applies to music, and in particulary Christmas Carols, which I absolutely despise. But when it comes to food, medley stands for something I firly believe in: a little bit of everything. I don't eat every food on the planet, but when I have a full plate, I don't want every mouthful to taste the same. I was colours, flavours and textures to vary. I want vibrant food, and I don't want to get bored half way through my dinner. So, really, I love a good medley.

Roasted vegetables are something I grew up on. My mother made fantastic roasted veg - although, when I was young, she had a slight reputation for burning the carrots. She eventually came to the logic that if she added them later to her especially chunky mix, they cooked to perfection and were completely devoured by her vegetable-loving child. I can't remember if my siblings ate them, but either way, my mother was the master of the oven. We were also partial to the sunday pork roast at my grandparents' house, but I think that had more to do with the crackling than the vegetables. In fact, I only remember that the beans were overcooked. I guess some things, like fighting for the crispiest crackling, or crimes against innocent green beans, stay longer in my memory than how well my nanna cooked her roast veg.

Roasted vegetables are incredibly easy to make. I use a minimum of oil, because while I adore olive oil, I don't think my waistline enjoys it quite so much. For an entire tray of vegetables, I used perhaps a dessertspoon. I gave it all a good mix with my hands, to ensure that everything was properly coated, and a sprinkling of salt. Pepper I don't add until later, because I don't want to risk it burning. Hard herbs, like fresh rosemary or thyme, can get added at the half-way point.

There's no recipe to really give for something as simple as this. Just take the root vegetables of your choice (though I enjoy adding squash, such as crookneck or butternut, to the mix) and coat them in just enough oil. Roast them in a hot ove (mine was at about 240 degrees, but my oven is incredibly unreliable, so take that temperature with a pinch of salt!) for half an hour, turn them over, add your herbs (or not) and roast for another half an hour. Too easy.

Served with sauteed cabbage and green beans (which were most definitely still tender-crisp, thankyou!) it makes a fantastic meal. So fantastic, in fact, that this is what I ate for breakfast this morning. Why would I bother making a bowl of oats, when I could simply plunder the leftovers in my fridge?

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