Less Chopping, More Flavor
I love chopping veggies at the end of a work day — the movement is relaxing, the colors inspiring. Some people really do not enjoy chopping, so here’s a way to do roasted veggies without the work. Basically, you can make roasted vegetables with less chopping – it’s really not necessary to chop them into small, evenly sized cubes. This just produces an unexciting even appearance and boring texture. Another bonus to minimal chopping is that each vegetable holds on to its own flavor, enhanced by the others. You do have to allow more time for them to cook. As usual I poke through my pantry, fridge and freezer and see what’s inspiring.
What’s on hand in the pantry?
I always keep potatoes, onion, garlic, carrots on hand (read “A well Stocked Pantry”) The frosty looking red balls in the photo are frozen tomatoes; this is an amazingly easy way to store tomatoes – just wash, dry, pop into a freezer bag. They are easy to roast, or when they are part way thawed, toss them in a blender to use for intensely flavored tomato sauce. The garlic is from Patti’s garden.
There would have been more carrots, but Frodo kept begging for them. I Just cut the potatoes in half, minimally sliced the garlic and onions. I added the onion skins and carrot ends into my frozen bag of veggie scraps for making stock.
Pepper and Coriander
Tonight for seasoning I simply used pepper and Coriander. I set the timer to check on progress in 40 minutes, and went out for a walk in the garden – amazingly beautiful this spring. I pulled a few weeds, including some wild onions for another day, picked some lilacs, and planted some Russian Kale in some planters by the back steps for lovely color and shape. The timer went off; fork testing the potatoes, I added 20 more minutes. It really doesn’t have to be precise, it’s hard to overcook them, and if you undercook, they’re just a little al dente (and when you reheat for lunch tomorrow, they’ll be perfect).
Fruit and Garbanzo Salad
I decided to balance the veggies with fruit on the Romaine salad – organic black berries, mandarin oranges and red cabbage. While I was getting things out of the fridge, I noticed some sliced baby portabellas — perfect for the roasted veggies, so I tossed them in. With 20 minutes to go, they will cook just fine.
Garbanzo beans on the salad seemed like they would round out the meal. Such a colorful salad (think vitamins and antioxidants!).
Just as I finished the salad the timer went off, the roasted veggies were smelling delicious as hubby walked in the door.
The Coriander and pepper on the potatoes were wonderful. The roasted garlic, delicious. The tomatoes had mixed in beautifully, and the mushrooms were just right. And cooking without oil, makes clean up a breeze.