A roasted chicken and an assortment of root vegetables was on the menu last night, a recreation of what was on the menu yesterday for the shoot. It looks like I was cooking for a party, but it was just us two. These make great left-overs–reheated for breakfast with eggs, diced smaller and added to salads for lunch, purée into making soups. So I like to make a big batch, plus we love to leave a yummy meal or two in the fridge when we depart for fab caretaker Bill.
Truly, could not be simpler. Get the oven heated to 400 while you cut up things. I quarter most and some I leave whole, like the carrots. Liberal use of extra virgin olive oil, salt & pepper over all. Then with clean hands really get into it by moving it all around and make sure every part is covered in oil, as this will help cook and not burn things, and give a tasty caramelized flavor to all. Done. Into that hot oven for half an hour, then turn all, put back in for another 15, check and pull out what is done, and continue cooking until all are to your liking.
Ahhhhh, it has arrived! Officially today. Spring has sprung. The air starts feeling different. You hear the birds singing. You even sometimes hear folks let out a little song in Spring glee.
I have written in the past of my fondness for Instagram. It is such a creative outlet for ideas shared. It is also the place I find lots of inspiration & ideas about food. The chef Tyler Florence posted awhile back some carrots he roasted with tangerines and brown sugar. I was smitten with the idea. Last eve, I gave it a try. We did not have tangerines but we did have a blood orange. This refers back to a comment I made a few weeks ago about putting your own twist on things. If you don’t have a tangerine or a blood orange, but you do have a clementine or some other citrus, give that a go.
This is so simple. Have the oven nice and hot at 400 degrees. Yes, once again, 400 hits the mark. On a sheet pan lay your peeled carrots. Take your cut up citrus and squeeze over the carrots so the juice coats them. Then sprinkle liberally with brown sugar and sea salt. I tossed the citrus pieces in the oven too, for visual on the finished platter. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes turning them every so often to cook evenly. You will have a caramelized bit of tasty heaven when all is said and done. We had them with roast chicken. They really would be divine with practically everything.
This time of year and really right through the start of Spring, root vegetables are in abundance at the grocery store and at farm stands/farmers markets. There is just something about a big sheet pan or baking dish filled with a variety of root vegetables that I find immensely comforting. Baked/roasted at a high temperature really brings out the sweetness and caramelizes things a bit. I don’t even know where to begin the list on what this all is tasty with but let me try. Chicken tops the list, as does eggs. A piece of white fish such as halibut would be divine. Or truly, a big bowl of this alone would be a great vegetarian option. This could not be simpler, easier or quicker, so don’t blink or you might miss it.
You might have now noticed that I like cooking things at a high temperature. So often I say to set the oven at 400. This holds true here too. Cut up to roughly the same size little potatoes, like Yukon gold or reds. Scatter onto a baking sheet or baking dish. Then add pieces of whole peeled garlic. Next carrots, parsnips, rutabaga and turnips. Really any variation of these is lovely. No sweat if you can’t find them all. Again, try and have them cut to roughly the same size as the potatoes. Roughly is the key word here. This helps things cook evenly, but don’t worry if everything is not exact. I actually like the slight variations of everything. Looks cool once you plate it all up at the end. Then liberally sprinkle the whole lot with extra virgin olive oil and salt & pepper. Either with your hands or a big spoon, mix all around so everything is evenly coated. Into that hot 400 degree oven it goes. Every 15 minutes move things around so they don’t stick and cook nicely on all sides. 45 minutes is usually a good amount of time, but more or less might be the ticket as all ovens vary slightly, as will cooking time by how large the pieces are cut up. Done. Your home will smell divine.
One of my favorite organic vendors who sells mainly on Saturdays at the Market had these just stupendous looking carrots. These would be perfect roasted. Incredibly simple. Incredibly tasty. Cut carrot into 2-3 bite sized pieces. Toss with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Layout onto a baking sheet pan, making sure the carrot pieces are spread out and not touching. If they are too crowded, they will steam and not caramelize & roast. Put into a 400 degree oven, checking every 15 minutes while also moving them around so they cook evenly. Depending on the thickness of the carrots, it could be 45 minutes to an hour. They will turn out super sweet, working lovely as a side dish to a host of things. Like candy. Really good, healthy candy.
A Market produce vendor had the coolest looking display of gorgeous carrots this Saturday, I just had to snap a few photos. A few bundles of these natural works of art were snapped up too. 2 to give, 1 to roast.
I was looking for a veg to roast to go along with a big pot of risotto I was planning to make for dinner Saturday night. These would fit the bill. Here is the simplest way to roast whole carrots. 400 degree oven. Peel carrots but leave them whole. Lay them on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Mix them around so they are evenly coated. Roast in oven for half an hour, more or less, depending on the girth of the carrots. They will be a bit caramelized and super sweet. So easy. So good.
I could not pass up putting a bunch of these in a cello bag for gifts for our friends Peg & Camilla who own the shop fini next to the WK Fine Living shop in the Market. The clear bag just the right wrapping to see the colorful carrots, tied off with an orange striped ribbon.
Sending safe thoughts & prayers to all of you East coast readers. Much love, Ted
We found these purple carrots at one of the organic farm stands on Vashon Island last week-end. They were just toooo beautiful to pass up. After a little Google search, I found out that the purple carrot was actually the first variety of carrot 5000 years ago. We just sliced them up and served them raw alongside sandwiches. They really are a superfood–good, and good for you.
Happy Wednesday all!
One of my favorite and easiest side dishes to make quickly, are roasted carrots. I like to keep the carrots whole, so I just peel the thinnest layer off of them. Lay on a sheet pan, drizzle with olive oil, and a generous amount of salt. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how thick the carrot stalks are. Shake the pan mid process, so the carrots cook evenly.
The carrots will get a tad caramelized and be perfect alongside just about any else you are making for your meal.
Make an arrangement out of them! The market had the most delicious looking carrots last night when we stopped to shop for the Holiday week-end ahead. The greens on the carrots just looked too perfect to throw away. We have a collection of hammered aluminum, and part of the collection are these small drinking glasses that are great as a vase. I added the asparagus standing upright with a bit of water added to keep them fresh till they are grilled for dinner later this evening. Added to the mix are some yellow parrot tulips that are still super tight, but will unfold as the days pass. I love trying to use things to spruce up the dining table that would otherwise be discarded or overlooked.
Some dear friends gave Mister Sive for his just passed birthday, the book Triumvirate. The story of McKim, Mead & White. The cover says it is about art, architecture, scandal, and class in America’s Gilded Age. I think I will be reading it first–I can hardly wait.
A very happy, restful Sunday to all.