Tag Archives: roasted vegetables

Roasted Carrots: Giving Cauliflower and Main Dishes a Run for Their Money

17 May

It’s no secret that I am obsessed with roasted cauliflower. But over the past few months, a new vegetable has come into my life, which, when roasted, approaches (if not equals) my love for roasted cauliflower: Carrots.

I’m not a big fan of raw carrots. For some reason, I still remember being a small child and my parents asking me whether I liked carrots. I said, “They’re OK, but it’s not like if I was in Heaven, I’d wish for a carrot.” Ha, well said, kid version of me! But it’s still true. Raw carrots are kind of blah, and can only be saved from dullness by 1) Being drowned in some form of vegetable dip, or 2) Being roasted. I much prefer the latter.

If you are one of those unfortunate souls (like me until recently) who has never tried roasted carrots, I insist that you must! The simplest thing to do is merely roast them with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. But if you want to take it a step further and make them maximally delicious, you can add shallots and thyme. The caramelized carrots and shallots are soft and sweet, and are balanced perfectly by the savory thyme, salt, and pepper.

These carrots are so delicious that each time I make them as a side dish, I immediately gobble them up, then look disappointedly at the main dish and wish I just had more carrots instead. Someday I will just make myself a whole plate of them.

Roasted Carrots with Shallots and Thyme (Adapted from recipe found on Meals.com)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb small- or medium-sized carrots
  • 2 medium shallots
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme (or more, to taste)
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 425.
  • Trim green tops of carrots, and cut larger carrots in half lengthwise. Slice shallots to about 1/4 in. thick (any thinner and they’ll burn).
  • Add carrots and shallots to a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with thyme, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat.
  • Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until tender and lightly browned.

Makes 2 side dish servings.

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Indian Roasted Vegetable Jumble & Polenta

23 Jan

I’ve been trying to experiment with cooking more ethnic food. Thus, I was so excited that Aarti won Next Food Network Star (although, I also liked Tom…he’s hilarious). Last night was my first time trying one of her recipes. I decided to try this one out because, surprisingly, I had all the spices on hand. All you really need is cumin and coriander, which we always use in making Mexican food. But as Aarti pointed out, it’s the proportion of each spice that makes it Indian– usually about twice as much coriander as cumin.

The only thing I changed about her “jumble” (which, by the way, is just a mixture of vegetables), was to substitute cauliflower for fennel. I really do not like fennel or anything licorice-flavored. Aarti contended that fennel, when roasted, becomes more mild– but I wasn’t willing to risk it.

I served the jumble with polenta. Again, this was my first time trying it. I’m not sure if the texture was right because I had some issues with timing and it ended up sitting too long before the jumble was done…but nevertheless, it did taste really good. It seemed like the perfect vessel upon which to serve the flavorful, healthy jumble.

Indian Roasted Vegetable Jumble (adapted from “Roasted Root Jumble” by Aarti Sequeira)

Ingredients:

* 2 tsp gruond cumin
* 1 1/2 tbsp ground coriander
* 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
* Salt & pepper, to taste
* One head cauliflower, cut into florets
* 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
* 1 large lemon, cut into 1/2-inch slices
* 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
* 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
* Minced fresh cilantro or parsley, to garnish

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the ground cumin, ground coriander, and olive oil. Add 1/2 tsp salt and a generous grinding of black pepper.
  • Lay the cauliflower, red onions, lemons, and carrots in a baking dish. Pour the spiced oil over the vegetables and toss to coat.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. Sprinkle feta cheese over the top and bake until the vegetables are caramelized and soft, another 15 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Savory Polenta (adapted from recipe by Alton Brown)

Ingredients:

* 2 tbsp olive oil
* 3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
* 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
* 1 quart vegetable broth
* 1 cup coarse ground cornmeal
* 3 tbsp unsalted butter
* 1 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/4 tsp pepper
* 2 oz Parmesan, grated

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In  a large, oven-safe saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and salt, and sweat until the onions begin to turn translucent, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic, and saute for 1 to 2 minutes, making sure the garlic does not burn.
  • Turn the heat up to high, add the vegetable broth, and bring to a boil. Gradually add the cornmeal while continually whisking. Once you have added all of the cornmeal, cover the pot and place in the oven. Cook for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to prevent lumps
  • One the mixture is creamy, remove from the oven and add the butter, salt, and pepper. Once they are incorporated, gradually add the Parmesan.

Makes 4 servings.

Simple Indian dish w/ complex flavors

I was very happy with this dish. It’s amazing how much the flavors change and intensify when you roast the veggies, lemon, and feta. Next on my Indian to-do list: samosas, pakoras, and naan.