As a kid growing up in California, most of the vegetables I ate, with the exception of steamed artichokes and corn on the cob in the summer, came from a can. Mom was a good cook, but even she would later admit, there wasn’t a lot of veggie appeal on our plates.
During college years, stir-fried vegetables were the rage. I bought a wok, took a class on basic Chinese cooking techniques and discovered a new world of tastes. Served over brown rice, topped with cashews or sesame seeds, I prepared plates of deliciousness in no time flat.
While stir-fried meals are still part of our family menus, we love oven-roasted vegetables to balance out a meal. Easy to prepare on a sheet pan, and appetizing to look at in an array of colors, the mostly root vegetables cook up crisp on the outside and tender in the middle, often with a sweet intense flavor. Here’s my basic recipe that serves 6-8:
1 medium sweet potato, peeled
2 carrots, peeled
1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise
1 red onion, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, rosemary or thyme (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut sweet potato and carrots into 1-inch chunks. Place in a large bowl with Brussels sprouts and onions. Add oil, salt and pepper, toss well, then place mixture in a single layer on prepared pan.
- Roast 20-25 minutes or until all vegetables are tender, turning once with a spatula.
Serve sprinkled with fresh herbs and an extra drizzle of oil if you wish, or experiment with maple syrup or pomegranate molasses for a dash of sweetness.
Roast a pan of cherry tomatoes to amp up the flavor of a pasta salad. Preheat oven to 375 F. Slice cherry tomatoes in half and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, two minced fresh garlic cloves, and salt and pepper on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes. Cool. Lightly toss into your prepared pasta salad, top with fresh herbs and grated Parmesan.
Most chilled leftovers keep their crunch. Dip in hummus or yogurt-based dressing for a snack. Or, reheat and complement a bowl of greens and delicious grains like quinoa, bulgur and other wonder foods at lunchtime.
Find more recipes and family fun at www.donnaerickson.com. Write to Donna at Info@donnaerickson.com
© 2021 Donna Erickson
Distributed by King Features Syndicate