A Toast to Roasted Vegetables

| 11/17/2008 9:24:43 AM

Tags: roasting, roasted vegetables, seasonal food, fall, winter, recipes, vegetarian recipes, vegan recipes, root vegetables, parsnips, carrots, rutabagas, winter squash, onions, Andrea Chesman, cookbooks,

roasted veggies 1 
A champion of vegetable cookery for more than 25 years, Andrea Chesman has written more than a dozen cookbooks that celebrate fresh food cuisine. When it comes to autumn's best root vegetables like parsnips, rutabagas, and sweet potatoes, Chesman thinks roasting is the best way to go.

"The dry heat of roasting coaxes out and concentrates flavors," Chesman says. "With parsnips, roasting brings out sweet, nutty flavors and aromas that otherwise would not exist." Roasted rutabaga melts in your mouth like butter, and a pan of Herb-Roasted Root Vegetables (recipe below) will transport easily and hold up well on a buffet table.

Chesman includes this recipe among 14 "Master Recipes" in Serving Up the Harvest: Celebrating the Goodness of Fresh Vegetables (Storey, 2007). As with the other master recipes in the book, you can vary the mix of vegetables, using what you have on hand. It's the method that counts, which in this case involves roasting in a hot oven until the vegetables are brown and tender.

If you don't have carrots or sweet potatoes, substitute cubes of winter squash for savory-sweet flavor and bright orange color. "It has similar cooking properties and works well with root vegetables," Chesman says. In addition to sharing the recipe for Herb-Roasted Root Vegetables below, Chesman offers these tips for roasting goodies from your garden:

* To prepare vegetables for roasting, cut into uniform-size pieces and slick with oil.roastaramabp Use a lightly oiled sheet pan or shallow roasting pan for good air circulation. Crowded vegetables will steam rather than roast.

* To ensure even browning, flip the vegetables with a spatula once or twice during roasting.

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