“Light” Roasting Veggies and Chopstick Challenge
I received some beautiful radishes in our CSA last week, but I must confess, I am not a huge fan of radishes. I put them in our salads and, meh. They were okay, but a little off. Though I do plan to do some experimenting with this veggie in its fresh state (I think the peppery taste might compliment some recipes nicely) I decided to take a chance and see what cooked radishes taste like.
If there is one magical cooking method that makes almost all veggies taste delicious, it is roasting. To really get that wonderful caramelization Alice Water’s style and to keep the veggies from stewing in their own liquid, high heat roasting is usually preferred. But with hearty veggies like what I had on hand (carrots, radishes, and fennel stems), light roasting worked just fine and kept some of the firmness of the carrots and radishes and crunch of the fennel.
I tossed the fennel in as an afterthought, not wanting the stems to go to waste after I had already used up the bulb … and I must say they add a delicious but mild flavor and a nice texture. Don’t throw away those stems! The radishes also tasted pretty yummy. They were milder and just a touch sweeter. But it was really the sweet carrots that pulled the whole combination together.
Below is my method for “light” roasting (lower heat) just about any veggie. Sometimes I go with just salt and oil, sometimes I jazz it up.
Alisa’s Basic Veggie Light Roasting Method
- 1 lb Veggies, chopped (as noted, I used carrots, radishes, and just a little bit of fennel stems (the part above the bulb that looks a bit like celery)
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1/4 to 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
- Herbs and Seasonings if you wish
Preheat your oven to 375ºF. Place all ingredients in a 9 x 13-inch dish and toss to coat. Spread them out in a single layer, place in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Give everything a stir, return to the oven, and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the vegetables reach your desired tenderness. The longer they roast, the sweeter they become as the “sugars” release.
And a bonus about roasted vegetables, is that they are perfect for eating with chopsticks! I loved that Katie came up with the Chopstick Challenge to remind me to use them more often. Not only do they make the meal more fun, but they also help me to slow down my eating, savor the food, enjoy the meal, and allow my stomach time to tell me when enough is enough. It is a new concept to me, but how I eat my food seems to be almost as important health-wise as what I eat!
So for Katie, these are my favorite chopsticks (light and dishwasher safe!) …
What are your favorite vegetables to roast? Any good radish recipes up your sleeve? Do you use chopsticks at home, just in restaurants, or not at all? If you use chopsticks at home, what are your favorite type? Do you have any tips beyond the actual food for making meals healthier?