Roasted Vegetables

3:10 PM

About this time of year, every year, my mom and I get the last harvest panic and begin doing crazy things like taking out a second mortgage to buy things at the farmer's market and canning things from the garden for a full day without breaks. It's just a scary thought that, in this climate, we're heading into a few months that local vegetables won't be fresh and available. This type of thinking can explain my mad posting streak about things I preserved with family and friends a few weeks ago, and can also explain my recipe today.

Root vegetables are hardy enough to make it through the winter. Some varieties (carrots, parsnips) can be left in the soil til spring. Because my only garden is in clay pots on my outdoor kitchen table, I store mine in hard paper bags. The key is to sort out the bad seeds (anything rotting) so that the ethylene gas won't spread and ruin the whole batch. If only a few pieces are bad, separate them and make sure to use them first, cutting off the bad sections. Most vegetables are best stored with their follage intact (darn it, I bought beets with no greens) and unwashed. They do the best in a very dry, cool place with no light. That place, for now, is my balcony. It's not a bad idea to empty the bags once a month and check for anything weird like roots growing from your potatoes. If they go green, they're poisonous. When it gets really cold (indicated by the inability to bike to work anymore) put a blanket over the potato sacks so that they stay above 0.

I picked up some bulk root vegetables and around 4 o'clock today realized that dinner was in a few hours and I had no plan. Then I did this:

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Chop 4 cloves garlic into a large dice.
Eighth 4 medium yellow onions.
Wash and dice 1 large beet.
Wash 2 large carrots and chop into large coins.

Then I mixed it all together with a few Tbsp oil and a few tsp sea salt infused with rosemary.

I baked it for an hour in a cast iron skillet.

During this time I threw on some brown rice in the steamer and had Jordie BBQ some hot sausages that Calvin picked up. These things are probably not local - sorry!

I added the grilled sausage to the mix once I chopped it up and served it on rice. Voila! Tasty enough that the boys won't care that it's good for them and the environment. Mission accomplished.

I will make one note of suggested improvement: the beets were slightly less tender than the rest of the dish. It seems to me they require a longer roasting time. In the future I will either send the beets in the oven for a 15-minute prep roast before adding the remaining vegetables, or I will chop the pieces much smaller so they'll roast quicker. I will also wash my cutting board right after doing the prep, but if you try this recipe you'll already know what I mean. Enjoy.

Next week: honey?

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