Tuesday, June 22, 2010
There is no doubt that when it comes to food I am Southern to the core. Fried chicken is my favorite food. I'll choose a buttermilk biscuit over toast any day of the week. And I'd rather have a big, warm piece of my Mama's pound cake than any fancy, bakery cupcake you throw at me. But. (But.) When it comes to vegetables I think I first had them during some out-of-body experience. Because you see most Southerners cook their vegetables to death, and I just can't handle them that way. Apparently, my mother's canned green beans are the best thing since sliced bread, but ever since I was able to make my own decisions I've politely declined them. Although of course my parents made me eat just one spoonful in the hopes that the taste would grow on me. It didn't. Mooshy and I just don't mix. Sorry, mama.
I was once told that I prefer my vegetables the West Coast way. Brightly colored. Cooked, but with a bit of bite. Misted with oil. And yes, you can pan-fry them, but I prefer the hands-off approach: oven-roasted. This bunch of carrots came courtesy of my CSA, and they were the sweetest, most tender carrots I've ever eaten. Roasting them this way, with salt, is like eating kettle corn at the movies - you know, sweet and salty - except I was eating roasted carrots in front of Say Yes to the Dress, instead. And the asparagus? Well, when it's fresh and thin and packed in that tight little bunch it's hard for me to say no.
Take it all, douse it with a bit of soy sauce, perhaps a runny egg, and serve it over sticky rice. And you've got breakfast. Or lunch. Or dinner! Or all three.
Roasted Spring Vegetables Over Sticky Rice
By Confabulation in the Kitchen
This is really a non-recipe and more of a suggestion. You don't really need me to tell you how to roast vegetables, but you might need me to suggest that it's the best spring or summer meal you've ever eaten. As I type I have freshly picked green beans roasting away to serve tonight alongside barbecue chicken. Which goes to show you that most any vegetable is perfect served this way: Brussels sprouts, sweet onions, sliced sweet potatoes and maybe even fresh, sweet corn on the cob.
One bunch of any vegetable of your choice.
Fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh or 1/2 tablespoon dried herbs of your choice (I used dried parsley, but you could use rosemary, dill or chives, for example.)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Clean, dry and place vegetables in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Gently toss with your hands until every piece is coated.
3. Place in single layer on prepared cookie sheet. Roast 20 to 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender, slightly wrinkled and browned to your liking.