Monday, December 28, 2015

The mighty veggie dish

There were veggies at Christmas dinner with friends. Oh, I know, most people serve veggies. Corn, spuds, carrots, squash, sweet potato, and (gack) brussels sprouts are common. This was more. Much more.

Here's Linda's instructions and commentary.

This recipe will fill a standard roasting pan (the kind you cook a turkey in) to the top. Quantities can be reduced to make a smaller dish. For this dish all the vegetables were certified organic with the exception of the shallots & the hot house peppers. All of the cut vegetables were cut into pieces no larger than ½ inch in size.

2 large shallots, peeled & chopped into medium size chunks
2 heads garlic, all cloves peeled & tossed whole into the vegetable mix
1 bunch celery hearts, sliced thin
1 each red, yellow & orange bell peppers, seeded/chopped
1 8 oz package cherry tomatoes
1  small head broccoli, chopped
1 small head cauliflower, chopped
4 medium sized sweet potatoes/yams, sliced/chopped (approximately 2 ½ pounds)
1 two lb package baby potatoes, cut into quarters
8 oz package baby carrots, sliced small
Mixed squash – I used 4 different varieties, seeded & cut into small chunks. I was able to purchase cut pieces of acorn, butternut, kabocha & sweet dumpling squash. I seeded the pieces where seeds were present & cut the flesh into smaller ½ inch chunks. I did not peel the squash as the colorful rinds were part of the display. Approximate quantity was about 4 cups chopped squash.
Fresh rosemary, sage & thyme, chopped (try to have at least ¼ cup of fresh chopped herbs)
Fig balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Maple syrup
½ teaspoon salt (only add salt if making a full roasting pan – do NOT add any salt if making reduced quantities)
Fresh ground pepper
Ground nutmeg or fresh ground nutmeg

Peel the shallots & garlic, wash & chop all the vegetables except the cherry tomatoes & the garlic cloves which can be tossed in whole. Strip fresh rosemary/sage off the stem & chop the rosemary & sage leaves, strip the thyme leaves off the stems & add the fresh herbs to the vegetable mix. Once the roasting pan is full but not overflowing add approximately 1/2 cup of fig balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil & ¼ cup maple syrup. Grind a small amount of salt – try not to exceed 1/2 tsp for the entire roasting pan & preferably less than that - grind at least 1 tsp fresh pepper. Add ½ tsp ground nutmeg or grind ½ tsp fresh nutmeg over the vegetable mix. Mix or toss the vegetables until they are evenly coated with the balsamic vinegar/olive oil/maple syrup mix. Cover the pan with tin foil & roast in a 350 degree oven for one full hour.

For all the salt lovers out there, do not add more than the recommended amount of salt. Root vegetables contain salt & the cooking process releases that salt into the dish. If you cut down the quantities to make a smaller dish, do not add ANY salt at all. Once the dish is cooked & served, if you find it too bland then add salt to the serving on your plate.

For a reduced quantity dish, peel & chop one large shallot, peel & toss in one head of garlic, two peppers seeded & chopped, still add the full 8 ounce package cherry tomatoes, 2 to 4 stalks celery sliced thin, ½ to 1 cup each broccoli & cauliflower florets, 1 medium sized sweet potato/yam, ½ of a small squash, 6 to 8 baby potatoes & 4 ounces baby carrots. Cut the quantity of fresh herbs in half & add 2 tablespoons each of fig balsamic vinegar, olive oil & maple syrup. DO NOT ADD ANY SALT. Grind ½ tsp fresh pepper & add 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg. Still roast at 350 degrees but reduce the cooking time – it will likely take no more than 25 – 30 minutes to cook, especially if the vegetables are spread out in one thin layer on the bottom of the baking dish. If you want a ‘drier’ dish, you can leave the tin foil off but pay attention or you could end up with dried out, burnt vegetables, as the sugars from the maple syrup/fig balsamic could caramelize faster than anticipated.

This dish is excellent over plain rice or cooked quinoa. The liquid that comes out of the vegetables during the cooking process (when covered with tin foil or a lid) will be absorbed by the rice/quinoa & is highly flavored. If you choose to cook the dish w/o a lid of any kind so it is drier, there should still be some liquid at the bottom of the dish at the end of the cooking process. Make sure the dish does not dry out completely, you want some moisture left on the bottom. The residue can be used to make a gravy or soup stock. If you’ve made a ‘dry’ dish the residue can be mopped up with fresh chunks of bread. Yum!

Even me, not especially known for liking veggies, chowed down on this dish. 7 adults ate most of it.

I'm still recovering. That massive load of veggies had the expected impact on me, but it didn't impact the lovely run on Saturday.

The swim on Sunday was a bit of a downer. My arms were back in the Pastafarian church, and I was being careful of my hamstrings. They were feeling sort of pre-crampy. The major let down was missing out on the hot tub. It was out of action for maintenance, I had really been looking forward to it. REALLY LOOKING FORWARD!

Today was an easy day. Lots of writing. Some stretching and core to work on the hamstrings. So far I haven't been on the bike. Maybe later. Yeah.

And just for fun, a pic of Curtis using Celina as a pillow.

1 comment:

  1. Cute kitty pic! The veggie dish looks yummy, I'll have to try it sometime.


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