For those friends who read my Christmas lunch post , you would have seen the roast vegetables we had with our turkey and ham. I love roast vegetables and do them often. Christmas day saw me doing just carrot and potato, more often than not the mix will also contain halves of tomatoes, sweet potato and pumpkin, amongst other things.
I prepare them in one of two ways. Here are my two methods:
This is my “little quantity” method. The meal in the picture here was only for the three of us.
I use my cast iron baking dish and put in about 2 tablespoons of oil. I will use whatever oil is at hand – olive, canola, peanut, Christmas I used lard! Yummy, but maybe not so healthy for everyday cooking…
Then I tossed in about 6 of the little purple Asian shallots and about 6 cloves of garlic. Both unpeeled- straight into the dish whole.
I big tangle of fresh oregano went in. I don’t have thyme growing, but if I did I’d use that instead, or as well! Rosemary sprigs are nice too. I leave them kind of big. Some of the twiggy leaves will come off as it cooks – just enough to flavour the vegetables without it being overwhelming.
I just washed the oregano and threw it in. The leaves will comes off by themselves as the veggies cook.
I par-boiled the potato chunks and the carrot chunks for about 6 minutes in salted water. They went into the colander and I gave them a good shake to rough up the surface. You want the potato to be kind of crumbly on the outside. At the very least, a bit “rough” and floury looking.
Some grinds of pepper and some sea salt get sprinkled over.
In they go into the dish and I toss them with my hands until everything is nicely covered with oil.
Into a hot oven – maybe about 450F, for around about 50 minutes.
You’ll know when they are done to your liking. Shake the dish from time to time, it loosens the veggies from the bottom and turns them over for even browning. Sometimes, if I try and use the tongs or a spatula to do this – I end up breaking them up. If they do stick, I take them out of the oven and slide a knife right under the veg so I can lever it up and turn him over without leaving the lovely crispy bit behind 🙂
When you pull the cooked vegetables out of the oven you can squash the garlic and onion cloves open if you like, just use a fork, or the end of a spatula or something, and then mix it all up and over the veg. Some of the herb leaves will have come off too adding to the mix – delicious!
I use this method when I have a lot of vegetables to prepare, or I want to do the bulk of the work ahead of time.
I prepare the vegetables as Method 1, but put them into a plastic bag: like a big freezer bag, or a supermarket bag ( with no holes in it… I’ve done it – messy) Then I tip in my oil and seasonings,puff the bag out with air, and swazzle it all about so everything gets coated.
If I’m going to cook them straight away, I just up-end the bag of veg into the baking dish; try and have one large enough so they are in one layer, not too piled up.
If I’m putting them away for later on, I just put another bag on, just to be sure, tie the top up and stick them in the fridge.