We have a friend in our small group who does not like vegetables (you know who you are!) besides maybe potatoes in the form of french fries. I keep trying to test different veggies and preparation styles on him. I think he’s coming around – albeit slowly?
My favorite vegetable is asparagus, which is another reason why I love spring so much because asparagus really only tastes good in the spring and it is one of the few vegetables that hasn’t totally fallen prey to being available all year long. It just isn’t right to eat asparagus in October if you ask me. I like to prepare it all sorts of different ways, but my go-to method for preparing just about any vegetable is to roast them in the oven (or on the grill as the days get warmer).
Roasting brings out the sweetness of the vegetable without sacrificing the vegetable’s texture. People that don’t like asparagus probably haven’t eaten it prepared properly, if you ask me, but I tend to get a bit stubborn about these sorts of things. Roasting also enables a little bit of fat to go a long way. I love finding new ways to prepare my veggies, but roasting is the way to go at our house if I’m in a hurry or just want some guaranteed goodness.
So here’s my basic brainless roasting method for just about any vegetable:
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Trim and cut vegetable of choice
- Put veggies in a bowl
- Dump olive oil (or fat of choice) over veggies – I eyeball it, but I think about a tablespoon of oil per cup of veggies is probably close. Experiment to see what you like best.
- Add spices of your choice (see below)
- Stir veggies around until coated with oil + spices
- Spread veggies on baking sheet and throw in the oven for 7 – 25 minutes, depending on the vegetable. I usually just reach in and taste test a piece for done-ness.
If I’m making asparagus, I like to shred some Parmesan cheese on top once they’re finished roasting…yum!
Here are a few vegetable/spice combinations that we like:
- Asparagus + EVOO + salt and pepper [7 minutes]
- Eggplant + EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) + salt and pepper + a little goat cheese on top
- Summer squash/zucchini + EVOO + rosemary [20 minutes]
- Peeled sweet potatoes (or winter squashes) + coconut oil + cinnamon and nutmeg [25 minutes]
- Kale + EVOO + red pepper flakes (makes kale chips – a great snack!) [15 minutes]
- Carrots + coconut oil + honey + salt [20 minutes]
- Fingerling potatoes (or regular potatoes cut into wedges) + EVOO + garlic cloves + chipotle pepper [20 minutes]
- Green beans + EVOO + garlic cloves + tarragon + salt and pepper [7-10 minutes]
- Beets + EVOO + dill + a little red wine vinegar after you take them out of the oven [20 minutes]
- Broccoli + EVOO + dijon mustard + garlic, minsed [12-15 minutes]
- Mushrooms + EVOO + minced garlic + salt and pepper (I know, mushrooms aren’t a vegetable, but they’re so tasty roasted!) [10-12 minutes]
What’s your go-to way to prepare vegetables?