Tuesday, December 20, 2011

How To: Roasting

One of my favorite ways to prepare side dishes in the winter is roasting (grilling is for summer, of course). It's so easy, and so underrated!

For vegetables, all you need to do is put a little olive oil and s&p on them, and bake somewhere between 400-450 F depending on the dish. Then, just watch them until they get all browned and crispy on the edges (they may even look a little burned, but they're probably not, trust me). The length of cooking time will depend on what exactly you're cooking, but veggies usually take around 15-20 mins, and potatoes will be closer to 45 mins-1 hour.

For fruit, it's pretty much the same, except just flavor with some form of sugar sprinkled over the top.

Another wonderful thing about roasting is that it enhances the natural flavor of whatever you're roasting. If you roast a fruit, it brings out the sugars of the fruit, and makes the fruit taste much more decadent. When you roast vegetables, the particular essence of that vegetable comes out, and believe me, you never knew vegetables tasted that good. Also, it keeps a lot more of the nutrients in the vegetable, as opposed to steaming (and tastes wayyy better).

Great Things to Roast
* Potatoes, whole garlic cloves
* Green beans, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
* Pineapple, peaches (any stone fruit), and many more!
* Lots of meats (obviously)

2 Things You've Probably Never Thought of Roasting
* Avocado
* Grapefruit

And here's how they're both done...

Roasted Grapefruit
* Cut a grapefruit in half, and separate each section with a paring knife.
* Set up the grapefruit on a baking dish (you may need to cut a little off the bottom to get it to sit up without falling over), and drizzled with your choice of sugar. I spread about a tablespoon of honey over the top. But you can use white sugar, brown sugar, etc. Or just go au naturel. I like a little bit of sugar to balance out the bitterness of the grapefruit.
* Broil the grapefruit for about 5 minutes.
* See how juicy and delicious it looks now! Every flavor of the grapefruit is enhanced (including the bitterness - so definitely only for grapefruit lovers). With this preparation, it tastes more like dessert than breakfast.

Roasted Avocado
I can't believe I just started doing this. I didn't think avocado could get any better -- until now! When roasted, the outside gets a little bit of a crust, and then the inside is sooo creamy. Absolutely delicious! Serve it with a salad, eggs, on toast or a sandwich, or just enjoy on its own!

* Remove the pit and skin, and slice.
* Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and s&p.

* Bake on 400 F for about 15 minutes. Yum!

One of my favorite snacks: cracker, good piece of turkey (would be great with leftover Christmas turkey!), and the roasted avocado.

** Another roasted dish recipe coming soon: Roasted Broccoli & Cherry Tomatoes

Question: What else do people like to roast?? I would love to hear!

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