My friend Dano, who volunteers to play bartender, is now a vegetarian. Over the years, during his pre-vegetarian days, we shared many meals. Dano and I worked our way through racks of lamb, short ribs and homemade tequila-cured gravlax. He hated vegetables and little by little I snuck a few on his plate. Surprise! He liked them.
I followed a simple rule which I gladly pass on to you: When it comes to vegetables, don’t overcook, don’t under-season. If you don’t overcook, they retain their gorgeous colors, textures and flavors. If you don’t under-season, the herbs and spices enhance the natural flavors of the vegetables. I use fresh or dried herbs and always kosher salt.
Buy small quantities of the herbs and spices you use most. The basics include basil, oregano, thyme and tarragon. If you buy small bottles, these will be used up in a year.
If you want your family and friends to eat vegetables, make them look vibrant and taste great. They will disappear!
Note: If using dried herbs, please smell and taste them before adding to vegetables. If they have been on the shelf or in the drawer since longer than you can remember, they probably have no taste and need to be replaced.
ROASTED BABY VEGETABLES
EVENT: Summer Solstice
SERVES: 10 – 12 people
2 bags (32 oz each) mixed fresh baby vegetables (I get these from Costco)
3 tablespoons dried basil
1 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Wash vegetables.
3. Place in a large bowl. Toss with olive oil to lightly coat vegetables.
4. Toss with dried basil and dried oregano.
5. Place on 2 large baking sheets.
6. Sprinkle kosher salt on top, distribute evenly.
7. Roast 20-25 minutes until vegetables are cooked and start to brown very slightly.
A NOTE: These can be made early in the day and warmed before serving.