Friday, November 12, 2010

Recipe: Hot Salad (aka Roasted Veggies)

I get sick of salad, especially when it's cold, but I still want to eat my veggies.  I also have this thing where I'm not satisfied eating teeny portions (of anything) so it helps me to fill my plate with a big ol' heaping portion of healthy.

My tastes, as I've said before, lean decidedly toward the roasted in the fall.  The recipe I'm going to share with you has been life changing.  I make some variation of it most nights lately.  It totally fills the roasty-toasty niche in my soul, and the kids will eat almost any veggie prepared this way.  Whatever veggies we have in the fridge get thrown in.  It's made me try new ones and it's made me re-appreciate old ones.  Get ready, my friends, for Hot Salad (aka roasted fresh vegetables).

I like to eat it plain as a side dish or with a bit of organic ketchup (tastes better than regular ketchup, swear!).  It also make a good topping for a salad, pizza or a rice bowl.  The possibilities are endless.  I even used roast veggies in my minestrone soup.  You can adapt this recipe for as many people as you've got.  I often do a solo-roast, but it works just as easily for the fam.

Roast on, mes amies.  Roast on.


1.  Olive Oil

2.  McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning (or any other spice rub--but this one is the BEST)

3.  Any combination/variation/selection from the list below (or any other veggies you have on hand)--just make as much as you can eat:
  • Zucchini/ Summer Squash, sliced thick
  • Asparagus, ends removed and/or sliced into sections
  • Mushrooms, bottoms of stems removed and halved if large
  • Brussels Sprouts, ends removed and halved
  • Broccoli/Cauliflower, chunks
  • Carrots/Parsnips, sliced
  • Red potatoes, cubed
  • Sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed or sliced
  • Peppers, seeded and sliced or cut into squares
  • Eggplant, peeled and cubed
  • Red onion, peeled and cut into big chunks
  • Tomatoes/cherry tomatoes, seeded and chunked (or just halved for cherry tom.)
  • Green beans, ends trimmed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1.  Cut up your veggies.  Try out some new combos--everything is good together.  Go single veggie if you're feeling like a purist, but for true "hot salad" you should mix it up.  Don't cut anything too small--it will get soggy.  Try to make things near the same size so they cook evenly.  I usually have better success with large chunks.

2.  Put your veggies in a gallon size Ziploc baggie.  Add 1-2 tbsp of olive oil, depending on how many veggies you have.  I never measure, I just let it flow for about two glugs.

3.  Dump in some of the Montreal Steak Seasoning.  Don't be stingy!  I give it a few good shakes so there's enough to flavor everything.


5.  Dump everything on a big cookie sheet.  Try to make sure it's in a single layer and not too crowded.

6.  Bake the veggies for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees, turning or stirring after the first 10 minutes.  At the end of this stage, things should be cooked through (i.e. fork tender).  We don't like things mushy, so I tend to under-cook.  But if your veggies are still not cooked through, leave them a little longer.

7.  Most important step: Switch your oven to Broil and cook the veggies an additional 5 minutes.  Just watch them and take them out when they look the right amount of toasty to you.  The toast makes all the difference.  Different veggies take different times to cook, so after a while you'll learn how long you like to leave 'em.


For another roast-veggie recipe, see my Sweet Potato Fry recipe.

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