Love Affair with Veggies
- Yukon gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, string beans, carrots, peppers, onions, zucchini squash, parsnips, brussell sprouts, asparagus, roma tomatoes, lemons, flat leaf parsley, thyme, and basil (Or any other favorite vegetables)
- Olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 Roasting Pans
- Cut up the potatoes, onions, and lemons into wedges and put into pan. Add some olive oil, salt & pepper
- Cut up the veggies and lemons into large pieces. Add some olive oil, salt & pepper
- Put in oven at 400 degrees and let caramelize for 45 minutes – 1 hour. (Asparagus, tomatoes and string beans need less time.)
My mother Frieda was a closet vegetarian! When I was growing up in the thirties and forties, in spite of the war and food rationing, there was never a meal without meat. I can't remember ever seeing meat on her plate -- yet she was able to spend hours in the kitchen preparing delicious meat entrees. Her Friday night dinners always had various choices -- chicken, of course -- a brisket of beef, stuffed cabbage, fricassee with tiny meatballs, or her famous stuffed breast of veal which always brought her brothers, uncle Joe and George driving in from Scranton to Brooklyn.
In most homes vegetables hadn't even been discovered yet. On rare occasions maybe for company a can of peas and carrots, or string beans were opened. but at my mother's table,there was always spectacular gourmet vegetable dishes. Never treated as "side dishes", they always got equal billing and attention with the meat entrees. She knew which vegetable complimented what meat -- a hot dish, a cold dish, some crunch -- a little sweet & sour. something dense, something complex -- her choices were always perfect. Everything was fresh, light, delectably seasoned, healthy, and beyond imaginative! I'll always remember the taste of her zucchini soufflés and vegetable latkes sprinkled with a bit of sugar, and served as dessert.
When it came to veggies, Frieda was definitely ahead of her time. Well that was then and this is now! You're thinking, "great for Frieda!" She didn't have to work. She had a husband to support her, and she had the time to shop and cook for her family without resorting to canned, frozen, or take out foods". Today most of us have to shop and cook on the run, using take out and frozen meals to serve our families. Like my mother, I am a great lover of veggies and throughout the years figured out fast and easy ways to bring veggies to my table.
Usually I market on Saturday. I go to the produce section, preferably organic and buy the following: Yukon gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, string beans, carrots, peppers, onions, zucchini squash, parsnips, brussel sprouts, asparagus, roma tomatoes, lemons, flat leaf parsley, thyme, and basil, and any other vegetable that catches my eye. a must is a bottle of very good olive oil and some decent white wine, balsamic, and red wine vinegars, which most of us have stocked in the pantry. Now here's the easy part! In one roasting pan I cut up the potatoes, sweet potatoes and onions in fairly large wedges, with some olive oil, salt & pepper. in another roasting pan I cut up the veggies,not too small -- you want them to keep their shape -- again with some olive oil, salt & pepper, and some wedges of lemon.
I put both pans in a fairly hot oven (400 degrees) and let them roast and caramelize. Figure about 45 minutes to an hour. the asparagus,string beans and tomatoes need less time. okay -- now you have enough vegetables for the week. all you need to do is prepare some grilled boneless chicken breasts which stay nicely in the frig, or some fillets of fish, or some turkey burgers, and dinner is on the table in a matter of minutes, and preparation is no more then a couple of hours for the week. Sometimes I serve the veggies cold as a salad nicoise with some decent Italian tuna fish. This is great to brown bag for lunch at work. Sometimes I take some of the veggies and add some chicken stock for a delicious minestrone soup. This is a healthy, fast and easy way to put delicious vegetables on your table for the family to enjoy. Bon Appetite!!