Thursday, January 28, 2010

Oven-Roasted Vegetables

Weird fact about me: I love vegetables. Not just like, enjoy frequently, or appreciate--I LOVE vegetables. When I was six years old, I told my parents that my favorite food was carrots. (Lest you think I was just being a precocious child--they believed me, too ;)). When my sisters and I were learning to cook dinner for our family, they sometimes made a meal without a vegetable. Never me though--I usually picked the vegetable first, and planned the rest of the meal around it. Still today, I am probably the only member of my family who will stick to her grocery list in every part of the store, except the produce section.

Last week at the grocery was one of those weeks. I started out my grocery shopping excursion in the produce department (always a bad idea!), and came home with enough veggies for about three weeks. So this week I have been exploring new vegetable side dish recipes.

My original recipe called for "haricot verts," asparagus,
and fingerling potatoes--none of which I had, of course. I liked the concept, though, so I decided to try green beans, red potatoes, and fennel:

As you can see from the seven ingredients above, this was a very simple dish. But its flavor and elegant presentation makes it a great option for fancy and every-day dinners alike.

Oven Roasted Vegetables


1 fennel bulb*, chopped into wedges
1 pound small potatoes (new, yukon, fingerling, etc), quartered or cut into wedges
1-2 pounds of green vegetables of your choice -- green beans, asparagus, etc.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup parmesan cheese


1) Preheat oven to 425.
2) Toss fennel and potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread in one layer on roasting pan or dish. Roast for 25-30 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Toss once or twice while cooking.

3) Add green vegetables to potatoes, toss, and return to oven for 10-15 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

4) 2 or 3 minutes before the vegetables are done, sprinkle the dish with parmesan cheese and return to oven. Serve immediately.

* Note: our grocery store carries fennel under the name "anise." Anise and fennel are two different, but similar, plants. Apparently some grocers carry either one under either name. Since I'm not a big fan of anise's licorice taste, I was a little worried about using this in my dish. But the dish came out great--the fennel was pretty mild, with no noticeable licorice taste.

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