Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 20: Roast Beets, Anyone?

My latest culinary deal is roasting vegetables. Until recently, I only roasted potatoes, which I only started doing correctly after my friend Kathryn told me that to get really good roasted potatoes, I needed to boil them first, to soften them up. Now I find the trick is not boiling them too long; otherwise, you get roasted potato crumbs, which are still delicious but trickier to get from your plate to your mouth.

Then a few weeks ago, I stumbled across a recipe for roasted broccoli, and I thought I'd give it a go. Well, my dears, it turns out that roasted broccoli is divine, as is roasted cauliflower and roasted red onion. Roasted vegetables taste so good, I don't see how they can be good for you. In fact, I got so suspicious the other day, I googled "nutritional aspects of roasted vegetables," expecting to learn that roasting vegetables transforms them into the nutritional equivalent of a chocolate sundae. What I found instead is that not only are roasted vegetables as good for you as raw vegetables, sometimes they're even better.

I was at the store the other day and went a little crazy. I bought orange beets and a rutabega and a turnip, all for the roasting. When I got home, I googled "roasted beets recipes" and found one for carmelized beets. Now how good does that sound? I'm going to try it, and I'll let you know how it turns out.

By the way, beets were yet another vegetable we didn't eat growing up (I'm telling you, all we had was frozen peas and carrots, vegetable-wise; they were dark times there in the suburban 1970s). And my first experience with beets was not good. The Man and I attended a dinner party where the guest of honor made a beet salad. The beets were beautiful, but there was some thing about the texture that made me want to spit them out. However, you do not spit out the guest of honor's beets, so I ate as many as I could force down and then tried the old trick of cutting the rest into very small pieces and then hiding the pieces under a roll.

It wasn't until a few years ago, when my friend Amy shared with me a marvelous beet salad she'd made that I realized beets could be my friends. And it wasn't until yesterday, when I saw those pretty orange beets at the grocery store, when it occurred to me that maybe I should take some home with me and roast them.

Have you discovered new ways of cooking old favorites? What veggies did you hate growing up that you love now? Oh, I just remembered! Every once in awhile my mom served canned asparagus, and boy did I hate that. But now? Well, I still don't eat canned asparagus, but baby asparagus in the spring? To die for!


Gumbo Lily said...

Growing up, I remember that EVERY vegetable came in a can -- the worst -- canned spinach!!! Ugh. We ate all the same ones you did. We did, however, sometimes have fresh garden carrots, tomatoes and such later on when Dad began to garden.

I did not like spinach (canned), asparagus (canned) or squash, but now I love them own in totally different preparation methods. I ADORE roasted veggies -- all kinds-- but I have never had roasted beets. I will wait to hear how you do it and how they taste. I like beets, but I am the only one in the house who does so I would have to eat a whole batch myself.

Invite me to supper and I'll try yours!

Harmony said...

If you haven't roasted brussels sprouts yet, add them to your list. Love 'em. Could eat a whole bag at a sitting that way. I'd like to try roasting beets... they sound so sweet.

Tracy said...

So I had to google rutabaga to find out it is a swede. Good in soups ;)

My parents finally gave up making me eat beetroot when I was 8. I remember it. We were living in Ballarat for a couple of months before going overseas and they finally realised I REALLY don't like them and that they were wasting things they love on someone who couldn't stand them. I've yet to overcome my dislike to have a go at fresh beets roasted.

My Mum did parsnip while we were with them a few weeks back. She also par-boiled and then roasted them. Oh. My. Goodness. We all fought over Mr Busy's discarded parsnips!

Our lastest trial was fresh asparagus because it was a freebie. Not too bad - but I wouldn't spend $9/kg on them.

Angela said...

Right with you in the 'we are crazy about roasted veg' thing. Latest discovery is roasted cauliflower.
But chopping [into largish pieces] ALL the veg** lurking in the bottom of the fridge, drizzling with olive oil and a shake of salt and pepper, and a sprig of rosemary. Roast THAT and you have supper fit for a King.
Blessings xx
**not the wilted lettuce or limp cucumber though.

magsmcc said...

Roasted broccoli- really? I did in a fit of desperation roast everything in bottom of fridge on Saturday night. How could you forget that you have invited husband's colleague from work for dinner until he turns up at front door? Honestly, who forgets a thing like that?

Melissa E said...

I am not a fan of beets, but I saw a recipe for a whole roasted onion with melted "fancy" cheese of your choice. It looks awesome and I can't wait to try it!

Pom Pom said...

Beets are pretty, but I can't eat them.
I have heard that roasted broccoli is tasty. I should try it, but someone said that broccoli makes your arthritis hurt and I believe it. Sometimes I think we need to find a few new vegetables. When I go to the fancy grocery store nearby, I always think, "Is this it?" I so agree with you about the seventies and veggies in a can. I think the first time I ate fresh carrots (with Ranch dressing - gulp!) was when I was in my early twenties. Before that, we ate carrots, but they are so much tastier with thick dip. I know. I'm hopeless.

The dB family said...

Hmmmm, now I'm feeling like having roasted vegetables. Harmony is right. Roasted Brussels sprouts are AMAZING!! Yum!