Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Gentleman Vegetables*

"Give me cauliflower, or give me death!", I bellowed at Tim as he got into the car. Okay, so that's a lie, but I did tell him I was going to die if I didn't get some carrots and cauliflower. This prompted a brief "What? Since when doesn't Tim like cauliflower?" conversation (apparently it doesn't count as "liking cauliflower" fingerquote fingerquote if it's also "covered with cheese" fingerquote fingerquote), and we aimed our car for our friendly neighborhood Food Lion. We performed a synchronized couples shop with Tracy and Aaron (he gave me a parking ticket! Not my spatula! Exclamation point! Bang!) and then: Vegetables! Were! Purchased!

Roasted Vegetables


Preheat oven to 425.

While that's happening, clean and dry your vegetables, cut up whatever needs cutting (sweet potatoes, I'm looking at you) so that everything is more or less the same size, then apportion across as many sheet pans as necessary to achieve one single layer. For this batch, it was two half sheet pans, but do what you gotta do. Apply the lubricant of your choice; I sprayed them with Pam. Sidebar: If you're using mushrooms, don't put them in now. Set them aside for a bit.

Next, and this is honestly the very super most important part: Sprinkle on the seasoning (save a little bit for mushrooms later). Sure, it's made to go in a slow cooker, but so what? Now, I don't know about you, but I know about me, sort of, and I know about the people to whom I've served these vegetables. Even heathens who "hate vegetables" like these, and it's because of the seasoning. It's magical. I'm not going to come right out and say that it's made of baby giggles and unicorn love and rainbows, but... pretty close. (When you add this to your vegetables, they come out tasting like roaring fires and grandma's house and the Snuggie-dreams of generations past.) Post-sprinkle, agitate. Your lubricated and sprinkled vegetables should look similar to this:

Click to embiggen

Put them in the oven, and ignore them for awhile. 20 minutes, maybe. Then, add your mushrooms (sprinkle them!), and put them back in for another ten minutes or so. Because I like "caramelization", I use the broiler, too. I'm not ashamed. When the vegetables are the color and texture you prefer, take them out. For me, they look like this:

Vegetables: Post-Roast
Click to embiggen

I put these in a big sealed container, and stuck them in the icebox last night. This morning I nearly plotzed when CJ, who "hates vegetables", loaded up a monkey dish and chowed down. That's right, people. They're that good.

*I will never again be able to use the word "vegetables" without hearing James May say "gentleman vegetables" in my head.