Sunday, December 21, 2014

Roasted Fall Vegetables

I am sure that every new bride has the same nauseating anxiety the first time she has the in-laws over for dinner in her new home.  You have to make something everyone will like, that will be impressive but not flashy, and doable on a work night without having to spend the entire evening in the kitchen.  I like cooking challenges; I was prepared.  But here's the background: I once tried to have the Ajemians over this summer when I made roasted vegetable burritos, and the first thing they said when they walked in the door was, "is that broccoli and cauliflower I smell?  We hate that."  Oh dear.  So that added a little bit to my nerves this night, when I was having them plus Kaz and Andrea over.

Besides knowing my parents-in-law's distaste for broccoli and cauliflower, there was more to consider.  I, of course, am a vegetarian, but I was already pretty sure that I was going to have to suck it up and be brave because I wasn't about to serve them lentils.  Then there's Andrea, who is semi-vegetarian in that she doesn't eat red meat (which includes pork).  Then there's Kaz, who has celiac disease and can have no gluten.  And my mother-in-law is a meat-and-potatoes kind of girl; she is kind of like my mom in that she doesn't like things overly spiced or too flavorful.  Take all those dietary restrictions into consideration and tell me you aren't feeling pangs of sympathetic anxiety!

Hours of stressing and texting Andrea ensued, and I finally settled on my menu: chicken (more on that in the next post), salad, and these roasted vegetables.  I know you cannot go wrong with roasting vegetables - as long as they aren't broccoli and cauliflower - and these ones were no exception.  I am sure that most people don't feel the need to use a recipe to simply roast veggies, but I needed to make sure every detail was perfect that night!  And this is perfection: carrots, brussel sprouts, red new potatoes, and sweet potatoes roasted together with salt and pepper, and dried oregano, thyme and basil.  That's it.  It's so simple but so amazing.  I love how the vegetables get sweeter and more complex-tasting, and the herbs freshen them up.  The colors of this dish are gorgeous as well.  It's just so simple; they bake for just under an hour while you can work on the main dish.

I will make you wait until tomorrow to hear how the entire meal went, but I can tell you these vegetables were a hit :)  I have since made them one other time for my pre-Thanksgiving celebration with my family - more on that coming up too!  So many recipes to share... and luckily, so many days off in which to do so.  2 days till Christmas vacation!


roasted fall vegetables
from Love Grows Wild

1/3 cup olive oil
4 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch thick pieces
1 1/2 medium brussel sprouts, halved
4 cups red new potatoes, cut into 1 1/2-inch thick pieces
1 cup sweet potatoes, cut into 1 1/2-inch thick pieces
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil


1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2) Divide chopped vegetables onto 2 baking sheets and drizzle with olive oil.

3) Sprinkle vegetables with salt, pepper and dried herbs and toss gently to coat.

4) Spread vegetables into an even layer on baking sheets and bake for 45 - 50 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking time.

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