Roasted Vegetables – Cinderella in the Kitchen

November 25th, 2009 / Comments 1

I was alone, sitting near the wood stove, feeling like Cinderella, but rather than wishing for a prince with a glass slipper, I was wishing for dinner.

J Castle rect Roasted Vegetables   Cinderella in the Kitchen

I wanted comfort food that celebrated autumn, a dinner with complex flavors and one that was low in calories. Since the pumpkin carriage was out of service, dinner had to be created without a trip to the market. Wishing wasn’t working. I needed to think.

A baked potato dinner was a possibility. Preparation would be simple – washed and baked, the potato would be ready to top with yogurt. It was a low calorie meal but not wonderful. I wanted a dinner that looked as if my fairy godmother had been hard at work.

I considered macaroni and cheese but that required too much preparation, too many pots and I didn’t have a magic spell that would make it delicious AND low in calories. Microwaved popcorn and a grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwich came to mind. But, even the mice in the kitchen expect more for dinner than that.

It was getting late and I was hungry. I looked for inspiration in the refrigerator and found carrots, turnips, a small butternut squash, half a cauliflower, a couple of parsnips and a handful of washed lettuce.  If a single pumpkin could be magically transformed into a carriage, surely this collection of vegetables could be transformed into dinner.

cornucopia c egbert Roasted Vegetables   Cinderella in the Kitchen

The clock chimed seven and a wizard idea occurred to me. I could roast the vegetables with potatoes, onions and garlic, season them with olive oil, butter, dried rosemary, salt and pepper and dine like a princess in less than an hour.  Here’s how I did it:

Roasted Vegetable Dinner

I peeled the carrots, parsnips, squash and turnips and cut them into two-inch chunks. Then I cut three, medium, unpeeled potatoes into quarters, peeled and cut two medium onions into quarters, and cut the cauliflower into large florets. I combined all the vegetables in a large shallow ceramic baking dish.

For flavor, I stirred in a quarter of a cup of olive oil, two tablespoons of unsalted butter, six unpeeled cloves of garlic, a teaspoon of dried rosemary, a generous pinch of kosher salt and several grinds of black pepper.

I put the vegetables into a 375-degree oven and stirred them every fifteen minutes so that they would brown evenly. In fifty minutes, the vegetables were tender and golden. I put the roasted vegetables on a bed of lettuce dressed with simple vinaigrette and dined like a queen.

Except for leafy greens and artichokes, most vegetables are delicious when roasted. Green beans, asparagus or summer squash will be cooked in half an hour and so they should be added twenty minutes after the other vegetables have been put into the oven. The papery skin on the garlic cloves protects it from burning and becoming bitter.

This recipe began as a modest meal for one, but I got carried away and ended up with enough vegetables to make sandwiches for lunch the next day. Here’s how I did it:

Vegetarian Sandwich

I diced the cold roasted vegetables, added minced fresh parsley, a pinch of cayenne pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice and enough mayonnaise to hold it all together. I put the vegetables and the remaining lettuce between slices of toasted sourdough bread.  Served with patty pan pickles, there was enough lunch for me and Prince Charming.

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Roasted Vegetables List

  • carrots
  • parsnips
  • squash
  • turnips
  • potatoes
  • onions
  • cauliflower
  • olive oil
  • unsalted butter
  • garlic
  • dried rosemary
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • lettuce
  • vinaigrette

Roasted Vegetable Sandwiches

  • roasted vegetables
  • parsley
  • cayenne pepper
  • lemon juice
  • mayonnaise
  • lettuce
  • toasted sourdough bread
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