These are so incredibly good. This may be hard to believe, but while I’m seldom tempted to polish off half of a cake or too many cookies, I’m often sorely tempted to eat an entire pan of roasted brussels sprouts. I never had them as a child, which is also surprising, because we ate just about everything that could be grown locally in Wisconsin (including home-grown popcorn from my grandparents’ garden!). If a nice coarse salt and a touch of olive oil is used, these come out smelling like (I swear to you) popcorn from the movie theater.
Tag Archives: roasted vegetable
I’ve made this recipe at least a dozen times, and it’s always good. I used some of our CSA potatoes and garlic this time to make a half-batch on a week night. I’m happy any time I don’t have to peel potatoes.
Barefoot Contessa Parties! p. 86
I’ve never been a big fan of fennel (the bulb, the fronds, the seeds), and I’m sorry to say that this recipe didn’t immediately change my tastes for it. It was less sharp than raw fennel, but it still had that anise-y, licorice-y taste that just doesn’t do it for me. That’s right: not even Her Highness the Contessa could bring me to like fennel. If you like fennel though, even just a little bit, I think you’d like this recipe. The roasting brings out the sweetness of the bulb, and the parmesan adds a nice salty twang to it. All you fennel-lovers out there will just have to forgive me for this one. Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, p. 154
Holy Hannah, this was good. We had a butternut squash from our CSA box, and it was looking so pretty on our kitchen counter that I waited a few weeks to hack into it. That’s the thing about winter squashes – they’re pretty, and they last a long time. The butternut variety always, always make me think of the Veggie Tales. I usually just roast butternut squash in its skin, and then add butter and brown sugar to serve. It’s easy, it involves minimal cutting, and it tastes so good. We had already used that method for some delicata squash that arrived earlier in the season, so we were game to try something new. (And if we’re really hankering for the butter and brown sugar recipe later in the season, the squashes are plentiful and cheap for a long time). Because of my favored roasting-in-the-skin method, I had never actually peeled a winter squash before, and it always seemed like such a pain. Trader Joe’s sells a frozen, peeled, cubed butternut squash, but I think that’s probably better suited for soups and purees than roasting. It turns out that my apprehension about peeling was unfounded. A simple vegetable peeler made quick work of the skin, and once it was peeled, the chopping was easy. (By the way, my favorite peelers and paring knives are from a little Mennonite store called Weaver’s Country Store in Augusta, Wisconsin. If you’re in the area, I recommend the trip. They mostly have (very inexpensive) dry goods.)
The recipe for Maple Roasted Butternut Squash (on p. 158 of Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics) also called for a handful of fresh sage. Thankfully, my sage plant survived our recent snow (unlike some other poor unfortunate souls), and I had plenty of leaves to complete the recipe. Also in this recipe: garlic (which is plentiful from our CSA), and pancetta (for which I substituted prosciutto, simply because the pancetta looked rather grey). I felt completely decadent in enjoying this for lunch on a weekday.
I will be the first to admit that this looks like something the cat may have deposited in your shoe. But trust me when I tell you that it tastes so very delicious. I made this for a party years ago, and I had a hard time extracting my guests from the appetizers on the sideboard to come to the table for dinner. I don’t know why I haven’t made it since then, but a half-batch was just the thing to use up the one lonely eggplant from this week’s CSA box. We’ve already had eggplant parmesan, ratatouille, and eggplant au gratin this summer, so it’s nice to have something new. (I also had red pepper, red onion, and garlic on hand from the CSA.) Unfortunately, I should have taken into account the halved size of the batch during the roasting process – some of the veggies got a little charred in the oven, and next time I’ll check them sooner. Still, the dip tastes fantastic. It’s listed as an appetizer, but I think it will serve as a healthy snack for us this week instead. Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, p. 41.
We’re in a brief but wonderful intersection of seasons here in Minnesota, where the air is crisp enough to want hot soup for dinner, but the frost hasn’t gotten the last of the summer tomatoes yet. During the first few days of cooking for this project, a dear friend asked if I wanted some of the extra tomatoes from her garden. My answer was a definitive “yes.” It just so happened that the beautiful tomatoes she brought were the perfect amount for Roasted Tomato Basil Soup (The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, p. 84). This recipe also calls for a great deal of basil, which (despite my woeful lack of a green thumb) always seems to grow plentifully on my deck. I’ve never been much of a fan of Campbell’s Tomato Soup, so I spent a long time thinking that I didn’t like tomato soup at all. This soup changed my mind about that, and it’s especially good with warm rolls on the side. The leftovers were great with grilled cheese sandwiches the next day for lunch.
Every Friday, one of our local grocery stores sells rotisserie chickens for five dollars, and they call it the Five Buck Cluck. This past summer, we’ve started a tradition of buying a chicken to go with some of our CSA vegetables, which arrive on Thursday evenings. The Barefoot Contessa roasted chicken will be featured here shortly, but for now, it’s so nice to have that one predictable piece of the meal when we’re experimenting with new ingredients and recipes with all of these vegetables. The bonus: our toddler eats rotisserie chicken like it’s candy. Also, we don’t have to turn on the oven on a hot summer night. One recent Friday, the Five Buck Cluck was accompanied by Parmesan-Roasted Cauliflower (Barefoot Contessa at Home, p. 146) and String Beans with Shallots (Barefoot Contessa Family Style, p. 115).
Cauliflower has never been a favorite at our house, but we’ve been eating a lot of it this summer because of its ubiquitousness in our CSA boxes. I love broccoli, but I could never get all that excited about cauliflower, probably because I’d only ever had it steamed or raw. I’d tolerate it, but I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed it. I should have known that roasting it would change my opinion, and adding cheese would seal the deal. I’m not sure I’d ever roasted a vegetable until I read The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, but it has definitely broadened my horizons. This recipe will definitely be repeated at our house, and we might actually look forward to the next head of cauliflower that comes in the door.
Next up: string beans with shallots. Unlike cauliflower, I could eat string beans raw, steamed, or roasted. I could eat them plain or covered in goo. I prefer them to be slightly crunchy and not mushy, but I’ve been known to eat my share of overcooked beans, too. This recipe is a great mixture: crispy green beans with a tasty shallot topping. Shallots are a wonderful mix of onions and garlic, and we’ve gotten a great plenty of them in our CSA boxes this summer. The beans, which started out purple, steamed into a nice green color, just until they were lightly cooked. My grandparents used to grow purple beans in their garden, and I haven’t seen any beans that color since then until they started showing up in our CSA boxes this summer. To me, they taste the same as ordinary green beans, but it’s so fun to watch them change color. The crispy shallots added a nice flavor and texture to the beans, and they even helped my born-and-raised-in-North-Carolina husband tolerate the crispness of the beans, which he usually prefers to be a lot less al dente.