There are recipes I’ve found in some of my newer cookbooks which make me laugh.
Recipes for the simplest things like baked potato, sauteed broccolini, roasted asparagus, roasted tomatoes…
Now, I don’t knock anyone who doesn’t know how to do any of these things*, but at this point in our technological age, I feel like these are kitchen basics which probably don’t need to be in cookbooks any longer**. These are the kinds of things you do a quick Google search for and find someplace like, oh, a blog, for example, to guide you.
*Because, Lord knows, as of five years ago, I probably didn’t either without direction.
**Especially not Food Network star ones.
That said, for today’s Make it Monday, I definitely will not share a recipe for this simple-to-make favorite of mine, but I am going to talk nonstop about it so that you’ll get the urge to go on and make it for yourself. Everyday.
The more I make dinner at home, the more I realize sometimes the tastiest things don’t have to be very challenging. Over the past few months, I’ve fallen in love with roasting my veggies, a simple, but scrumptious side dish to any main course.
Once upon a time, I was a canned veggie girl only, and the line up included: peas, corn, and string beans.
From there I graduated to canned and frozen, broadening my horizons to allow broccoli and stir fry veggies.
The more I began really cooking for myself, the more I started using fresh ingredients and recognizing differences in flavor. Rather than completely eliminating canned and frozen veggies, I’ve brought fresh veggies into the mix as a several nights a week treat.*
*Yes, I said it. Vegetables can be a treat. Cue shocked gasps.
I am certain something magical happens when fresh cut veggies are drizzled with olive oil and liberally sprinkled with salt and pepper. If done properly, they can be as addicting as chocolate.*
*Yup, I did it again. I’ve just compared vegetables to chocolate. WHO AM I?
I’ve found the perfect trick to be a rimmed baking sheet, lined with foil, topped with a layer of any combination of veggies, drizzled with 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil, and generously sprinkled with kosher salt and pepper.*
*Those flakes should shine.**
**In other words, they should be able to be seen with the naked eye.
Cooked in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for anywhere from 15-30 minutes*, these vegetables start to sing when they start to brown and sizzle in the oily goodness.
*Depending on the size of the vegetable.
Sometimes, if I’m feeling super creative, I’ll add freshly chopped garlic or a squeeze of lemon.
You simply can’t lose. Every time I roast veggies I try to remind myself how good and simple they are, so that when I’m facing those moments of, What-on-earth-should-I-make-as-a-side-dish-tonight?, I can fall back on the beauty of the roasted vegetable.