Saturday, September 15, 2012

How to Get Ahead: Roasting (think meal planning!)

Whenever I turn my oven on, I capitalize. Whatever has been sitting around in my fridge too long, or whatever I'm going to want to have on hand to eat later in the week - goes in.

Tamar Adler's book An Everlasting Meal will teach you basics and comfort in the kitchen, fresh-ingredient Italian-style. (If that's your style, order that book immediately.) The third chapter, called How To Stride Ahead is all about roasting. One-stop cooking for a whole week.

Watch the nuts and bolts basics in Tamar's beautiful video:

Roasting Basics:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. (If I'm making something else at another temperature, go with that, but be aware that cooking time will be effected.) 
  • Gather veggies to be roasted. Set out a rimmed pan or baking sheet for each type (as cook times vary). 
  • Chop veggies - similar sized pieces among like types, to ensure even cooking. I almost always leave skins on, unless veggies are not organic. Beets are the exception: roast whole, in skins, with a bit of water and olive oil, covered tightly with aluminum foil (see video).
  • Spread veggies on baking sheets so they have some room (no piling over overlapping).
  • Drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Toss to coat (I use my (clean) hands).
  • Place in oven and roast until fork-tender. Different veggies with have different cook times, which will also vary according to their size. Keep a watchful eye while you get something else done. I clean up the kitchen while roasting is happening. Perhaps you will put on a pot of rice or other grains to cook. Perhaps you will boil eggs.
  • Allow veggies to cool before storing in (preferably glass) containers. Old jars work wonders.

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