Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Time to Roast... Vegetables

It is sunny, shiny fall here in the NorthWet...err West.  After our dismal spring and June, the sun just won't stop shining.  And it has made for some amazing fall produce.

And a bunch of it is big, pumpkin big, if you know what I mean.

So what to do with it?

Admire it 1st.

Beets, garlic, tomatillos, jalapeños, tomatoes - regular & cherry
radishes and carrots
pie pumpkins, butternut squash, leeks - oh yeah, and the chicken scraps bag

Holy Full Fridge, Batman!  What to do with it all?

Step one - cut it down to size.  Those whole veggies take up a bunch of space.

Step two - dedicate a day to roasting everything into freezable food.  And MUCH of that is done through the magic of roasting.  By driving off excess water, and breaking down the plant cells by tasty cooking, they are all set up to freeze.  If these are frozen raw - the water/chemical balance ends up with mushy and sometimes rotten (blechk!) food.

It's take a big chunk of a day but the longest part of the prep - the roasting - is done (and because it mostly happens at 425˚F) and done together.  Pumpkins and Peppers don't mind sharing oven space with Radishes and Beets.  And while things are roasting you can do lots of other thing - as long as you don't have to leave the house.

So what are the results from a day spent that way?

Tomatillo-Garlic-Jalapeño Sauce

Roast everything until it gets mushy -pull of the stems
peel off the skins,
(optional remove some/all seeds from the jalapeños)
blend them together - add a little salt.
Perfect over leftover mole beef... if you have it.
Lots of other stuff if you don't.

Roasted beets - and other veg
(see the next post for more on beets - or check out some flash backs:

Pumpkin Puree and Roasted Squash Wedges and Chunks

Dedicate the time to making these - and then THERE THEY ARE ready to go into whatever you want 

- things like...

and the new best thing ...

Pumpkin Mushroom Polenta 
Made lots - freezing this for later use.

(the pumpkin takes the place of the Parmesan - and makes it creamy and savory - and perfect for all stripes of "no dairy" folks -OR- a super way of sneaking in extra veg.)

That is coming up too...

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