Tag Archives: words

Summer Roasting

I write this from a place of sitting-sweating.

Labor Day has come and gone, but for those already missing summer, I have the answer: Summer Roasting.

To do it my way, there are five easy steps: 1) Stop at the local farm stand (Z Food Farm) on your way home, 2) Turn your oven on to 400 degrees, 3) Turn your air conditioner off, 4) Put the chopped vegetables into the oven, and 5) Let them roast for 50 minutes while you do your own best roasting impression while preparing the rest of dinner, standing or sitting nearby.

That’s how I did it today, and also once last week and the week before (except for the air conditioner part; no need to turn mine off because I don’t have one. 🙂 Yes, it’s often summer roasting time here in my kitchen).

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The results are worth it though, and you also can’t discount the perspiration inspiration.

Sweat I swear
Is what I wear,
My beats are bold and
My beets are golden.
My features wetter
Than washed red peppers,
Onions chopped and garlic diced,
Potatoes cut and pink flesh shown,
This time I own, as pieces roast.
My current state, do not bemoan,
The heat is real, but here, no boast,
Cooled a bit with fresh apple juice,
Fifty minutes? Sixty would be nice,
Got an eggplant going, for baba ghanoush.

That is the state of things here, truth in rhyme.

Olive oil and salt and pepper were also involved, and purple carrots too. I’ll include them here in the more traditional, full version of the recipe.

Summer Roasting Roasted Vegetables

  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 red potatoes, peeled
  • 3 golden beets, peeled
  • 3 purple carrots
  • 3 onions
  • 1 red pepper
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  1. Dice the garlic.
  2. Chop the other vegetables (into similar-sized pieces; I did roughly 1 cm cubes).
  3. Add the vegetables, olive oil, salt, and pepper to a baking dish.
  4. Mix everything together.
  5. Roast at 400 degrees for about 50 minutes.

The end result is nothing but sweet, roasted vegetable goodness.

It’s also easy to make, and the choice of vegetables, and colors, is up to you. Later in the fall I’ll also add Brussels sprouts and butternut squash. The numbers of each vegetable is also flexible, but if you do solid threes across the cutting board, you can make it a game of culinary #threestag. This time, except for the one red pepper, I was threezing (but not freezing). Next time, I’m going try 2 Tbsp of olive oil too instead of 3 because I think that’ll be enough, or I’ll add more vegetables.

And that’s summer roasting! Yes, there’s the oven. But there’s also the taste, and the colors a plenty (some shown here below, before roasting), for the overall loving.

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Adirondack Red Potatoes

adfs

Golden Beets

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Purple Carrots

 

Rutabaga Rice and Beans

Rutabaga rice and beans.

I could also call it onion, garlic, rutabaga, tomato, salt, chili powder, cumin, and hot pepper flakes rice and beans, but that doesn’t have quite the same alliterative and exotic ring to it.

TFD dot com tells me exotic (adj.) means:

  1. From another part of the world; foreign
  2. Intriguingly unusual or different; excitingly strange
  3. Of or involving striptease

Sounds like a good a good fit!

Rutabaga is believed to have originally come from lands afar (Scandinavia and Russia), the idea of adding it to rice and beans is novel (intriguing! and excitingly strange!), and unless you like your rice and beans extra crunchy, you’ll need to strip the rutabaga first along the way (that is, you’ll need to peel off its outer skin; if the Swedish turnip’s feeling bashful, feel free to give it a gentle tease).

There are a lot of ways to make rice and beans. This is one. With the tomato and spices, it has somewhat of a Spanish Rice feel to it. The hot pepper flakes then add a touch of temperature, and the rutabaga and rest combine to give it a satisfying heartiness. This recipe also helps answer the question, “What should I do with all the rutabaga left over from Thanksgiving?” ‘Helps’ is the right word because, well, in my case I still have some left from the original big one.

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Now only a few pounds left after making this recipe. Props again to the Yuengling for the size comparison.

Rutabaga Rice and Beans

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dried black beans (about 2 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 1 cup brown rice (about 2 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 5 garlic coves, diced
  • 2 cups diced rutabaga
  • 3 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp hot red pepper flakes

Steps

(Pre-step: Soak the dried beans overnight in a pot of water. Then, right before cooking them, drain the soaking water, rinse the beans, and refill the pot with fresh water.)

  1. Cook the beans until they’re generally soft (about an hour in simmering or lightly-boiling water, covered)
  2. Meanwhile, sauté the the onions, garlic, and rutabaga in olive oil until soft (medium heat)
  3. At the same time, also cook the rice (20-30 minutes using a rice cooker)
  4. Once the beans are done, drain the water
  5. Then add the beans and rest of the ingredients to the sauteed onion/garlic/rutabaga mixture. Altogether, add: the tomatoes and crushed tomatoes, the cooked rice and the drained cooked beans, and the spices and hot pepper flakes.
  6. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until it starts to stick to the bottom (10-15 minutes). Scrape up and mix back in the parts that stick.

With this dish, I like the slight crunch that comes from dried beans that have been cooked. If you want, you could also use canned beans as another option.

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A cup of dried beans

Since the beans were cooking for an hour, I let the onions, garlic, and rutabaga sauté for the same amount of time. You could let these go for more or less time, but here’s how I did it this time.

  • I sauteed the onions and garlic for 20 minutes
  • Then I added the rutabaga and covered the pan for another 20 minutes
  • And then I did 20 minutes more uncovered

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Then I put the tomatos, rice, and beans in.

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And then I added the spices and mixed everything together and was done!

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I told some friends at the potluck I made this for that it had rutabaga in it. For everyone else, surprise! 

I also made lentil soup with butternut squash for the potluck (when it’s at your place, it’s good to have a big pot of something; and, progress on the pumpkin front!)

But rutabaga rice and beans. What more can I say but, from another world, different, and good hot or cold. I just finished the leftovers and want some more.

Eggplant Parmesan, Part 3a

I took a lot of pictures, as usual along the way, but first I’ll do words, with a post called 3a. It started with a line – I got inspired and free – and the rest came as I cooked, plus the plans for 3b.

Part 3: Tomato sauce

There are a lot of ways to make tomato sauce,
But if it’s summer or fall and I have the time,
I like to start off with them fresh,
In place of the canned crushed kind.

From the garden, farm market, and CSA,
I’ll get all that I need and be on my way.

Step one is the stems,
With a knife, cut away.
In a pot of hot water,
Place the tomatoes to stay.

For fifteen or thirty,
Have them sit in the boil,
It’s not the minutes that matter,
But the soft flesh from the toil.

When cooled, peel away,
The cracked skins from the rest,
And reserve for yet later,
To pass the use test.

Meanwhile, start the onions,
And garlic together.
Dice and set in a pan,
And sauté till they’re soft, much better.

And now the tomatoes,
Just before set aside,
Have them join the mirepoix,
For the sauce-making ride.

If they’re soft and cooked well,
The next step is easy,
With a spoon that is wooden,
Split them in pieces.

That cooks for a while,
Let it simmer, not quick.
With tomatoes so fresh,
That’s how to make the sauce thick.

And lest we forget,
About trick number two,
Dice the saved-skins really fine,
And add this paste to the stew.

For salt and for pepper,
What you like, you should do,
Also sounds like advice,
Not just cooking, life too.

Still, to note what I add,
When including this pair,
I trust two parts the former,
One the latter, all square.

The last step’s the herbs,
Oregano and basil,
Dice one and chop two,
And we’re done! Let’s make the plates full.

Are you hungry like me?
I could go for a dish.
We’ll save some for the eggplant,
That’ll be our tomorrow wish.

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