|Italian Roasted Vegetables Recipe|
Buongiorno miei amata amici!
“An onion can make people cry but there's never been a vegetable that can make people laugh.” ~Will Rogers~
I thoroughly enjoy the adages of Will Rogers. His Cherokee upbringing gave him such earthy maxims that he spun with his marvelous sense of humor. The above saying used to be a perfect fit for my family. I confide, I would use dehydrated onions and re-hydrate them with water before cooking, as I hated my contacts falling out of my eyes when they would tear incessantly from cutting onions. I hated the taste of raw onions and raw onions or fried in too much oil would both make my tummy sick, often for days.
Then came my pregnancy with Levi, my son with autism. Every time I ate garlic I would get so sick at my stomach, I thought I would die. It got where just the scent of garlic would send me into hiding. I loved garlic, so this was pure torture. I quit eating Italian food for a couple of years, until the mystery aversion to garlic disappeared as suddenly as it had came on.
Next, you have the members of my family. My husband claims to love vegetables…but only if they are KILLED TEN TIMES OVER and then slathered in FAT. Is this a man thing? Is he attempting to transform the vegetables into meat, if only in his mind? Does eating vegetables in such a manner make him feel like a hunter? Such as, he wants cooked broccoli with heaps of mayonnaise on top. He wants baked potatoes with oodles of butter and sour cream or better yet, just fry his potatoes. His green beans are drowning in butter and bacon. Need I say more?
My kids are of the typical American mindset. Vegetables are the required food that they love to hate. They balk at the suggestion of putting them in their mouths. Envisioning the coming dessert, in their minds, seems to be the little bit of sugar that makes the vegetable medicine go down.
|Preparing Italian Roasted Vegetables Recipe|
As a result, I am often in quest of methods to make vegetables taste delicious. Leave it to the Italians to have a method that has my husband and children begging for seconds. Did I mention it is healthy?
The Italian Roasting method works beautifully on most vegetables. It forces the vegetables to release their natural sugars and converts the dreaded into the desired. We were eating a Pork Roast this night so I made the vegetables that would traditionally go into our roast. However, this variation is superior to throwing them in the pan with the roast, in my opinion.
First, you chop up some onions. The size depends on whether you want them simply to be an aromatic or a vegetable. This method makes onions taste delicious as either. To keep from wearing swimming goggles on my eyes while chopping, I always cut my onion in half and place it in ice water for 15-30 minutes before chopping. This helps curb the enzymes from breaking down amino acid sulphoxides and forming the gas that irritates eyes.
Second, finely chop up garlic. This will be an essential aromatic. If your garlic is too strong and is causing the same reaction to your eyes as onions, you can use the same procedure explained above. This is rare, but I had a recent encounter.
Next, cut up some vegetables. We used carrots, potatoes, and celery this night. I am going to be honest, I don't peel my celery first. By the time I roast celery, it is tender. Peeling potatoes is up to each person. My children would prefer I do, but personally, I love the skin. Carrots, do get peeled.
|Italian Roasted Veges - hot out of the oven!|
Place all of them on a baking sheet (you can line it with foil or parchment paper if desired). Toss them with olive oil, your favorite Italian herbs and spices (mine ALWAYS includes Basil), salt, and pepper (black or red). Paprika is optional, but will add beauty to your final product. Bake at 450 degrees for 20+ minutes until the vegetables are tender and golden and your onions and garlic have browned and caramelized. Expect your family to fight over the caramelized veges as they are so sweet and delicious.
There are ways to dress this up, but that cari miei lettori, is for another post.