Farmer’s Market Bounty

I was just thinking to myself the other day that I wished we still operated in a world where “bartering” was common and people paid for services with fresh eggs and zucchini and green beans, cos I had a hankering for some farm fresh food and no space in my day to get to the Farmer’s Market!

Be careful what you wish for, right?  A day after thinking this thought, I was given a bag of green beans, a bag of zucchini and squash, THREE bags of basil (pesto), a whole heap of cucumbers and some heirloom tomatoes.  It was time to get cooking!

This is obviously the best time of year for fresh veggies, and if you’re lucky to live near a Farmer’s Market (or have clients who show their thanks in produce) then this is the time to take advantage of the Earth’s bounty.  But one of the challenges of eating from the market, is eating what’s in season… and that might sometimes be veggies that you aren’t familiar with.  If your usual veggie MO is to tear open the bag of romaine and pour some ranch dressing on, then let me introduce you to my favorite veggie prep method…. ROASTING!

Roasting is so absurdly easy it shouldn’t even be called a technique, but I think it is truly the most delicious way to prep a vegetable.  Really…. better than a Bloomin’ Onion.  Roasting brings out the natural sugars in vegetables and makes their flavors sweeter, more potent and diminishes the bitter flavor that turns many people off from veggies.

Almost any veggie can be roasted.  My favorites are zucchini and squash, green beans, asparagus and root vegetables (onions, potatoes, beets.)

Prep work:

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  A nice toasty oven is the key to roasting.
2. Chop veggies into even sized pieces.  I like either “one bite” or “two bite” pieces.  (You know, a piece you can eat in either one bite or two bites.)

3. Put your veggies in a ziploc bag and add 1 T of olive oil.  You may have to adjust that depending on how many veggie pieces you have, but I find that’s enough to cover a whole cookie sheet of veggies.  Shake shake shake to coat all the pieces.
4. Lay out in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  If you’re not into messes, you could cover your cookie sheet with tinfoil and you’ll have the easiest clean up EVER.

5. Sprinkle with a little bit of rock salt, and pepper if you’d like.
6. Roast for 10 minutes.  Take out and move around (stir, flip, shuffle… just wiggle them around a little bit.)  10 more minutes, shuffle.  10 more minutes.
***Pay attention after the 2nd 10 minutes (20 minutes cook time.)  Some veggies will be done at this time.  You can taste or poke to be sure.
7. EAT!  )That’s my favorite step, of course.)

Alternative Options:
#1) Dress with balsamic vinaigrette for a little more flavor (works especially great on squash and zucchini.)
Shannon’s Homemade Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (makes a big batch)
2/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 T dijon mustard
1 T sugar

In case you’re wondering, Shannon was the owner of the coffee/sandwich shop I worked in all through high school.  We kept this dressing on hand and put on just about every salad and sandwich we made.  I still keep a batch of it on hand at all times.

#2) Toss afterward with a homemade vinaigrette.  Here’s one of my favorites to toss on green beans.
3 T olive oil
2 T white wine vinegar
2 t sugar
1 t dijon mustard
Any chopped herbs you might have (parsley, basil, dill) or a pinch of dried basil
Put in a glass jar with a lid and shake to emulsify, pour over hot green beans and serve!

Now, heat up that oven and get you some veggies!

  1. Keena

    Sounds great! I love zucchini, tomatoes (homegrown, can’t even stand the grocery store or, heaven forbid, fast food ones), and PESTO!!!

    As someone who’s not much of a veggie lover, this article really made me want to try roasting some!

  2. Meg Cline » Making Your Own Vinaigrette

    […] few weeks ago, I gave you a recipe for homemade balsamic vinaigrette on my post for roasted vegetables.  Then I made a video of how to make it.  And forgot to post […]

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