I love roasted vegetables. Something almost magical happens while they are in the oven. But actually, roasting veggies transforms them from ordinary to delicious in two simple scientific ways. First, some of the water in the veggies evaporates during the baking process resulting in a more intense flavor. Plus, the vegetables caramelize on the outside allowing their natural sugars to shine forth. Like I said – almost magical.
Then of course there are the simple additives like olive oil, garlic, herbs, spices, cheeses, etc. that help transform the simple vegetable to a culinary treat. (Not too shabby for a food that is totally good for us!)
So when I needed a veggie side dish to serve yesterday to our JazzVox guests, I decided to roast 2 of my favorite veggies together using my usual “roasted veggie dressing”.
And today I decided to publish this recipe because I realized I had been terribly remiss in not doing so already. Plus I promised my good friend Laurie I would post the recipe as soon as possible.
Laurie is a self-confessed reluctant vegetable lover. But she wanted to know how to prepare these veggies after having tasted them at the pre-concert meal. So this recipe is dedicated to Laurie and to any of the rest of you who want to eat more veggies in the worst way. Well that ain’t going to happen! However, this is the best way I know to turn one of the healthy components of a well-balanced meal into a pleasure rather than a chore.
So, eat your veggies ladies and gentlemen. But don’t limit yourself to broccoli and cauliflower. Almost any veggie can be roasted, and almost any veggie is more delicious when slathered in supplemented olive oil and allowed to spend some quality time in an oven. Well OK, there are a few veggies that maybe shouldn’t be roasted, like salad greens and cucumbers. But other than those few, all the rest are fair game!
- 2 c. small fresh broccoli pieces
- 2 c. small fresh cauliflower pieces
- 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- tiny pinch crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 lg. clove garlic, minced
- 1/3 c. finely grated Parmesan or pecorino Romano cheese (I use a combination)
Place broccoli and cauliflower pieces in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Pour over the veggies and mix well. (I use my hands to mix the veggies because then I can feel if the olive oil has kissed each and every veggie piece. If the veggies seem too dry, add a bit more oil. What you do not want however, are veggies drowning in oil.) Spread veggies onto a baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the veggies are tender and both the veggies and cheese are turning a light golden brown.