Farmers’ Market dinner

May 17, 2013

Yum. Pure veggie goodness.

Yum. Pure veggie goodness.

Everything on this plate came from the Farmers’ Market.

I love spring.

I took a notion I wanted to roast the carrots and beets I’d picked up almost two weeks ago at the market, and when I grabbed them from the fridge to prep, there were the radishes.

H’mmm. I never cooked a radish before. Why not?

All pretty and ready for the oven.

All pretty and ready for the oven.

So I promptly prepared this pan of veggies for the oven. The beets and carrots got tossed in olive oil first; the radishes, in truffle oil. The beets got a sprinkle of coriander and cardamon because, well, I just thought coriander and cardamon would go well on them. The carrots got a sprinkle of cumin, because I KNOW carrots go well with cumin. The radishes went nekkid into the oven but for the truffle oil, on the basis I thought the peppery taste of the truffle oil would go nicely with the peppery taste of the radishes.

The larger beets got cut in half, so everyone could cook for about the same length of time. Everybody gathered on this pan and went into the oven for about 45 minutes at 350.

The finished product.

The finished product.

And they came out looking like this. And tasting like roasted spring.

The carrots, of which I ate two raw, had a combination of sweet and peppery taste to them that the cumin just complemented perfectly. The radishes were good, but I’ll not do that again; they’re better when they’re fresh and crunchy. But the taste of the radishes did, in fact, marry nicely with that of the truffle oil, so I had that right.

The beets, now. The beets were show stoppers.

I have never had a beet I liked. I don’t like ’em pickled, I don’t like ’em boiled. (I do like them in borscht, but that’s different, somehow.) However, roasting does something….I don’t know, just else to them. The natural sugars caramelized during the roasting, so they were impossibly sweet, with the cut surfaces that were on the pan caramelizing into almost a glazed finish. Next time — and there will be a next time, oh, yes, there will — I will use more coriander and cardamon; they weren’t assertive enough against the sweetness. And I’ll add a sprinkle of kosher salt. The carrots would’ve done well with the addition of a bit of salt, too.

It’s a different kind of treatment for fresh veggies, and it was most excellent. And best of all, there’s enough left for another dinner.

Lucy ate everything I left on my plate — two radishes, three carrots and one half of a beet, as well as the single bite of tomato I couldn’t finish off. I figure veggies can’t be bad for her, right?

Plus, earlier today, I finished off the half-and-half in my fridge and discovered, hiding behind it, the asparagus that’s been in the fridge for 10 days. Thanks to standing up in a plastic beer mug, in an inch of water, and covered loosely by a plastic bag, it’s still wonderfully fresh. That’s dinner tomorrow. I’m thinking I’ll splurge on some proscuitto and wrap about half of it and bake it, and steam the other half and make some hollandaise. Don’t know that I need anything else for dinner. Unless you ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em want to come eat, in which case, I’ll add something else to the mix.

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