Great side for
Passover or Easter!
Roasted vegetables are one of the best ways to eat veggies! Even vegetables you may not like are transformed when grilled or roasted, bringing out a natural sweetness that is so delicious. The roasted vegetables can be served with almost any main course: grilled, roasted or baked beef, chicken or other poultry, fish, tossed with baked tofu cubes and with almost any grain. Make as many or as little as you like. Make many varied vegetables, as I did here, or choose a few. If you need to reheat to serve, crisp the veggies in the oven rather than microwave, to keep the same texture. Make extra—I nibbled as I took the veggies out of the oven!! So good! A great and attractive side dish or first course for Passover or Easter.
When Ken Schept, author of A Gift of Feathers, sent me his fictional story about his mother last year, I stepped back in time, hearing his mother’s voice when I visited. “Susan,” she would say happily, “so delicious to see you!”
While I have reviewed many books over the years, this is the first one from a family friend, whose parents and my parents were best friends, at whose house I spent many hours and whose children, were my childhood buddies.
A Gift of Feathers is a fitting tribute to Grandma Dot, her life and her death, her love for her family and their love for her.
Serves 6-8 as a side dish.
6 ounces cherry tomatoes, multicolored, uncut
6-8 ounces green beans, strings cut off (omit for Passover if you follow Ashkenazi traditions)
2 small zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, and then cut into 1/2” strips
1/2 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cubed
2 large carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2” strips
1/2 small green cabbage, sliced
1 yellow or red bell pepper, cored and seeded, cut into 1/2” strips
1 small eggplant, cut in half and then into 1/2’ strips about 4 “ long
6 ounces Brussels Sprouts, ends cut off and quartered, unless very small
2 tablespoons olive oil per cooking sheet (I use a plastic picnic ketchup bottle for ease in drizzling. See picture.)
1 teaspoon kosher salt, per sheet
Freshly ground pepper, to liking
Fresh rosemary, a leaf or two per vegetable slice
Prepare all vegetables per directions. Try to cut the same vegetables close to uniform size to for even cooking, i.e. all the carrots the same, bell pepper, eggplant, etc. It’s ok if some of the vegetable pieces are slightly more done than others.
Preheat oven to 425F.
Using rimmed baking sheets, place parchment paper on each. (I used 5 baking sheets: 2 large, 1 medium and 2 small, what I had on hand.) Arrange vegetables on the sheet, placing the same vegetables on each sheet, rather than mixing them. This allows you to pull the vegetables out of the oven as they are done.
Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil, using a plastic condiment bottle, which easily helps control the amount of oil on each vegetable. See picture.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper, using more if needed or according to taste. Place fresh rosemary leaves on vegetables.
Place trays in oven. I rotated the trays so all had a chance on the top rack to get golden and get that sweet roasted flavor.
Roast for 20 -30 minutes, checking as you get close to 20 minutes to make sure there is enough oil and the vegetables are not getting burned, especially thinner slices. You can turn the vegetables over to have the reverse side become golden as well.
As the vegetables are done to fork tender, take out of oven and place on racks to cool. Taste and correct seasonings.
Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.
To serve: serve as is or try garnishing with pesto or a homemade mayonnaise.
If you have extra vegetables, that’s great! Use in scrambled eggs, frittata or with pasta. Make veggie sandwiches with French bread, wraps or pita. Serve over a grain for a lunch or dinner. Fabulous in soups or put in puff pastry squares and bake.
Note: The order of the vegetables in the ingredients are the same as on my platter, if you want to identify them.
Herbs: I used rosemary, which wintered over in my herb garden. Try thyme, basil, sage, parsley or a combination of your favorite herbs. If you don’t have fresh, use dried.
Kosher for Passover: Omit green beans if you follow Ashkenazi traditions.
Other veggies: Almost any vegetable can be roasted. Here are a few examples: asparagus, broccoli, butternut or acorn squash, cauliflower, fennel, mushrooms, okra, parsnips, radishes, rutabaga, shallots, sweet potatoes, turnips. There are roasting time charts on-line, which are helpful in determining cooking times and which veggies to put together on a cooking tray.