Gardening Guy: Roasting garden produce | Weekend Magazine | eagletimes.com – eagletimes.com

One of the reasons I garden is that I love to cook and to create wonderful, flavorful dishes I might not get elsewhere. I think many gardeners share that inclination. One of the techniques I have not used much is roasting vegetables, but I recently did some roasti…….

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One of the reasons I garden is that I love to cook and to create wonderful, flavorful dishes I might not get elsewhere. I think many gardeners share that inclination. One of the techniques I have not used much is roasting vegetables, but I recently did some roasting and will do some more. I find it sweetens and intensifies flavors.

It all started when I was baking some potatoes. I had the oven at 425° and decided to make some kale chips at the same time. I ran down to the garden and picked some leaves. I took four of them, sliced the leafy part off the stems, and chopped coarsely to 1- to 2-inch squares. Then I sprinkled them with olive oil, tossed them well and dusted them with salt. I put them on a cookie sheet and roasted until crisp — 10 minutes seemed just right.

I’ve made kale chips before, but was never enamored of them. This kale had been hit by frost several times, which made the leaves sweeter. And I cooked them at a higher temperature than I’ve done before. I also made a small batch: Cindy and I ate them all before dinner. In the past, I have stored kale chips in a well-sealed glass jar, but they got soggy anyway. Still got kale in the garden? Give it a try.

Baked potatoes are a classic dish, and easy to make. A few tips: Grow some russets next year, they are best for baking. And brush them with a little melted butter or olive oil to help crisp up the skins. But plan ahead: It takes 45 to 65 minutes at 400° to bake a potato. The bigger the spud, the longer it takes. You should be able to poke a fork or knife in easily when cooked. Oh, and don’t forget to poke some holes in the skin when you start — I’m told they can explode if you don’t.

I usually freeze fresh bell peppers in the fall. I find they are great for cooking, and can be tossed in a salad, too. No blanching: I just wash and wipe dry, then seed and slice them and freeze in a zipper bag. I decided to try roasting frozen peppers now to see how they would do.

I spread out a couple of cups of frozen sliced peppers on a clean cloth towel on the counter, while pre-heating the oven to 450°. They thawed quickly, and I patted them dry. I put them in a bowl and tossed them with some olive oil. Then I removed one half and put on the cookie sheet for cooking; the other half, I sprinkled with dried oregano flakes and a little salt before spreading on the pan. Put down parchment paper or aluminum foil to simplify clean up.

The peppers needed 25 to 30 minutes until they were soft and slightly charred. I did not remove the skins, though people who roast them whole tend to do that. If you are roasting peppers as a side dish, be aware that roasting them reduces the size considerably — a cup of sliced peppers doesn’t make much of a dish.

A few days later, I got a nice pork roast and cooked it at 350° for over an hour. This gave me a medium-hot oven just begging to roast veggies. I roasted beets, carrots, onions and tomatoes, and all were delicious!

The beets were medium sized — 2 inches in diameter or so, and took an hour or a …….

Source: https://www.eagletimes.com/features/weekend_magazine/gardening-guy-roasting-garden-produce/article_689cea26-4229-54d6-b402-64d62b18b72c.html

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