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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Parsley and Parmigiano Reggiano Roasted Veggies

As I've sometimes said, I will often choose one element of a meal to make really great, and then rely heavily upon that element to carry everything on the table.

Namely sauces.

I think if I were to ever work in a professional kitchen, I'd want to be the saucier.  I love sauces, as well as the very idea of sauces, and I'm pretty good at making a decent variety of them pretty decently.  :)

Anyway, today I did not feel like putting a lot of effort into cooking.  It was a cold January day and I was feeling lethargic and hungry.

I planned to just simply roast some potatoes and some green beans.

But rather than waste a lot of effort on each, I just made a parsley and parmigiano reggiano butter.

And then tossed both the potatoes and the beans in it after they were cooked.

Simple, n'est-ce pas?

I like this kind of meal prep because after I take only about 10 minutes to get everything ready, I get to relax and not be in the kitchen for most of the 'cooking'.

So the only real time consuming part is not even very, and just consists of sautĂ©ing some garlic and freshly chopped parsley in some butter and olive oil.  And then tossing in some finely grated cheese.

Mmmmmmm....  I believe you could coat anything in this mixture and it would be delicious.

So yah, that took about ten minutes only, and I was able to prep the potatoes and beans at the same time.

In my travels, I've learned that roasting things in the oven is often best achieved when you can expose as much surface area as possible.  
This does not apply to roasting meat.  That's an entirely different, and slightly more involved process wherein the initial high-heat sear can be done in this way (all sides exposed). But unless you want a dry hunk of garbage you'd best only do that for a few minutes before putting it in a pan and covering it up nice and tightly.
With vegetables, though, and in particular really tough root vegetables like potatoes, or other really dense vegetables (turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, pumpkin, squash, etc.) try roasting them on a baker's cooling rack like I've done here, and you'll see that they get nice and evenly browned on all sides.

It still takes a long time (like just under an hour or so), but compared to just spreading them out on a baking sheet, they roast up really prettily.

Anyway, this does dry things out.  A lot.  Just so you know.  I mean baking anything dries it out, but this method in particular leaves little moisture left.

So you'll want to coat or toss these babies in something moist.  There are truly countless options out there, but I've chosen a suspension of olive oil and butter with parsley, garlic and parmigiano reggiano.

Stupidly I didn't take any photos of the potatoes after I tossed them.  I can only guess that they just needed to be in my mouth immediately, and all other thoughts promptly vanished upon seeing them bedecked in their delicious splendour.  That's what I'm choosing to go with.

I did, however, find the time to photograph the green beans after they were roasted and then tossed.


The last step is to just sprinkle a tiny bit of finishing salt and freshly ground black pepper, and then dig into it.

Roasting veggies like this is fun and easy and although the cooking time can be long, the prep time is very, very short.  So it's a great option when you're not in the mood to do a whole heck of a lot, but still want to be rewarded with something piping hot and filling.