a standard plan of attack for aging vegetables

Occasionally I am a little overzealous in my fresh vegetable purchases, and even when I manage to come home and wash/chop/prep that same day so that I will theoretically be more likely to cook and eat them before they go bad, sometimes it happens that I peer into the crisper and think, I've got to do something with those before they go south on me.

The following strategy works on almost any vegetable. It is easy and extremely delicious.

1. Preheat oven to 425F.

2. Find a broad, shallow, oven-proof dish. I use the bottom of my broiler pan and line it with heavy duty foil for easy clean up.

3. Drizzle some oil in the bottom of the pan. People like Ina Garten and Rachael Ray use olive oil in these situations, but I find olive oil has far too low a smoking point for my poorly ventilated kitchen. So I use canola or peanut-- whatever's handy.

4. Dump your aging veggies on it in a pile. Tonight the combination was a sliced purple onion that didn't get used on any hamburgers, chopped fresh broccoli, and part of a bag of baby carrots. It's always a little different, depending on what is the most aged in my refrigerator.

5. Generously splash your pile with more oil. Sprinkle it with freshly ground pepper and some coarse salt. Mix it all up with your hands, making sure that the oil and veggies get well-acquainted, as Peg Bracken says.

6. Stick the veggies in the oven and set the timer for, oh, let's say 40 minutes. It's really up to you how done you want them. Different veggies cook more or less slowly. I let my onions be my guide-- when they are all caramelized and creamy, with crispy sweet blackened edges, I consider the dish done. (Caramelized broccoli is incredible, by the way-- I can't believe I used to prefer it steamed. Eeeyh.)

7. Remove and serve hot.

8. Sneak back into the kitchen later and use a spatula to scrape the delicious crispy bits off the foil and shove them in your mouth. You'll probably tear the foil this way, and end up having to wash your pan because oil leaked through, but that's okay; vegetables so good you eat them for dessert are worth a dirty pan.

1 comment:

Beck said...

Thanks for visiting me!