by Tammy Taylor~
When I invite my parents for dinner, RancherMan often grills the main entree outside. There might be grilled chicken, steak or pork. It will be delicious of course, but what will I make to go with it?
This is my mom’s (and RancherMan’s) favorite side dish. I’m lucky it’s so quick, so easy, yet so healthy. Roasted vegetables.
I like to chose a wide variety of colors for this dish. I typically choose red potatoes and carrots, red bell pepper, onion and squash. But I sometimes add other veggies too depending upon what I have growing in the garden or what I can pick up at the store. Maybe broccoli or asparagus, green bell pepper or red onion. It’s really never been the same dish twice! But the key here is to add as much color as you can.
Different Veggie Densities
I’ll often chop & partially cook the more dense veggies such as the carrots and potatoes since they take longer to cook. This will assure they’re cooked to the same texture as the other veggies once it all goes into the oven. And if I’m adding chopped broccoli I’ll often wait until halfway through the roasting to add it so it won’t over cook. But putting the whole thing together is super fast and easy.
First I chop all my veggies kinda chunky. I don’t want the pieces too small. If I’m including potatoes & carrots I’ll pop ’em in the microwave with a splash of water to partially cook them. I cover them and microwave on high for about 2 minutes and then leave them covered in the microwave to steam while I chop the other veggies.
Roasting The Veggie Tray
Now that all my veggies are chopped and my more dense veggies are partially cooked, I add salt/pepper to the whole tray of veggies. Finally I had a healthy drizzle of olive oil. I prefer flavored olive oil and I have several flavors to chose from. RancherMan’s favorite is garlic-flavored olive oil, mom prefers the Tuscan-herb flavor. But you can use regular olive oil here if you like.
With clean hands I mix everything together, perfectly blending veggies, seasoning and olive oil. Now I roast the veggies in the oven on high just until I see just a touch of dark on the edges of the vegetables. This typically takes me around 5-7 minutes but I suppose it could vary based on your oven and how close you have the roasting tray to the heat source.
When the veggies are done I pull them from the oven. I’ll give ’em one final mix with a spatula and voila! Healthy, eye-appealing and delicious.