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December 2013 Cookbook of the Month, ALL ABOUT ROASTING by Molly Stevens: Vegetables & Fruits

Please use this thread to report on the following chapters from ALL ABOUT ROASTING by Molly Stevens

Vegetables & Fruits, pages 439-537

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  1. Quick-Roasted Mushrooms with Pine Nuts and Parmesan, Pg. 457

    Loved this!! We used small cremini per the original but small or large portabellos may be used as well. After cleaning the mushrooms - left whole if they're small - melt some butter and drizzle, along with EVOO, over mushrooms in a bowl. Add chopped fresh thyme leaves, and S & P. Toss to coat well. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet, put into a pre-heated 400F oven. Roast about 15 minutes turning once.

    To serve return mushrooms to seasoning bowl, or use another, sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and a grating of Parmigiano.

    Delicious! A good recipe to keep in mind for any number of applications, for example crostini or on toothpicks w cocktails. Anyway, they were a perfect side dish to our Thanksgiving dinner that included obligatory gravy, fresh cranberry sauce with orange and bourbon, braised Brussels sprouts with chestnuts, etc.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Gio

      You have my mouth watering Gio. Canadian Thanksgiving is but a memory, but your menu makes me regret not doubling up this year and doing both a Canadian and American Thanksgiving.

      1. re: Gio

        Do you remember those roasted mushrooms that went into a pasta with chives from 150 Best Recipes? Those were amazing too. It was all I could do not to eat them all while waiting for the pasta to cook. Now I need to try these. The addition of cheese sounds killer good.

        1. re: LulusMom

          I don't remember that one, LLM. I'll have to look in the archives. For this recipe I think many other varieties of mushroom can be used to delicious effect! For milder mushrooms I might use Romano instead of the Parmigiano.

          1. re: Gio

            Thanks for the cheese tip. Here is a link to the mushroom/chive pasta discussion: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8206...

            1. re: LulusMom

              Oh that one that I didn't make. LOL I think a riff on both recipes might be: Roasted Mushrooms with Pine Nuts, Scallions or Leeks. I think I might infuse the oil with sauteed scallions or leeks with some garlic instead of making the pesto. It seems to me that the pasta water needs to be heavily salted. I tend to like angel hair lately for some reason. I'd use lots of FGBpepper too.

              I have the 159 recipes book but it's downstairs. Here's the one you're talking about, right?


              1. re: Gio

                That is exactly it! I do think adding pine nuts would add an interesting textural element to the pasta.

                1. re: Gio

                  I love that recipe from 150 best recipes and make it often. It is my go to for a vegetarian main course and is great for vegans as well (if I don't add any cheese.)

                  Can't go wrong with roasted mushrooms!

          2. re: Gio

            Quick Roasted Mushrooms w/ Pine Nuts and Parmesan, pg. 457

            Nothing much to add to Gio's excellent sales pitch above, except she's right, "delicious!"

            1. re: Gio

              Quick-Roasted Mushrooms with Pine Nuts and Parmesan, p. 457

              I hadn't really noticed this recipe before reading Gio's report, but a couple of years ago, I discovered how amazing cremini mushrooms simply roasted whole with garlic and thyme are (hard to stop eating, as LLM says), making this an obvious choice. Because I can't un-know how terrific garlic is in the mix, I had to add a few minced cloves. I otherwise followed the recipe as written, save for cutting the amounts of butter and olive oil by half. Delicious as can be.

              1. re: Gio

                Quick Roasted Mushrooms with Pine Nuts and Parmesan

                Made with the 8 oz. of white button mushrooms I had in the fridge. As she indicated in the recipe lead-in, not the best mushroom for this dish -- results were good, but not outstanding. Garlic would have helped. The toasted pine nuts and Parmesan are wonderful stir-ins that I'll use again with mushrooms prepared stovetop.

                1. re: Gio

                  Quick Roasted Mushrooms

                  Made with a pound of super-fresh creminis from the farmers market, I liked but didn't love this dish. I would have liked the inside of the mushroom to have more seasoning. In general I prefer a sliced/sautéed preparation. I have to say though that my 18-month old, who is not a reliable mushroom eater, loved these.

                2. Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Capers and Lemony Browned Butter

                  I do not have the book, so used this recipe link that BigSal provided
                  Simple recipe of Brussels sprouts doused in some olive oil, s&p then roasted. Finished with butter heated with mustard seeds, capers, lemon juice.

                  As the blogger enthusiastically noted in the write-up, this was a great preparation for Brussels sprouts. I wish that I had made more than one pound. Do use parchment paper to line your roasting tray and you will get all of the sprouts in one piece (plus easy clean up).

                  The only change I made was to roast at a lower temp for longer than the recipe stated because I was roasting them with Molly Stevens' roast chicken, dried apricot & olives (written up on poultry thread). They were still roasted just right.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: foodcompletesme

                    Thanks for your report, foodcompletesme. This recipe is on my menu for sometime this week and I have much less the amount of Brussels sprouts called for in the original recipe. Thanks for the tip about lining the roasting pan. I'll be sure to follow it.

                      1. re: foodcompletesme

                        Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Capers and Lemony Browned Butter, Pg. 469

                        Excellent recipe indeed and a perfect accompaniment to the roasted chicken w apricots, orange, and olives. Not much to report other than to say we thought the dressing of browned butter sauce at serving time was what gave the sprouts a citrusy spicy complimentary flavor that paired very well with the chicken.

                        Following Foodcompletesme's lead we too roasted the sprouts at the same temperature as the chicken with fine results. Do line the baking sheet before adding the sprouts it does make clean-up so much easier.

                        1. re: foodcompletesme

                          Brussels Sprouts

                          I tried and enjoyed this dish. Nothing to add to other reports except that due to a butter shortfall I could only make a half recipe of the sauce. It was fine that way but would have been better with more.

                        2. Roasted Parsnips with Bacon and Rosemary, p. 516

                          This was great, but I love parsnips. The Mr.'s opinion may be a little less biased and he was quite happy with the combination of sweet parsnips, smoky bacon, and rosemary.

                          To make the parsnips are cut into sticks and tossed with chunks of bacon, chopped rosemary, olive oil, and S&P. I followed her suggestion of lining the baking sheet with parchment paper and cleanup was a breeze. Roast at 375 for 35 minutes, stirring a few times. Then sprinkle on some brown sugar and cider vinegar. We're currently at war with some pantry moths and the brown sugar was a casualty, so I substituted maple sugar instead. Roast for another 5 - 10 minutes and serve.

                          She suggests serving with roast chicken or beef, but I paired with pecan-crusted rockfish and a chardonnay butter sauce. Perhaps not the best pairing, because we both seemed a little more drawn to the parsnips than the relatively mild fish, but a relatively easy dinner none the less.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: TxnInMtl

                            Roasted Parsnips with Bacon and Rosemary, p. 516.

                            I concur that this is really good--you don't even have to be a devoted parsnips-fan to like it, as was evinced by my family.

                            I also subbed maple syrup for the brown sugar, and in combo with the other flavors (particularly the bacon) the maple syrup was excellent. With the chopped rosemary and the final dash of cider vinegar, the flavors are delicious.

                            The final result was a bit like really good oven-roasted french fries with a sweet-savory flavor. The parsnip "sticks" became browned and crispy on the outside while the insides were tender. LIke TxninMtl, we also served this with some fish filets and they were fine. I would say that this recipe really makes parsnips take center stage.

                          2. Real Roasted Beets, p. 513 and Cumin-Mint Vinaigrette, p.515

                            About the recipe name: MS explains in the head note that, delicious as they are, beets wrapped in foil and roasted are in truth steamed rather than "really" roasted; in this recipe, they're treated like other roasted vegetables, i.e., peeled, chopped, tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then roasted until tender and slightly browned. While peeling and chopping raw beets is certainly more of a PITA (and more hand-staining) than roasting whole first, but the result is really nice, with a bit of that dark caramelized flavor in addition to the usual sweet/earthy flavor.

                            Cumin-Mint Vinaigrette

                            This is a simple little dressing: toasted and lightly crushed cumin seeds, lemon juice, olive oil, S&P, and chopped mint leaves. It works extremely well with the roasted beets, with the cumin adding its dusky, savory notes and the mint giving it a lift of bright flavor. I served this at room temp, and it was a delicious little salad.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                              Real Roasted Beets, p. 513

                              I didn't like these beets as much as my normal steam-roasted beets. This style of roasting really concentrates the sugars in the beets. In fact, they were so sweet out of the roasting pan that I felt I couldn't eat them plain. They were really crying out for a strong hit of salt and acid. I decided to serve them with the Kalamata Viniagrette, made without the anchovy, and I did like the combination.

                              1. re: Westminstress

                                Ottolenghi has steam-roasted orange beet recipe dressed with olives and supremed oranges - very nice.

                            2. Roasted Fennel, Red Onion, and Orange Salad, p. 481

                              Very short ingredient list: fennel, red onion, orange, olive oil, salt and pepper. The fennel is trimmed, halved lengthwise, and the halves are sliced crosswise in 1/4" slices. The red onion is treated likewise. The orange, relieved of its top and bottom, is quartered lengthwise and the quarters are sliced crosswise. It's all tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasted on a parchment-lined baking sheet, stirring partway through. (I found that, not surprisingly, the fennel and orange slices came apart into their constituent layers as I stirred them up.) After all is tender, the juice from the top and bottom sections of the orange is squeezed over.

                              This was just okay for me. Perfectly edible, but not something I'll likely repeat. I love roasted fennel, love roasted red onions, and the roasted oranges, with their intensified flesh and the hit of bitter from their skins, were interesting - but I didn't enjoy the whole as much as I do the refreshing raw shaved fennel and red onion salads with oranges that I make frequently through the cool months.

                              1. Goose-fat-roasted potatoes with rosemary - p. 497

                                I've been meaning to try this recipe ever since the mister brought home a goose around Canadian Thanksgiving. He followed the recipe for roast goose in this book with excellent results and ever since we've had a nice supply of rendered goose fat sitting in the fridge.

                                This recipe is simple, but rich. A cast iron pan is heated in the oven, the goose fat is added and left to heat. Small potatoes and a few sprigs of rosemary are then added and left to roast, stirring occasionally until done. The potatoes came out wonderfully crispy on the outside. Next time I might follow her suggestion of adding a few garlic cloves as well. Served with steak and a simple salad for an easy dinner.

                                1. Blasted Broccoli, p. 461.

                                  This isn't a complex recipe--just nicely-trimmed brocolli florets and stems which are oiled and roasted at high heat (450 F) until browned and al dente. I followed the directions for trimming precisely, slicing the stems and florets uniformly, peeling away any fibrous skin. This produced a better result than my usual more slap-dash prepping methods, and I am going to remember this and take more care in the future.

                                  Finally, the recommended Kalamata Vinaigrette (p. 462) really sparked the final dish--the children at the table opted for just salt and pepper, but the adults poured the vinaigrette over the finished dish and confided that broccoli had rarely tasted so good.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Goblin

                                    Blasted Broccoli, p. 461

                                    I was lucky enough to find a stash of young broccoli florets at the greenmarket, already cut into the perfect size for this recipe! So I simply tossed on a baking sheet with olive oil, s&p and roasted per the directions. We really liked the results, especially my 18-month old (she kept asking for "more brolly" -- can't beat that!). I served with the kalamata viniagrette (anchovy included) and concur this is a good pairing. My one word of caution would be to go easy on the salt during the roasting stage if you intend to serve it with the viniagrette. I forgot to do this, and the final results were a bit salty, even for me!

                                    1. re: Westminstress

                                      this is a pretty solid method for roasting broccoli that I have already repeated. Last time I used a bit more olive oil which really aided the browning and crisping of the florets -- since I added extra oil for roasting I skipped the vinaigrette.

                                  2. Butter-Roasted Cabbage Strips with Caraway Seeds and Mustard Seeds, Pg. 472

                                    Quite a pleasant flavor for this mundane vegetable. Butter, caraway, mustard creating quite a tasty morsel indeed. I used a regular old green cabbage that was shredded according to the recipe. The strips go into a roasting pan and are tossed with melted butter, S & P, and toasted ground caraway and mustard seeds.

                                    This is roasted in a pre-heated 350F oven for however long it takes the cabbage to get tender with crisp brown edges, about 30 - 40 minutes, tossing the cabbage every
                                    10-ish minutes or so.

                                    We both enjoyed the seasonings which enhanced the sweetness of the cabbage. Really an appropriate seasonal flavor I'd say. It was a great accompaniment for a potato and chorizo dish from Claudia Roden's The Food of Spain on a wintery late autumn evening.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Gio

                                      Made this last night, to accompany a pork tenderloin with a sweet glaze. Maybe it was just how it went with the main dish, but this really hit the spot for us. I did turn up the heat a bit at the end, because I wanted to cabbage to cook down a little more and brown on the edges. At first, I thought the cabbage would need more butter, because it really didn't seem like that much when I tossed the melted butter/seasoning mixture over the raw cabbage. But once it starts to wilt, it becomes clear that the amount of butter is just about right. Nice way to work with this winter vegetable.

                                    2. Quick-Roasted Green Beans with Garlic and Ginger Juice, p. 445

                                      Well, it's not news that roasted green beans are delicious in and of themselves, and this simple dish amps them up with a few additions, almost all accounted for in the recipe's title. Trimmed green beans and shallots sliced in rings are tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roasted for 15 to 20 minutes (with a toss in the middle), until tender and a bit charred. They're then immediately tossed with a minced garlic clove and a tablespoon of ginger juice (Stevens gives instructions for squeezing it fresh, but though I have fresh ginger on hand I took the lazy route and used the Ginger People bottled stuff also in the fridge). Finally, some chopped cilantro and/or mint (I had both, so used both). The garlic and ginger were fairly subtle, but really, the charred beans and sweet roasted shallots and the hit of fresh herbs were pretty irresistible.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                        Quick-Roasted Green Beans with Garlic and Ginger Juice, p. 445

                                        I, too, made this recipe this week. I used haricot vert, the big bag from Costco. Only had two shallots, so that is what I used. I did line the sheet pan with parchment paper.

                                        I made the ginger juice with 2 ounces of ginger, squeezing it through a bouquet garni bag. Wasn't quite enough, so I made more.

                                        When the beans and shallots were done, I tossed them in a big bowl with the garlic and ginger. No mint or cilantro, so I didn't use any herbs.

                                        We really liked the flavors of this dish a lot. The beans I used were not great, so will try again with better beans. On the list of green bean options!

                                        1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                                          Quick-Roasted Green Beans with Garlic and Ginger, p. 445.

                                          Due to Caitlin and smtucker's positive reviews I made this for last night's dinner of roasted fish (reviews on appropriate thread.) A very nice dish which I will make again: the beans and shallots were lightly charred by the time my medium-sized supermarket beans became tender: 20 minutes. It's an easy prep. The only time-consuming part is "juicing" the fresh ginger; I find peeling and grating ginger on the microplane to be a tedious business, but the gratings are very juicy and I loved the freshness. (But I'm going to look into "Ginger People"!) I had fresh cilantro but no mint.

                                          Like Caitlin I found that the flavors were fairly subtle and I will up the amounts of ginger juice and garlic for next time.

                                        2. Kalamata Vinaigrette, p. 462

                                          This is a simple vinaigrette combining a minced garlic clove, lemon juice, chopped kalamata olives, and olive oil. She also suggests adding a chopped anchovy if used to top the blasted broccoli. I paired it with roasted beets and salmon, so I left out the anchovy. I liked it quite well and would make it again.

                                          6 Replies
                                          1. re: Westminstress

                                            Just a quick note that I made this vinaigrette again to serve with the blasted broccoli, this time with anchovy. The anchovy version was excellent! Among other things, I think it would make a great dressing for a raw kale salad.

                                            1. re: Westminstress

                                              I concur with Westminstress about adding the anchovy to this dressing gives this dressing a nice depth of flavor when it is served with the Blasted Broccoli. I also agree that you should perhaps reduce the salt when you are pre-seasoning the broccoli before roasting.

                                              It's a strongly-flavored vinaigrette that would also stand up to kale.

                                            2. re: Westminstress

                                              Kalamata Vinaigrette

                                              I agree that this one is a winner and pairs beautifully with roasted broccoli. I made this to dress up roasted baby broccoli which I served with Christmas dinner. I realized at the last minute that I was out of anchovies and was not going to run out to get any. I subbed a half tsp or so of fish sauce and this was great! We eat roasted broccoli pretty often in the winter and this really made that staple feel special for the holiday. Every last bit of the broccoli and the vinaigrette was eaten up. Served with roasted duck and sauteed brussel spouts alongside and it made a lovely dinner.

                                              1. re: greeneggsnham

                                                It is a pretty good vinaigrette. I had some leftover that I tossed with shredded cabbage (also leftover) -- it made for a very tasty winter salad.

                                                1. re: Westminstress

                                                  Like the idea of a dressing for cabbage salad-- was your raw or cooked? I will be keeping this recipe in my files and using on lots of different winter veggies, I think.

                                            3. Brown Sugar Roasted Pineapple

                                              Rich, sweet, and pretty easy, although I didn't painstakingly cut out the core with a tiny round cookie cutter for more attractive shapes. (I used a knife instead, and my cuts were more angular.) My husband, who really loved this, thought it would be nice with creme fraiche. It reminded us both of the much more elaborate roasted pineapple chops with fried pastry cream from the French Laundry Cookbook, which we'd done as fun cooking project years ago.

                                              1. I have really come to appreciate roasted veggies so much more after participating in the recipes this month. Here's a silly question,but does anyone have experience with roasting frozen vegetables? Are they just too full of water to do that?

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: foodcompletesme

                                                  Yeah, it has never worked out well for me. Would love to hear if it has for someone else, and what their trick is.

                                                  1. re: LulusMom

                                                    They can, however, make a great salad. I often take leftover salad dressings and toss them with frozen green beans or broccoli and send off with Lulu for her lunch. She loves it.

                                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                                      Really? This is encouraging. I will have to give this a try. Thanks for the suggestion.

                                                      1. re: smtucker

                                                        Absolutely. I rinse the frozen veg under hot water, drain just a bit and add the dressing. Simple and pleasing.

                                                  2. re: foodcompletesme

                                                    I've never had luck with that, either. Too soggy.

                                                  3. Maple-Roasted Butternut (Kuri) Squash and Apples, pg.518

                                                    We liked this a lot. It is easy enough, too. Peel and cube winter squash, ditto apple, toss with a mix of olive oil, melted butter, maple syrup and marjoram. Spread on a baking dish. Roast for about 40 minutes---mine cooked faster than that 30-35 was plenty, so keeping an eye on these while they are cooking is key.

                                                    The marjoram was the "secret" ingredient here. It played very well with the squash/apple/maple flavors.

                                                    1. Mustard-Crusted Roast Potatoes, page 493

                                                      This is a very nice potato preparation that is just a bit different, which is what I needed to accompany tonight's Costco rotisserie chicken.

                                                      A dressing of Dijon mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary, Aleppo pepper, salt and peppers is mixed together in a big bowl. Add the potatoes and toss to coat before roasting at a high temperature for about 55 minutes.

                                                      Strangely, the most prominent flavor was the lemon even though there wasn't much of that. I used a white potato of unknown name which wasn't very flavorful.

                                                      We all liked this quite a bit. It won't make people go "wow" but it was really simple way to change up simple roasted potatoes.

                                                      1. Slow-Roasted Cauliflower with Onion and Coriander, p. 463

                                                        Roasting is what made me a cauliflower convert years ago (well, that and a rich and delicious pasta with spicy cauliflower ragu at a restaurant that I daydreamed about for ages, and now have the recipe for). I normally do the higher-heat roast that makes nice crispy brown edges, etc., but was curious to try this recipe after reading the head note, where Stevens really talks it, calling the result uber-cauliflower.

                                                        Cauliflower florets and wedges of red onion are tossed with olive oil, coarsely ground coriander and mustard seeds (I just crushed up a bit in mortar and pestle), salt, and red pepper flakes and roasted for over an hour, until tender and lightly browned, then finished with a squeeze of lemon juice.

                                                        And to me, did not taste appreciably different or better than cauliflower roasted at a higher temperature for less time, except for having fewer crispy bits. Which means it was good, but took twice as long. Coriander does have a great affinity for cauliflower, but I already knew that. I also like the coriander-mustard-cumin seed combo used with it in a Melissa Clark recipe.