Just Roast It

For a simple dinner, we just pull out a cookie sheet and load it up with veggies and pop it in the oven and start roasting. We fill the pan with whatever is on hand, drizzle it with olive oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. I do line the pan with aluminum foil and I quickly toss the veggies, oil and seasonings with my hands before putting it in the oven. It makes clean-up super easy. For most things we roast at 425 degrees, but this is a sympathetic method. You can go as low as 350 or as high as 475 depending on how you like your veggies to taste and what vegetables you are roasting. I encourage experiments.

Seasonings can be as simple as salt and pepper or you can tickle your tastebuds with other flavorings such as Herbes de Provence, Za’atar, or Harissa. Fresh rosemary, dill or lovage are especially good additions when you have them on hand. I add the dried herbs before cooking. A tablespoon or two will do the trick in a pan full of vegetables. Chopped fresh herbs can be added before or after cooking. Sometimes I add half before and toss half in just after the pan comes out of the oven. You generally need about three times more fresh herbs than dried. Fresh lovage is quite strong, though, and you will find that a little goes a long way.

Once the roasted vegetables are out of the oven you can enjoy them just as they are. Or, you can serve them over rice with a favorite sauce and top with some enhancers such as pepitas. roasted squash seeds, dried cranberries or raisins.

Easy Mediterranean Potato Salad
I recently made a potato salad with leeks, peppers and (pink) potatoes roasted at 350 degrees until tender. Then I combined them with fresh parsley, sliced Kalamata olives, marinated artichokes, nasturtium capers*, fresh halved cherry tomatoes and a light dressing of equal parts (about 1/4 cup) of olive oil and white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar. Since the potatoes were roasted with oil and seasonings the dressing is adjusted accordingly.


* There are many recipes online for nasturtium capers but I like this one because the ingredients are simple and the salt and sugar amounts are minimal. But in case your kitchen doesn’t operate in grams or milliliters here are some quick conversions:
1 cup = 240 ml
0.83 cup = 200 ml
1 lb. = 453.5 grams
0.44 lb. = 200 grams

and a calculator if you want to do your own conversions.

I do have a kitchen scale. If you don’t, these conversion charts might also be helpful.