From Arugula to Ziti: Roasted Golden Vegetable Medley

Winter can be a really hard time of year for eating fruits and vegetables. For instance, today I spent $10 for a bag of grapes without realizing how expensive they were. It's easy to get lost between what is seasonal, local, and has a small carbon footprint and what is going to cost you an arm and a leg to have shipped from a warmer, sunnier location.

A good rule of thumb in winter is the root vegetable. The problem is making potatoes, beets, carrots, onions, turnips and the like new and exciting. You can mash them, boil them and toss them in stews and slow cookers. My question for you today is: Have you roasted them?

I grew up loving beets, but until last week I had never had anything but the regular purple, stain-your-lips beets. I was at the market searching for beets as I knew them when I discovered something totally different—the golden beet. Golden beets are just a little bit sweeter than traditional red beets, and they have a certain... something. Mixed with sweet potatoes and carrots, they can be roasted to create a delicious golden medley of winter flavors.

The benefit of roasting winter vegetables is that it's a slow and low maintenance process without sacrificing any of the flavor. In fact, with the right timing and spices, roasting these vegetables can make the flavor blossom in a way that boiling them cannot. It's hard to describe. They're just savory. And if you mix up which root vegetables you roast, you may just make it through winter without breaking your wallet on imported goods or missing those summer vegetables—at least not too much.

Roasted Golden Vegetable Medley

3 golden beets
1 medium sweet potato
1 bunch of carrots
1 tsp kosher salt
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp herbs de provence

Peel and dice all your vegetables, keeping them in separate containers. Heat your oven to 375.

In a small casserole dish, toss the beets with 2 tbsp olive oil and 1/3 of all the spices. Cover with foil and set your kitchen timer for 45 minutes.

When the timer reads 20 (after 25 minutes have gone by), take the dish out and add the sweet potatoes. Add another tablespoon of oil and another third of the spices. Toss, recover, and stick back in the oven.

After another 10 minutes has passed (when the timer reads 10 minutes), add the carrots, the rest of the oil, and the remainder of the spices. Stir, recover, and allow to cook the remaining 10 minutes.

All of the vegetables should be tender but not mushy.

Elena Rosemond-Hoerr is a writer and photographer and can be found on her own website, biscuitsandsuch.com.
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