Thursday, February 08, 2007

An Ode to Odds and Ends

I seem to be on a kick that combines the KISS approach (keep it simple, silly) with a frugal bent that includes lots of fresh vegetables. Last night I found a lovely large red bell pepper that had been lingering for almost a week in the fridge. Not a good thing. Then there were some blanched green beans in a plastic bag, left from the penne and pesto I made on Sunday. Hmmm. . . ideally, I should have whipped up a pot of polenta with cheese to accompany the melange of roasted veggies I tossed in the oven. But, instead, I opted for a familiar staple, a large russet potato.

I washed and sliced the red pepper along with a medium sized jalepeño and a medium yellow onion. I added the leftover blanched green beans and tossed this all, in an oven proof sauté pan, with a drizzling of olive oil, some salt and freshly ground pepper. The oven had been preheating to 475°. I scrubbed a large Idaho potato and gave it 5 minutes in the microwave on high while I was prepping the other vegetables. Then I moved everything into the oven for 15 minutes. When the timer rang, I checked the potato and gave the pepper mixture a good stir and added a sprinkling of tamari and a little rice wine vinegar then returned the pan to the oven for another 10 minutes. By then the potato was cooked, too.

I removed the tender flesh from the crisp skin, and roughly mashed it with a fork right in the serving dish, added some butter, salt and pepper and mounded it up in the center. I topped it with a dab of butter, a grating of Parmesan cheese and a little more freshly ground pepper. Then ladled on a generous helping of the roasted veggies, poured a glass of cabernet and voilá, another healthy, 30 minute meal that's a real palate pleaser and budget squeezer! Few ingredients, minimum preparation, no fancy techniques, just whole foods cooked simply.
The addition of the tamari and rice wine vinegar added a piquant edge to the mildly spicy vegetables that were slightly browned and caramelized from the roasting. Polenta, rice, lentils, quinoa, all would make a great companion for this easy roasted veggie dish. Carnivores can easily use this as a side dish for any meat entrée.

Till next time . . . keep on cooking.

1 comment:

Asha said...

An Island of goodness with sauteed onions,peppers and Jalapeno!!YUM!!Joyce,you eat well!:)