“I don’t like asparagus. I don’t like broccoli. I don’t like onions. I don’t like garlic. I don’t like vegetables. Well, I do like corn … and potatoes. I like potatoes.”
This was my husband Jared when we first got married.
I don’t remember cooking much in our first year of marriage. In fact, I have no idea what we ate. I hardly have a single memory in that tiny galley kitchen. Between Jared’s aversion to all things that made food delicious to me and the hideous marbled yellow laminate counter tops with cracks on the corners, I was less than inspired.
When we moved to a new town house with a bright white kitchen near Galveston, I suddenly found myself looking for excuses to be in the kitchen. I started shopping at Farmer’s Markets and reading food blogs and became determined to get Jared to love veggies. Little by little, I found ways to prepare certain vegetables in a way he would eat them. He’ll eat onions if they are caramelized or chopped fine and sauteed in a dish. He’ll tolerate peas in a split pea soup. And I can get him to eat almost anything wrapped in a tortilla and dipped in salsa.
The preparation that finally got my husband raving and begging for veggies, though, was roasting them. If it’s coated with a little olive oil and seasoning and crisped up to perfection (to him that includes a few burnt bits on the pan), he’s a happy husband and a happy veggie eater!
This method works wonderfully with asparagus, any root vegetables, broccoli and cauliflower, onions, even chickpeas. Try it with a vegetable you think you don’t like and see if it changes your thoughts on it.
Roasted vegetables are easy enough to serve up on a weeknight and beautiful enough to serve to guests for a celebration or holiday dinner.
Balsamic Roasted Veggies and Garlic
Recipe originally posted by Rachel at www.laughcrycook.com
(Note: The vegetable list is just a guideline. Use whatever you have in your refrigerator or what you find on sale at the market. The seasoning ingredients listed are for about 4 cups of vegetables.)
- Potatoes, chopped (small, soft-skinned work great, but Idaho & sweet potatoes are wonderful too)
- Carrots, chopped
- Onions, quartered (leave one end in tact so they stay together and don’t get too crispy)
- Peppers (bell peppers, sweet tri colored peppers, poblanos) (seeded & quartered)
- Broccoli (cut into “trees”)
- Cauliflower (cut into “trees”)
- Zucchini (chopped into large chunks)
- Squash (chopped into large chunks)
- 2 tablespoons (maybe more) Olive Oil
- 1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Salt
- 2 teaspoons Pepper
- 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning Blend
- A full head of garlic
Preheat oven to 400. Spray large cookie sheet with nonstick spray.
Put all the veggies except the garlic in a large mixing bowl, and drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the veggies. Toss until all of the veggies are lightly coated, adding more olive oil if needed. Don’t drench them or your veggies won’t get crisp. (The amount of olive oil varies because some veggies soak up more, like cauliflower, and others hardly absorb any, like peppers.)
Add balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning, and toss again. Pour veggies onto the cookie sheet and spread around. If they are piled on top of each other, use a second pan.
Take the garlic, remove the lose skin, and chop the top of the head off the garlic so the inside of each clove is exposed. Place the bulb on a piece of foil and drizzle the top of the bulb with olive oil. Wrap the foil around the clove. Add the foil wrapped garlic onto the pan of veggies (sitting upright). Check this tutorial out if you need a visual.
Bake the veggies and garlic for approximately 40 minutes. The potatoes and carrots take the longest to cook, so cook until they are soft in the middle and crispy on the outside.
Remove the garlic from the foil and allow to cool for a few minutes. Carefully either squeeze the garlic out (like toothpaste), or use a fork to remove each clove. Toss in with the roasted veggies. The garlic is delicious and really elevates roasted veggies! If your guests are opposed to garlic, you can offer the garlic on the side instead of tossing it in.
Cooks of picky eaters, rejoice! Or if all else fails, enjoy a pan full of delicious roasted veggies all to yourself. 🙂 You can’t win them all.
Rachel Randolph is a mom to a busy toddler boy and a wife to an even busier high school football and baseball coach. She is co-author ofWe Laugh, We Cry, We Cook, a food memoir written with her mom, and their upcoming book Nourished: A Search for Health, Happiness, and a Full Night’s Sleep(Zondervan, January 2015). She also blogs at www.TheNourishedMama.com and www.laughcrycook.com.