Category Archives: side dishes

Roasted Carrots

All I want to eat in this weather is vegetables. (And cheese, which is a year-round need. But mostly vegetables.) My favorite way to eat most veggies is roasting them. I think I’ve shared my love of vegetable roasting before, so this recipe is nothing new.

This recipe is also embarrassingly easy; I hesitated to post it.

There’s so much I want to say, folks, but no time to say it at the moment.

More Thursday.

Roasted Carrots:
Whole carrots, with stems
Olive oil
Garlic cloves, peeled and minced
Sea salt

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the stems of the carrots, leaving about 1/2 inch of green stem. Sprinkle with olive oil, minced garlic, sea salt and pepper.
2) Put carrots in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until they’ve reached desired texture. (I like mine crisp on the outside, soft in the middle. About 25 minutes.)


Surely you recall the hummus debacle that occurred in my kitchen several weeks ago. I’m happy to say that I’ve more than redeemed myself in the weeks since then, and I’ve managed to recover my favorite pot (and get rid of the burnt popcorn smell that pervaded our apartment).

This time, I decided not to soak the chickpeas overnight because I wanted hummus that day. I’d still recommend overnight soaking to preserve more of the nutrients that hours of cooking can leach out, but it’s your call.

Also, I roasted the garlic because I could. Next time, I’ll also roast a red pepper to throw in there. If you decide not to roast the garlic, you might want to add fewer cloves. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

By the way, don’t forget to RSVP if you’re a judge for the cookie tasting! I’m stoked to have another excuse to eat cookies.

Makes about three cups
2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas
1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, roasted and peeled
1-2 lemons, juiced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon ground cumin

1) If you’re cooking your chickpeas, follow these directions, otherwise, skip to step 2. You only need one cup of dried chickpeas since they’ll expand so much. Place them in a pot with three times as much water. If you’re soaking them, add more water before cooking. Otherwise, bring the chickpeas to a boil, then let them simmer for about four hours on medium-low heat. I put a bay leaf in the pot for additional flavor. Let the chickpeas cool and save the chickpea cooking water.
2) Put the chickpeas, tahini, oil, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender and process. Scrape the sides and bottom several times to make sure all ingredients are well combined.
3) Add water or the liquid in which you cooked your chickpeas to make the hummus thinner. The hummus might need additional spices, depending on your taste. Add as needed. Serve with pita chips and veggies. (I garnished mine with more olive oil and some paprika for color.)

Roasted Tomatoes

I love coming home to bowls overflowing with tomatoes–their variegated colors and sizes scream potential. Particularly as fall rolls in (or, in the case of NC, drags in), I savor every last opportunity to eat local ‘maters. And when they’re from my mom’s own garden? Well, let’s just say entered my car with great alacrity.

Roasted tomatoes taste simple and sweet alone or on top of salads. Or, as pictured above, with feta cheese and basil. Or on sandwiches. Or anything, really. Just prepare for a warm kitchen afternoon, and you’re good to go.

Roasted Tomatoes:
salt & pepper
olive oil
assorted spices, if desired

1) Slice tomatoes in half and place on cookie sheet (with a lip). Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2) Put in oven at 200 degrees for 4 to 5 hours, or until roasted to desired texture. (I like ’em caramelized, but a still a bit juicy.) Done!

Zucchini Chips

More courgette-y goodness. Paired with pesto aioli. These chips get crispy on the outside, but stay a little bit tender in the center. What a delightful way to eat your vegetables.

Zucchini Chips:
2 large zucchini
1/4 C. dry breadcrumbs
1/4 C. grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1) Wash zucchini and slice into 1/4 inch slices.
2) Mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan and seasoning in one bowl. Place the egg whites in another bowl.
3) Dip zucchini slices in the egg whites, then dip in the breadcrumb mixture, coating them evenly.
4) Spread zucchini out on in a single layer on the baking sheet. Cook at 450 degrees for 7 minutes. Turn zucchini over. Roast another 7 to 8 minutes, or until coating is crispy and golden brown.

Zucchini, Squash and Tomato Gratin

One woman’s trash is another’s treasure. Or, in this case, my mom’s surplus of squash is my opportunity to get a lil’ crazy in the kitchen. I need to know more people with CSA memberships. They have so much to give. Like vegetables. Especially as the summer comes to a close, I’m trying to find ways to throw those last lovely summer squashes into everything I consume.

So, I made a gratin. The word rolls off the tongue almost as deliciously as the meal tastes on the tongue. Sure, roasted vegetables are great, but when you add cheese and bread crumbs, there’s really no need to eat anything else. Unless you’re a lush like I am and put the gratin on top of pasta with walnut pesto.

The recipe came from Healthy Delicious. I’m kind of in love with that blog–yummy recipes. (And I won a Dutch oven from a contest held there. I admit my bias.)

Zucchini, Squash and Tomato Gratin:
olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TB fresh thyme
1 zucchini, sliced
1 summer squash, sliced
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
1 TB Italian herbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1) Heat olive oil in a medium skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook stirring occasionally, until golden brown and very soft — about 5 minutes. Stir in the thyme. Spread the onions in the bottom of a baking dish.
2) Layer the squash, zucchini and tomato in the dish. Alternate layers of vegetables with some cheese and herbs.
3) Top with the rest of the herbs de Provence and the cheese. Sprinkle a thin layer of panko bread crumbs over the top and drizzle with more olive oil.
4) Bake at 375 for 60 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

What recipes are you making to commemorate the end of the summer?

Roasted Broccoli

Vegetables should not taste like candy. And yet, roasted broccoli, with its caramelized freckles, bright lemon bite, and peanut-y garlic companion, could be candy. It’s the best way to eat green things. (Granted, I love plain broccoli, too. But this way is just… better.)

Unlike steamed broccoli, this broccoli maintains its crispy integrity while keeping that cooked tenderness that I adore.

I don’t know what else to say. Roasted broccoli is delicious–divine, even. It’ll make a broccoli believer out of you.

Roasted Broccoli:
A few heads of broccoli washed and dried thoroughly
3 cloves of garlic, minced
A few tablespoons of olive oil
Salt & pepper
1 lemon
Parmesan cheese

1) Cut broccoli into similarly-sized pieces and place evenly in one layer on baking sheet.
2) Drizzle olive oil over the broccoli, then sprinkle minced garlic on top.
3) Season with salt and pepper as desired.
4) Roast for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove from the oven and stir, then roast for another 10 minutes and remove from the oven.
5) Zest lemon over the broccoli, then sprinkle with lemon juice and parmesan cheese.

What’s your favorite way to eat vegetables?

Sweet Potato Fries

As I mentioned previously, I paired my crab cakes and pesto aioli with a side of sweet potato fries. For some strange reason, the food I most craved and missed while in London was sweet potato fries, a need that I have since satisfied on far too many occasions. These suckers are subtly sweet and highly addictive, especially with that aioli. I also aspire to dip them in a Buns-style chipotle mayo some time in the near future. Yes, I have big dreams. Big ole’ sweet potato dreams.

I should probably mention that these fries aren’t. Fried, that is. My pantry’s lack of vegetable/canola oil aside, I just can’t bring myself to fill up one of my pots with an obscene amount of oil that will inevitably end up all over our still-relatively-clean kitchen. My friend burned down her kitchen in a French Fry Frying Incident, so I just can’t take that chance.

Sweet Potato Fries:
two to three large sweet potatoes
olive oil
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
ground sea salt & black pepper to taste
Trader Joe’s everyday seasoning, if you have it

1) Slice potatoes into French fry-like pieces, trying to keep them as uniform as possible.
2) In a bowl, toss the potatoes with a few tablespoons of olive oil and the spices.
3) Arrange potatoes in a thin layer on a baking sheet.
4) Bake at 425 degrees for about 40 minutes in the middle of the oven. Crank up the heat to 475 degrees and move the rack to the top of the oven. Bake for another 5 or so minutes, until crispy on the outside.

You probably ought to double or triple this recipe, while you’re at it. They won’t last long.