Monday, January 27, 2014

Blasted Vegetables - Featuring this month's Glorified Home Chef, Sarah C.

My friend, Sarah, joined me as my featured Glorified HomeChef this month. Sarah showed me how to make Blasted Vegetables. She learned the recipe from Suzzanne Myers, a registered dietitian in the Seattle. When Sarah's oldest daughter, Kiera, was a baby they were having a hard time getting her to gain weight so Suzzanne showed Sarah a few recipes to encourage Kiera to eat more. Blasted Vegetables became a favorite in their home.

The high temperature roasting causes the vegetables to caramelize and release their natural sugars so kids think they are kind of a sweet treat. The recipe is super simple, at you'll see. You are going to love them and so is your finicky eater.

Blasted Vegetables
1 large head of cauliflower
3 or 4 broccoli crowns
5 tablespoons olive oil (I used Desert Miracle Olive Oil), divided
1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt or course sea salt, or to taste

Place two large rimmed baking sheets in your oven. Preheat the oven to 500F with the baking sheets inside.

Pare the outer leaves from the cauliflower. Remove the larger florets and slice into thick slices. Each slice should be attached to the stem of the floret so that it stays intact.  After you've sliced all of the florets, slice the core of the cauliflower into disks.

Place the cauliflower pieces in a large mixing bowl and add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Use your hands thoroughly coat the cauliflower with oil.

Next sprinkle approximately one teaspoon of sea salt over the oiled cauliflower and stir to evenly distribute the salt.

Carefully remove one of the preheated baking sheets from the oven and spread the oiled cauliflower in a single layer over the entire pan. Try to lay the cut sides of the florets flat on the baking sheet. The more surface area, the better the carmelization on the vegetables.

Return the pan to the oven and roast until the underside of the cauliflower florets have turned a rich, golden brown,, approximately 15 minutes or longer depending on the size of the florets.

In the meantime, slice the heads of broccoli into thick floret slices, similar to the cauliflower - again trying to leave some stem attache to each floret so they don't fall apart.

Place the broccoli pieces in a large mixing bowl and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil.  Toss to coat evenly and sprinkle with the remaining teaspoon of salt.

Carefully remove the other rimmed baking sheet from the oven. It's important to roast the vegetables separately because they cook at different rates. Spread the broccoli florets in a single layer over the baking sheet.

Return the pan to the oven and roast until the bottom of the broccoli florets is a rich, golden brown, approximately 12 minutes.

When both sheet pans of vegetables are fully roasted, remove them from the oven and toss them together in a large bowl or on a serving platter.  Taste to see if you'd like to add additional olive oil or salt and serve - alone or with Romesco Sauce.

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