Yesterday morning, I had to actually scrape frost off the windshield. Whenever I wake up and see frost on the ground, the FIRST person I think of is Linda. Maybe it's becuase I live about five minutes from her, but I know my frost is her frost, and there are still So MANY unreaped crops in those fields, I can't stand the thought of them dying due to Mother Nature.
But it's that time of year, isn't it?
Thanksgiving is nearly upon us, and although I tend not to celebrate Hallmark holidays, I do tend to find myself visiting my parents this time of year, and usually (because my sister and I are longtime vegetarians) my mom usually makes potato skins or grilled cheese sandwiches. It's kind of funny! Potato skins are our best tradition.
This morning I found myself wondering what to do with two week's worth of heirloom carrots from my CSA basket. I love carrots and eat them raw or dip them in hummus, but there were just so many. I wanted to find a signature dish, and maybe something to share with my family. Carrot cake, maybe? I can't say I like carrot cake. Google was failing me so I turned to my Fountain-Of-All-Knowledge... my friendslist on Facebook. "Lots of colourful heirloom carrots. Recipe ideas please!" turned into many many suggestions for roasting, with one suggesting the Jamie Oliver tactic of parboiling first and another suggestion for roasting-with-feta.
Mmmm. Feta. A couple of years ago, I did a blog post here for roasted beets and feta, and I'd almost forgotten how delightful it is with sweet root vegetables. It's a bang-on combo of flavours.
My friend Jacqui actually suggested cilantro and feta, but I didn't have any cilantro in the house (oh the humanity!). What I did have was lots of Linda's stellar parsley. She knows I'm a parsley junkie, so tops me up most weeks. This is the BEST part of "knowing your farmer". I thought it was a marketing ploy when I first joined the CSA, but it's actually a magical way of being so in touch with community and your food and your body and your farmer. It's hard to even articulate how wonderful this is. Linda knows I'm allergic to bell peppers, so despite her bumper crops, I never get them in my basket. She knows I make gallons of apple butter at a time, so frequently I'll get apples when no one else does.
I decided to roast those carrots up. I had lots of potatoes, too, so roasted root vegetable day it was. Nice chilly morning to heat up the kitchen with the oven on for 45 minutes too. I think this is the first time I've had the oven on since spring!
So I took the last heirloom onion I had floating around and plunked it in my brand new handy slicer-dicer-chopper-processor ($10 at the soon to be bankrupt XS Cargo! Why didn't I own one of these things years ago??) I put in all the parsley and a bit of garlic and some of Linda's rosemary too. A nice blend of minced green mixed with some melted butter and olive oil, and I tossed in the parboiled carrots and potatoes. Added a few generous shakes of a spice blend called "21 Spice Salute" but I'm sure a Mrs. Dash would be just fine too.
Roasted for about 40 minutes at 400F and they were delightful. I will say that I made two trays -- one "less crowded" as per Jamie Oliver's instructions, and they almost all blackened. The tray that I crowded steamed a little more, and came out perfect.
Top with feta, and Voila. My new signature carrot dish.
Recipe (no measurements, as I honestly have no idea LOL):
carrots cut into bite sized pieces
small potatoes cut into bite sized pieces
one small onion, minced
two or three cloves of garlic, minced
one teaspoon of rosemary
seasoning (I used Trader Joe's 21 Spice Salute, but Mrs. Dash or something like that would work fine, too)
salt and pepper to taste
butter or oil
Cut veggies into bite sized pieces and parboil in water at a rolling boil for about five minutes.
Drain and toss in the colander to roughen the edges of the veggies.
In the pot, melt some butter or add a few tablespoons of oil and add the minced parsley, onion, garlic, rosemary and seasonings. Mix well.
Add back the vegetables, toss and coat well, making sure all pieces are coated.
Place in single layer in a roasting pan and bake at 400F uncovered for about 30-40 minutes or until all pieces are soft when you put a fork in it. If you like them blackened, cook longer or spread them out amongst several pans so they are less crowded.