Monday, May 19, 2014

The Vegetable Bistro

Bistro Styled Carrots
When I think of great vegetable fare I often think of Bistro styled preparations, not fancy plates with huge amounts of complicated cutting and presentations.  Of course we eat with our eyes and when you go out generally in more pricey restaurants you expect a good looking plate.  But more often than not on a weekly basis or at least three times a month I prefer a casual bistro setting where prices are cheaper, the food is excellent, casual, tasty and comes quick and the conversation is lively in an upbeat environment.  So I feel most of the time I would rather use this style of recipe for my own simple home cooking as this was really the origin of the Bistro.

With this in mind, last night I had a taste for something simple last night, simple and tasty fun. I had been to the market and brought a number of great looking veggies.  I decided I was in the mood for savory so I
roasted whole carrots as I would meat, and chowed down with a friend !  It was fantastic. The method added that touch of savory umami that sometimes I just crave.  So I am sharing. Umami tells my senses that, Wow! that was delicious. If the recipe is balanced right I do not find myself reaching for something to eat later, nor bored with the flavors after I am half done.

Later this week we'll talk about a theory on calories and the nutritionally minded.  Right now I suggest you find time the next day to head to a good produce store.  Find some terrific stewing carrots and spend ten minutes prep with 30 minutes of unattended slow baking that you deserve. And, yes, carrots are a bit higher in sugar but as a single dish entree when I think of all the foods and all the multiple course meals I have eaten, one dish of well prepared carrots that are a little higher in sugar instead of all those courses from the past. 

Roasted Carrots with Rosemary and Cumin
10 ounces large carrots, peeled
1 teas olive oil
1 teas rosemary, dried
1/2 teas basil, dried
1    teas whole cumin, dried
2    tbl chopped green onion (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Set the oven to 325 degree.  Add all the ingredients to a 10 inch cast iron skillet and toss.  ( I use cast iron because if offers solid heat transfer for this roasted dish. ) Place skillet on medium heat and cook about 4 -5 minutes to add a bit of color and get the pan warm.  Place skillet in oven. Set timer to 15 minutes.

When timer goes off pull the pan from the oven, and gently turn the carrots.  Add 1/2 cup of water or vegetable stock.  Turn the oven to 425, and place the pan back in the oven for 15 minutes, setting timer for 15 minutes.  Remove pan from the oven.  Place it on the cook top and turn a burner to medium.  Gently move the pan across the heat to reduce any liquid and intensify the herb carrot flavor.  Sprinkle on optional chopped green onion and enjoy!