The Everything Oven Roast: A Mano Farm CSA recipe
As a farmer, my schedule is packed from sunrise to sunset. So I must admit that (at least in title movements such as “slow food,” don’t particularly appeal to me. Eating a healthy meal is not something I often have interminable moments of reflection to prepare. Yet neither could I call my cooking “fast food” because I wouldn’t want to associate myself with the dietary maladies plaguing the industrialized nations of the world. So I guess I should just say my cooking aesthetic is informed by the use of seasonal ingredients; fewer spices yet nonetheless strong flavors; imprecise/intuitive ingredient measurement; simplicity of preparation; and quick overall cooking/cleaning time. And I imagine many of our CSA members might have similar schedule constraints, thus, The Everything Oven Roast.
Illustrated in the picture above nearly every vegetable we had in a CSA share one week, plus some potatoes. Oven roasts have become a staple in our on-farm cooking because of their quickness, flexibility, and utter deliciousness. It’s as simple as taking glass baking pans and segregating the vegetables into short and long cooking times. Place all the long cooking vegetables (sweet potatoes, eggplant) in one glass pan, drizzle with olive oil, salt, basil, and any other spices you desire, then pop it in the oven at around 325. If you use eggplant make sure to coat it liberally with olive oil – the stuff is like a sponge.
Next, while this one is cooking, prepare all the quicker cooking ingredients: peppers, zucchini, tomatoes (I usually cut them in half), and essentially repeat the same steps as above. These vegetables cook quicker, so once you feel like the first dish of vegetables are about halfway cooked, pop in the second one.
And you know what? You can even cook Swiss chard in the oven! Chop it up after both dishes are in the oven, coat it with some olive oil, salt and spices in a bowl, mix it together, and during the last five to 10 minutes of the roast, open up the oven and spread the chard evenly on top of both dishes. If you nail the timing right, it should melt down and be succulent by the time everything is done.
Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go play basketball, make some new signs for the CSA stand, and catch a plane to Helsinki. Guess I know what I’ll be eating for dinner tonight.
See you all in a month!