Saturday, July 31, 2010

Veggies Grilled, Roasted or Steamed

Think of your favorite veggies in spring,summer,fall and even winter. I like to buy veggies in season for freshness and lower price. Have you ever visited a local Farmer's Market? If not, take a little time to stroll through one. It can be an adventure! Imagine, purchasing veggies directly from the farmer who grew them? No shrink-wrapped packages, no box from a freezer from a supermarket. Hmmm, how much did that packaging cost you? Your veggies from a Farmer's Market did not take an airplane ride for you to spend more money to transport them.

Ok, so here is the prep: Wash, dry, peel if necessary any veggies of choice. Examples for grilling: Vidalia Onions (peeled,sliced); Zucchini (sliced lengthwise in thick strips); Peppers (cut into wide strips); Eggplant (unpeeled, sliced in wide, thick strips); Asparagus (cut off bottom tough ends.)

If grilling: use a mesh rack, place veggies on the rack. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Have tongs ready to turn the veggies so they do not burn.

If roasting: Use a large baking sheet with rim (lined with parchment paper)or baking dish to serve in that can go into the oven. Brush the veggies with olive oil and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roast until veggies are soft and a little browned. The delicious smell will tell you when they are ready. Cooking time is about 20 minutes depending on your oven. Roasting brings out sweetness in veggies.

If steaming: Use a large pot with some water in the bottom. Use a steaming basket to put inside the pot. Cut your veggies of choice to fit in the steaming basket. Cover the pot when filled with veggies and turn heat first to a medium high, then when steaming begins, turn the heat down to low. Veggies take about five minutes to steam. The should not be soggy, but they should not be hard either. You will know when they are done with just a taste test.

Always make extra veggies as these make great leftovers to put into tomato sauces, egg scrambles, added to a sandwich, and even turned into a pureed soup with added broth.

Enjoy your veggies!

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