Last Saturday, it poured rain most of the day and there was a bit of a chill in the air. We were having a few friends over for dinner and while I was craving cleansing spring veggies, I also felt like some warm comfort food. I combined the two by roasting some of springs baby vegetables such as carrots, radishes and red potatoes along with seasonal fingerling potatoes, asparagus, scallions, and parsnips. Lots of fresh garlic was mixed-in and the result was a fantastic side dish that had just the right amount of comfort.
I get giddy just looking at all the fresh seasonal goodies on the shelves. I mean, how can you resist the bright beautiful hue of radishes? While quite peppery raw, they get much sweeter when roasted and compliment the other root vegetables with a slight caramelized crunch. They are very high in Vitamin C and also thought to have cancer fighting properties.
Tossed in extra-virgin olive oil with chives, onion powder, sea salt, ground pepper and a dash of red pepper, this simple dish is robust with flavor.
This is the best time to reap all the nutritional benefits of asparagus because it's fresh and in season. A natural diuretic, asparagus helps to cleanse the kidneys. It is also a highly alkalizing food and loaded with folic acid (great to eat before baby making!).
Don't buy the carrots packaged in plastic bags (which tend to be dried out), instead get the baby carrots that still have their greens on them. I cut off the greens, put them in a vase and set them in my kitchen window. They surprisingly last quite a few days and look pretty.
It's best to cut the vegetables around the same size for even cooking and put the carrots and asparagus in the oven later than the rest. Full recipe below............
Roasted Medley of Spring Vegetables
- 1/2 - 1 pound baby carrots, peeled and trimmed with 1/4 top greens left
- 12 fingerling potatoes, sliced 1-inch- thick
- 12 baby red potatoes, halved
- 4 large parsnips, peeled, trimmed, and cut into1-inch-thick slices
- 1 whole head garlic, separated into cloves, peeled
- 1 bunch asparagus, tough ends trimmed
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- Sea salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- Dash red pepper
- 3 scallions, trimmed and chopped
- 2 tablespoons chives, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a large bowl, toss garlic, fingerling potatoes, baby red potatoes, parsnips and radishes with 2 1/2 teaspoons of olive oil, onion powder, sea salt, pepper and red pepper. Spread on a large roasting pan, stirring the vegetables occasionally and cook in oven for 30-35 minutes or until tender and golden brown.
- Meanwhile, on a separate sheet pan, place the baby carrots and toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring the vegetables occasionally.
- Remove carrots from oven and mix in the asparagus with remaining olive oil. Cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally or until tender and golden brown.
- Remove both pans from the oven and transfer into a large bowl.
- Stir in scallions and chives.
- Serve nice and warm.