With yesterday being the first day of Spring, I have high hopes for this cold dreary weather to turn itself into something resembling spring pretty darn quick. I’m ready for “peep-toe” shoes, cut-offs, short sleeves and blazer jackets. I’m also longing for some springtime foods, like strawberries, something lemon, rhubarb, grilled chicken and some different vegetables. I’m dreaming of sunny days, flowers poking up thru debris in the garden, buds on the trees and getting my hands dirty in the dirt–not!!
So I jotted down some things on my foods “to-make” list. Things like lemon meringue pie, baked ham with scalloped potatoes, fresh peas, cupcakes with coconut on them……etc. Then I made this instead. I’m sure you understand. Before you take that dive into forbidden territory, you must fortify yourself, get your system ready for what lies ahead. So I put all my notes into a “Spring is not here yet, but it’s coming” file, and turned to what is available at hand now.
What I had on hand was golden beets and sweet potatoes. Similar colors, different textures and taste, but both are root vegetables. So I decided to treat them both the same way. Anyone who knows anything knows that roasting is the way to go when you want to bring out the natural sweetness in vegetables because their natural sugars get caramelized. Beets and sweet potatoes are both loaded with natural sugars, and Gwyneth Paltrow suggested that a light drizzle with good olive oil and some spicy seasonings would turn these vegetables into a dinnertime sensation. You know what? She was right!
SPICY ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES
Yield: Serves 4
- 1 bunch golden beets, (about 3 med-large size), peeled and cut into wedges.
- 1 large, or 2 medium sweet potatoes (yams), peeled and cut into wedges or sliced about 1/4-inch thick
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika, either sweet or smoky
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 400*F. Line a baking sheet with foil, and spray with non-stick spray.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the spices (cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt).
Add cut up beets and sweet potatoes. Drizzle with the olive oil. Toss lightly to coat evenly with the spices and oil. Spread into an even layer on the baking sheet.
I kept the two kinds of veggies separate on the baking sheet and also on my serving platter, just for appearance sake.
3. Roast for 30 minutes, or until they pierce easily with a knife. Sprinkle with additional salt and pepper if desired. Serve warm.
More thoughts on the subject: this is a good spice mixture to have in a little jar ready for use whenever you have root vegetables to cook. Mix up the combination of veggies. Think of turnip, parsnips, carrots—I think any of them would be good cooked this way.
SOURCE: my own imagination