Spring Lunch with Roasted Vegetables
Much of my everyday cooking means foraging in my fridge and creating something delicious from what I have on hand, and for me, that’s all about having a fridge loaded with plenty of fresh vegetables. While it’s great to keep things simple, I simply cannot keep myself from being a bit of a lily gilder. I’m typically not crazy about doing everything on a sheet pan, because the reality is that everything cooks for varying times, so here is my approach. I’ve tossed an onion, cauliflower, and baby carrots with olive oil, salt, and pepper and baked at 400 until done. I start checking 30 minutes in and pull things out as they’re done. I’ve added a bone-in, skin-on chicken breast to the pan to make one of my Sizzling Everyday Roast Chicken Breasts as well as some potatoes. The onions, baby carrots, and cauliflower were done first, and I left the chicken in, basting it in chicken fat (which takes the potatoes over the top) until crispy.
An easy method for roasted vegetables is to use cauliflower florets, carrots split and cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces, and an onion cut into eighths. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and give them a nice sprinkle of salt and pepper. Toss and place on the sheet pan then bake in a 400° oven about 30 minutes, pulling out anything that’s done. Baste the remainder with that fat from the bottom of the pan and cook until done.
The secret to excellent potatoes is to cook them twice: parboil them for about five minutes then toss in olive oil and bake until done, about 45 minutes, tossing again midway through. I sliced some small Yukon Gold or fingerling potatoes, blanched them for about five minutes, and tossed them in duck fat (hello, lily-guilder), salt, and pepper. Marinated Red Onions are one fabulous topping, and if you want to take it over the top, get them nice and crispy by sautéing on the stove first.
Slice the broccolini into small pieces, place in a hot pan with about a tablespoon of olive oil on medium high, and sauté for about 2-1/2 minutes, moving them around frequently. Toward the end, add a bit of salt and some crushed garlic.
Finally, assemble everything on the platter with my Everyday Roast Chicken Breast, and you have a fabulous meal on your hands!