As I’ve mentioned before, I signed up for a CSA box this year. It’s a great idea in theory, but I think it might just not be for me. When you’re trying to cook for a 3 (almost 4 – that’s hard to believe) year old, getting a big box of random produce every other week can be problematic. The Miss is really good for her age about eating her vegetables and trying new things, but she is still 3. We’re trying to balance introducing new things on a regular basis with keeping dinner recognizable for her so it’s not a fight every night. After all, what’s the point of cooking and eating as a family if no one enjoys it because the Miss is pouting and refusing to eat.
So here I am toward the end of the CSA season with a fridge full of veggies from the last few boxes that I just haven’t gotten around to cooking. I needed something that would let me use up a ton of veggies, be approachable for the Miss and still taste good to me and the wife. I decided to take everything resembling a root vegetable (along with celery, leeks and delicata squash for good measure) toss them together with some mustard and roast them. I figured this way there’d be at least something in the batch the Miss would decide she liked. (Turns out that was a good plan, since she really only ate the carrots and a few bites of celery root.) For good measure I made roast beef as well.
This was a pretty simple toss everything together and throw it in the oven for a bit kind of dinner. Nothing too fancy, but tasty for all that. The leftover roasted veggies made a great lunch mixed with some brown rice – the charred celery leaves and leeks worked especially well with the rice. There are two things I’d do differently next time though. I’d cut the celery into shorter segments; roasted celery is great, but in that size pieces, the strings had a tendency to get stuck in my teeth. I’d also roast the squash separately. The squash was probably my favorite part of the roasted vegetables, but it took less time to roast than the rest, so it was a bit too soft by the time the other vegetables were done.
Celery leaves have a flavor about halfway between celery and parsley, which works wonderfully with roasted vegetables.
Tossing some vegetables (or trimmings) under a roast is a great way to get it up off the bottom of the pan and let the air circulate under it a bit if you don’t have a roasting pan with a rack. It will also add flavor to your roast.
2 leeks, halved lengthwise and sliced
1 small bunch celery, cut into 2″ pieces
~ 1 cup celery leaves, roughly chopped
3 small turnips, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
1 celery root, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
1 delicata squash, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
5 small carrots, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
2 Tbsp brown mustard
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
~1 1/2 lb beef roast (I used top round, just because I already had it)
vegetable trimmings (celery leaves, carrot peels, leek greens, etc)
1 Tbsp brown mustard
2 tsp horseradish
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp olive oil
Toss together all the vegetables in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix the mustard, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over the vegetables and mix thoroughly. Spread the vegetables out on a half sheet pan or two 9×13 baking dishes.
Mix together the mustard, horseradish, olive oil, salt and pepper. Smear over both sides of the roast. Put some of the trimmings from the roast vegetables (celery leaves, carrot peels, leek greens, etc) in the bottom of a roasting pan, then place the roast on the trimmings.
Preheat oven to 500 F. Roast the beef and vegetables in separate pans for 20 min, then turn the heat down to 425 F, stir the vegetables and roast for an additional 15 min.
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