I was admiring the beauty of the season’s first snowstorm from my window, as the sunset’s orange glow reflected dramatically against the crisp white flakes. Whether it was the cold or the the medley of winter colors, my dinner of roast vegetables managed to both counter and mirror winter on my plate.
Root vegetables are nutritious and earthy, fueling the body with starchy fiber. With minimum fuss of peeling and dicing, roasting these vegetables brings out undertones of caramelized flavors. Rosemary, with its woody stem, is the best herb to pair with root vegetables; the herb can withstand the heat while perfuming the dish long after it comes out of the oven. The creamy hues of turnip and parsnips, set against orange and purple rainbow carrots, are not just attractive, but create a hardy meal to face the cold.
Roasted Winter Vegetables
Carrots (purple and orange) – 8, peeled
Turnip – 1, peeled
Parsnips – 4, peeled
Olive oil – 2-3 tbsp
Salt and pepper – to taste
Garlic – 2-3 cloves
Rosemary – 4 sprigs
- Heat the oven to 425ºF
- Cut the vegetables into 1 ½ –inch pieces and put them into a large bowl.
- Add the oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and rosemary to a separate bowl.
- Pour the oil mixture over the vegetables, tossing well.
- Spread the vegetables in a single layer in an oven-proof dish and roast them for 30- 40 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your vegetables.
Rey, the main character, in Star Wars: The Force Awakens trades metal pieces for a ration of freeze-dried food. As she mixes the food in water, the particles gel together to form a grey bread-like unappetizing mass. Similarly, strands of dried red seaweed, dulse (rhymes with pulse), look bland when first peeled from the packet. However, the taste is surprisingly delicious.
I was inspired to try dulse when I saw a Whole Foods advertisement for the centuries-old flavors of dulse alongside other superfoods. Found commonly on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, interest in dulse has been renewed for the food’s umami flavor and its antioxidant properties. Dulse, which belongs in the same family as seaweed and kelp, is also rich in minerals such as iodine and proteins. When fried in a little oil, dulse swaps some of its oceanic flavors for a chewy, meaty taste – more specifically, a taste that strongly reminds me of bacon.
Fresh dulse, whether from wild or farmed sources, is air-dried to preserve its nutritional properties. The dried edible seaweed keeps for a long time. Enjoy this superfood.
How To Use Dulse:
- The simplest way is eat as a snack straight from the packet, but I’ve listed some alternatives below:
- Sauté until crispy in a little vegetable oil, and serve as a side to fried or poached eggs.
- Crush the dried leaves and sprinkle on a salad for an added umami flavor.
- Mix into vegetable and fruit smoothies for additional mineral and vitamins.
- Add to soups as a garnish.