Roasted What’s-In-The-Garden

Alexandra Zissu | The Conscious Kitchen | Clarkson Potter, 2010 | Serves as few or as many as you like

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This isn’t really a recipe—which makes it the perfect recipe. It’s seasonal and doesn’t call for anything that isn’t growing in the same region at the same time. Plus it gives wonderful insight into the mindset of a deeply green thinker. “I tend to make things that are related to what I have,” says Joan Gussow, a completely store-free American. In her Northeastern garden, Gussow grows everything from artichokes to figs, and has raspberries that put out “fiercely” until November. She relies on nature and makes do with what she has.

“I save recipes when they come along, but I don’t make as much use of cookbooks as I might. They have an assortment of things I might not have. If I’m thinking about dinner during the day, I’m thinking of the fridge: What’s in it should use up? What’s in the garden I should use up? I’m aware of what I have at a given time. I had my first Burbank russets this year that were big. I love to dig potatoes. It’s a pleasure, like finding gold in the earth—a wonderful bucketful of potatoes comes out of the ground. I rolled them in oil and stuck them in the hot oven. Then I thought, I’m not going to waste that oven heat.” She remembered that a friend had done a potato-and-green-beans things, and called her to find out how to proceed. She wound up roasting potatoes, green beans, and Jimmy Nardello peppers on separate sheets in the oven for about a half hour. “It wasn’t a meal,” she says. “It was potatoes and green beans and peppers on a plate. And it was delicious.”—Alexandra Zissu

LC Note: Sounds like dinner to us. There are all manner of theories as to what temperature and timing to use when roasting vegetables, whether hot and fast or low and slow. At the end of the day, they all get the job done, some just take a little longer than others.

Recipe © 2010 Alexandra Zissu. All rights reserved.

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