The other weekend, I was killing it in the kitchen. I had just finished off development and photos for a couple new recipes (my recent Curried Beef Stew and Garlic Smashed Potatoes dishes), and I was digging into two new creations: this week’s Skillet-Roasted Winter Vegetables, and next week’s Center-Cut Pork Rib Roast. Everything was going well, and my timing was just right – the dishes were going to finish just as the afternoon sun would be in the perfect position for photos.
But as anyone who’s visited Florida can attest, the weather can change in a blink of an eye. Case in point was this day, because in the course of a few minutes, my early afternoon sunshine transformed into a late evening sky, just as a tornado watch warning chimed on my phone. Clouds rushed in, winds gusted; the ambient light near the window I use for photography disappeared. So, picture this: in the middle of a storm, I rushed outside to our screened-in porch, laid down my photography surfaces, and desperately snapped some photos in near-dark conditions. Sure, I probably could have just waited for a different day, but I also enjoyed the challenge that mother nature threw my way.
The point of this story is to say that sure, my picture came out a bit blurry, but I will likely have fond memories associated with this photography session for years to come. I think it’s moments like those that I appreciate having a food blog in the first place; while cookbooks are often very particular – run through a team of editors and designers – blogging can be as fluid as the author defines. And really, the photo looks much better than some of the photos from this site’s early days, anyway!
This week’s recipe isn’t glamorous, and one we make often. Since the vegetables have varying cooking times, the best approach is to par-boil the hardier vegetables – carrots and parsnips, in this case – and then finish them all off together in the oven. Feel free to swap out the carrots and parsnips with other vegetables, like turnips or beets.
Skillet-Roasted Winter Vegetables (Gluten-free, Perfect Health Diet, Paleo, Primal, Whole30, Vegan & Vegetarian adaptable)
1/2 lb carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
1/2 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 lb brussels sprouts, bottoms removed and sliced in half length-wise
3 tbsp duck fat, lard, or olive oil
zest of one lemon
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste (about 1/4 tsp each)
1. Preheat the oven to 500F. Place the carrots and parsnips in a pot of salted water; bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high, and boil until starting to turn tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. Place a cast-iron skillet in the oven until just smoking, about 2 minutes (this will speed up the cooking process as you add the vegetables). Add the carrots, parsnips, brussels sprouts, and cooking fat to the skillet; stir to combine.
3. Roast until the vegetables are tender and crisp, about 20 minutes, stirring the vegetables every 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, add the lemon zest, parsley, salt, and pepper to taste, then serve.