Hello there! Today's recipe isn't a very complicated one. It's actually one that I probably could have simply put in an Instagram post and called it a day. However, in just the last month or so, this has already become a favorite and it is officially on my list of less stress, no fuss, prep it-leave it-love it recipes. I would be excited to prepare this whether it's just me for dinner, if we have last-minute guests or if I've had a month to plan.
"Why?" might you ask? Well, several reasons:
It meets one of my Cardinal Rules of Cooking... have one item on the menu that can be thrown in the oven or left over the stove to cook for a while. I really like to have one item roasting in the oven when I'm preparing a meal. If you have one thing that can be thrown in the oven and left alone, it frees you up to take care of your more "high maintenance" meal items.
Roasting veggies is a Game Changer. After being in the oven for 45 minutes, these carrots are soft and tender and caramelized and those pearl onions - well, to me, they basically taste like candy - so soft and sweet and caramelized like the carrots. They add pizzaz to any dish.
They make great leftovers! This shouldn't be surprising coming from me at this point as most of my recipes can double as something else on any other day. Because these are heartier vegetables, I can pack up the remaining veggies, store them in the fridge and heat them up the next day. I've paired them with other veggies, chicken, chickpeas, crumbled cheese, you name it. It has been a good item to pack up and reheat for lunch at work or throw with a new protein on a different night of the week. Quick and simple and satisfying.
I actually got the idea from an episode of Barefoot Contessa with Ina Garten (I soak up the Saturday mornings when I get a little time to watch these cooking shows - they both inspire and teach me). She had a spotlight on one of her favorite chefs who was roasting tons of veggies and I knew I had to try some variation of what was featured. While all of those veggies looked delicious, I decided to keep it simple and stick with two or three staples that would then allow me to throw in some extra veggies at the end.
I've always been intrigued by those mini organic carrots at the store (not the baby carrots, but the ones that look like smaller regular carrots, right out of the ground). I also LOVE onions when they are roasted. If you have never had them before - you HAVE to try it. Seriously a game changer. Roasting onions softens them and makes them wonderfully sweet and earthy. That's pretty much my base. And then I have the liberty to add any other veggies to it. This last particular time, I roasted broccolini separately because it doesn't take as long to cook (I have a double oven so that's helpful). I threw them in a preheated oven when there was about 15 minutes left on the carrots & onions and then threw them all together on the skillet once they were done (which you'll see in the pics below).
The perfect side dish for many different entrees, PLUS they reheat well for veggie bowls (with chicken / beans / tofu / etc.) another day or night that week. Oh, and my favorite part of the evening when I served these? When my husband said, "You know, you have really gotten me to like a lot of vegetables - vegetables that I didn't think I ever liked". Win!
So, here you go, my Sweet & Simple Slow Roasted Veggies
Sweet & Simple Slow Roasted Veggies
Two 8-ounce bags of small organic carrots (or I've use about 1 pound of the large carrots, cut off the greens & cut them in half)
1 pound mixed Pearl & Cipollini onions, skin removed and ends removed (you can also purchase frozen, already peeled to make this part even simpler)
1/2 tablespoon dried Italian Seasoning
1 - 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line 2 baking sheets with foil or parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl mix together the carrots, pearl onions, olive oil, Italian Seasoning, and salt until vegetables are well coated.
Divide vegetables evenly between the 2 baking sheets. I used 2 baking sheets b/c they would be too crowded on just one and would probably end up steaming instead of roasting (not what you want).
Place vegetables in the oven on the top or middle rack (placing veggies on the bottom rack will likely cause them to burn easily - at least that's what happened to me the first time I made these!).
Cook for about 45 minutes, mixing the vegetables with a spatula halfway through (for even cooking on all sides) until the carrots are soft and easily cut with a fork.
Remove the veggies from the oven, serve and enjoy!
You can, of course, add more root vegetables to this mix such as: parsnips, beets, turnips, and radishes), but IF you want to add more non-root vegetables, I suggest cooking them separately at their own temperature and time. I like adding broccolini (2 bunches from Central Market) with these and to do that I:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Toss my broccolini in about 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
Spread broccolini out evenly on a lined (with foil or parchment paper) baking sheet.
When there are about 20 minutes left for my root veggies I put my broccolini in the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through (so that broccolini cook evenly on all sides).
Once done, the root veggies should be done as well so add them to the sheet with the root veggies, mix all together and serve with dinner!
Cooking Note: Cooking is not always an exact science. If you can't find the exact product that I used above - you can adjust a little. For example, in this recipe I got the onions from the bulk bin at Central Market. However, at Tom Thumb, these usually come prepackaged in anywhere from 7 ounce to 10 ounce plastic containers. As long as it's around 1 pound you should be fine (for these directions) and the onions will still come out tender, caramelized and absolutely delicious! Same goes for the carrots - I get the small bags when I can, but the other day I could only find the large organic bunches at the store - so I purchased two bunches and, when I got home, washed them, cut off the greens and cut each carrot in half so they would all be about the same size. Just like the onions, they turned out delicious. This made enough to serve me and a very hungry husband with a couple of days of leftovers. If you're cooking for 1 you could plan to have more leftovers, or go down to 1 of everything and decrease the oil and seasoning by about 1/2.
WHAT'S IN THIS?? NUTRITION NOTES:
Carrots - vitamin A | fiber | potassium | vitmamin K
Onions - fiber | vitamin C | part of allium group, that may reduce risk of some cancers
Broccolini - vitamin K | iron | vitamin C
Olive oil - monounsaturated fat | vitamin E