Reprise of the One Skillet Root Vegetable Dinner – With Lots of Pictures!

Hey there, are you ready for a little April Fool’s action?  How about a Nor’easter?  Apparently those crocuses and snow drops were just a tease, and now we are destined for more snow and rain Friday.  I keep saying “I hope this is the last time”, but I guess I will have to keep hoping, and repeating the mantra “April showers bring May flowers”, and looking forward to Marathon Day, which usually is decent weather.  That is also the first weekend of the Amherst Farmers Market, something to definitely look forward to.

Until then, comfort food still keeps the kitchen warm, and my tummy full.  Last night was a repeat of the roasted root vegetable bake thing that I promised I would talk more about.

The basic idea of the dish is super simple.  Layers of food that I thought would go well together, some heat, and an open mind that beets and rutabaga can coexist with other flavors well in the same pan.  I realize now that a major factor in the success of this dish is that the root vegetables were roasted for a VERY long time.  I think they were in the oven at 375F for nearly two hours, rendering them soft, slightly carmelized and mellow.  The bitterness of the rutabaga was gone, and the dominant earthy flavor of the beets was softened considerably.  The carrots nearly turned into candy.  This might be a dish to convert people into root-veggie-lovers, but it is a super way to use roasted vegetables as something other than a side dish.

Now, a step by step guide to piling things in a pan.

The roasted vegetables go on the bottom. They were roasted in a little bacon grease, so there is no need to oil the pan. Salt and pepper to taste, and add any herbs you might want, such as rosemary.

Top with some frozen cooked meat (lamb pasty mix in my case), or fresh cooked ground meat. Pop this into the oven under a low broiler to thaw and begin to heat.

Top with fresh bread crumbs. We keep our bread frozen, so I toasted the bread while the pan began to heat in the previous step. By the time the bread was done, the meat mix was hot and ready for this step.

Add a strong cheese of the moldy variety for pep. I used blue cheese yesterday, and a soft gorganzola cheese today. Both were good. The blue cheese crisped while the gorganzola thinned out, but I would eat both again in a heartbeat. Put the pan back under the broiler until the cheese has melted and the whole mess is hot.

Top with sprouts or baby greens and any ondiments you like. Mustard for me. Ketchup for those who like it.

I think Laura is going to have a giggle fit when she sees that all but one of my photographs are blurry.  I think I am far too impatient of a photographer to get good pictures, and I lack the practice of using the big camera in the kitchen.  This is why I make Laura take all of the pictures, and why they come out 10 times better when she is around.  Only one more day of just me!

I will leave you with a non-blurry picture.  I much prefer taking photos of birdies and kitties, and they come out so much better.  Happy Thursday everyone!


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