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Leftover roasted veggies. January 21, 2011

Posted by ourfriendben in homesteading, recipes, Uncategorized.
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Silence Dogood here. Our friend Ben and I have fallen in love with roasted veggies—sliced sweet potatoes, halved new potatoes, wedges of sweet onion, quartered red, yellow, or orange bell peppers, mushroom caps, halved Brussels sprouts, wedges of yellow beets—all brushed with extra-virgin olive oil (preferably infused with sage and wild mushrooms), sprinkled with salt, lemon pepper or cracked black pepper, and dried thyme, basil, oregano, and rosemary. Yum, incredibly delicious! And we’ve only scratched the surface. I’d love to roast cabbage wedges, sliced summer and winter squash, eggplant, corn, cauliflower…

Anyway, we like to have our roasted veggies with a side of rice, mashed potatoes, or creamy pasta (assuming we’re not roasting new potatoes). We find leftovers keep well and can be heated and served with a different starch later in the week (I have to keep OFB from insisting that we eat them again the next night). So I often make more than we can eat at a meal so we can look forward to, so to speak, a second helping that only requires a quick reheating.

But what if you’re eating for one and find that you’ve made too many roasted veggies? How can you use your leftovers creatively without having to eat the same dish again and again? Our friend Huma brought this to my attention today, since she’d made my version of roasted veggies and found herself inundated with them, and though she enjoyed them, she dislikes eating the same or similar food again and again.

Yikes, was I chagrined! This wasn’t a problem I’d ever come up against. But I rose to the challenge to help Huma and anyone else who makes more roasted veggies than you’d care to eat as sides. Here are ten (plus one) ways to enjoy leftover roasted veggies that bear no resemblance to simply serving them up:

* Quarter leftover roasted new potato halves, then heat in a little butter and serve with fried eggs for breakfast.

* Add roasted sweet potato or winter squash slices to your mashed potatoes, along with roasted sweet onion (diced) or roasted garlic cloves (mashed), if desired. Mix well to blend, add plenty of butter, milk or half-and-half, salt, and cracked black or lemon pepper, and enjoy.

* Dice roasted red, yellow, and/or orange bell peppers and roasted sweet onions, mash roasted garlic cloves, and slice roasted mushroom caps, then add them to hot, drained al dente spaghetti or fettucine with red pepper flakes, a generous splash of olive oil, salt, and plenty of shredded Parmesan or crumbled feta cheese, toss, and allow to heat through for a fast, delicious dish. (You can add pitted kalamata olives and/or chopped artichoke hearts for a really decadent treat.) Add a crunchy tossed salad and some broccoli and you have yourself a meal!

* Use roasted veggies to deepen the flavor of soups, stews, and sauces, rather than starting with uncooked veggies. It’s a delicious difference!

* Puree roasted sweet potatoes, winter squash, or beets with roasted sweet onions. Heat, adding light cream, a little veggie broth to thin to the desired consistency, plenty of cracked black or lemon pepper and salt or Trocomare, and a splash of bourbon (for the sweet potatoes), Sambuca (for the winter squash), or vodka (for the beets). Yum, a delicious, warming, nourishing cream soup for cold winter nights!

* Toss cooled roasted Brussels sprout halves with a little extra-virgin olive oil, minced fresh garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes to taste. Allow to sit for an hour for flavors to marry, then serve as an appetizer as you would green olives.

* Marinate cooled roasted Brussels sprout halves in oil and vinegar overnight in the fridge, then add to a tossed salad. You can do the same with diced roasted beets, whole roasted mushroom caps, roasted zucchini or summer squash slices, or diced roasted red, yellow, or orange bell peppers.

* Make corn chowder with roasted corn cut from the cob, diced roasted sweet onion, minced roasted mushrooms, milk, a little veggie stock, and salt and cracked black or lemon pepper to taste.

* Make delicious baba ghannouj by pureeing roasted eggplant, roasted sweet onion, roasted garlic, lemon juice, tahini, salt, pepper, and liquid smoke into a thick paste. Enjoy with pita wedges, crackers, crudites (carrot sticks are especially yummy), or hot wedges of naan (Indian flatbread).

* Make an exceptional black bean salsa by dicing roasted bell peppers and roasted sweet onions, cutting the roasted kernels from an ear of corn, and mashing roasted garlic cloves, then adding a can of black beans, a diced jalapeno pepper, a chopped fresh tomato, and a splash of lime juice, then stirring well and letting the flavors blend before serving with tortilla chips or hot tortilla strips or wedges and sides of sharp shredded white Cheddar, sour cream, and hot sauce.

And the bonus:

* Add diced roasted bell peppers, sweet onion, new potatoes, zucchini or summer squash, minced roasted mushroom caps, and roasted corn kernels, in any combination and to taste, to a basic quiche recipe. Yum!

That’s all I can think of offhand. But I’m sure you all have many more favorites of your own. Please share them with us!

           ‘Til next time,


Addendum: Our friend Delilah, an accomplished cook, read this post and e-mailed me with a suggestion. “The very best use of roasted (or grilled) vegetables is to top a pizza,” she says. “I prefer to roast them on a grill because of the wonderful smoky flavor it imparts.” To make her pizza, Delilah uses garlic, Alfredo, or oil-based pesto sauce instead of marinara sauce, then adds shredded mozzarella, the roasted veggies, and chunks of feta cheese to give her pizza a “Mediterranean flair.” Thanks, Delilah! Great idea!