Chef's Note: I think this may be one of my all-time favorite vegetable dishes. Use this recipe as a template, substituting other vegetables as the market provides. Some, like Brussels sprouts, will need to be blanched first. More tender produce, like mushrooms or peeled winter squash, can be added without precooking. Apple wedges are a nice addition in the fall.
- 3/4 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 5 tablespoons California Olive Ranch extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 pound red onions, each halved and cut into 6 to 8 wedges through the root end
- 1 fennel bulb, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch-wide wedges through the core
- 3/4 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut on the diagonal into 1 1/2-inch lengths
- 2 zucchini, ends trimmed, halved lengthwise, and cut on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 1 tablespoon fennel seed, crushed in a mortar or spice grinder
- Sea salt, preferably gray salt
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
Step 2: Put the potatoes in a large pot of cold, well-salted water. Bring to a boil, adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, and cook until the potatoes are almost tender, about 7 minutes. Add the carrots and simmer for about 1 minute longer. Drain.
Step 3: Heat a very large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add 4 tablespoons of the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the potatoes and carrots. Cook for about 1 minute, then add the onions and cook, turning occasionally with tongs, until the vegetables are nicely browned, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat if needed to keep them from burning.
Step 4: Add the fennel bulb, asparagus, zucchini, fennel seed, and salt to taste. Toss well to distribute the seasonings. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and toss again. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast until the vegetables are deeply caramelized, 20 to 25 minutes, stirring them occasionally so they cook evenly. Serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy of Michael Chiarello’s Casual Cooking (Chronicle Books, 2002), by Michael Chiarello
Reprinted with permission from the publisher