One of the keys to delicious cooking on a regular basis is discovering how some recipes can be transitioned to technique. Why does this matter? When you realize that certain ingredients can be swapped out, varied and played with, it opens doors in your mind. For me, it has made cooking easier. Because a technique is simply a way of cooking any variety of ingredients, where as a recipe is focused on specific ingredients.
My very beloved thyme roasted carrots turned out to be a great technique. Stovetop to oven roasting with whole cloves of garlic and herbs can be used for any sturdy root vegetable. Parnsips, rutabagas or potatoes can all be cooked by these directions, with slight variations on time in the oven.
But the star of tonight’s cooking was the beet.
I have a whole vegetable drawer of giant beets, waiting for their doom day Speaking of doom day, you, your knife and your cutting board may look a bit bloody.
Tonight, I cut three of the ruby giants into wedges, something around 12-16 per beet. Because of the large amount of beets, I skipped the stovetop and took them straight to the oven.
At 400, they cooked, along with the same ingredients as the original carrot recipe.
For the first thirty minutes, I flipped once. I then added a tablespoon of butter and about 4 oz water, or enough to cover the bottom of the cookie sheet, and loosely topped with a piece of foil. They steamed for ten minutes, and then cooked, uncovered again, for another ten to twenty minutes.
Beets are definitely a longer-cooking root vegetable, so it’s all about poking them until they feel fork tender. Checking every ten minutes or so until they’re to your liking.
And if you’re me, it will be 11pm and, while hungry, you know better than to eat a giant meal. So you’ll place a few wedges of beets and a roasted head of garlic on a plate and crumble herbed goat cheese on top. You’ll place some pecans in the oven, which is still on. By the time these pecans toast, the goat cheese will be soft. Add some chopped or crumbled pecans, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and enjoy.