intensely trivial

« | Home | Lately »

Root-vegetable challenge results

I know you’ve all been itching to see the results of the root-vegetable challenge. This one must have been more daunting — or maybe it’s just February — because there weren’t quite as many entries as the last time around. Still, I think it was a good exercise, and it yielded some fun foods!

After browsing, be sure to leave a comment with your vote for the most creative entry.

I’ll go first:

Roasted Beets with Creamy Caper-Leek Sauce

Roasted Beets with Creamy Caper-Leek Sauce

Cut the greens off four nice-sized beets and place the beets on a big sheet of foil. Drizzle with olive oil. Wrap the beets up with foil, and seal the edges. (It bothers me that this uses disposable foil, but it seemed a whole beet would take too long to roast openly.) Bake at 400 for 1 hr. or a little longer, till tender. Open up the foil, and let the beets cool till you can handle and peel them. (The peeling might be unnecessary.) Cut into wedges. Toss with 1/4 t. salt and 1 1/2 t. brown sugar, and keep warm.
Cut the dark green part off the top of two biggish leeks. Slice the bottom halves into 1/4″ rounds or half-rounds. Roughly separate the layers, and run water over them to wash the dirt out. Heat about 1 T. olive oil in a skillet on medium. Put in the leeks and saute until they’re soft. Pour in 1/2 c. (maybe more) half-n-half. Add 1 T. drained capers, 1/2 t. salt, and a few hefty grinds of black pepper. Simmer for 5-10 min., till the half-n-half is slightly reduced and the mixture is slightly more cohesive.
Eat a bite of beet with a bite of creamed leeks. Yummy!
I loved this dish, but that might just be because I love leeks (creamed or not), and I love beets. I would love them separate as well. The creamed leeks made me think of French food (since I have so much experience with that — not!), although I’d leave out the capers next time. The beets really didn’t need the brown sugar — or maybe they needed more. If nothing else, it was cool to make a dish including two four-letter words with double E’s in them.

Here are Terri’s roots:

Roasted Roots Two Ways

Roasted Roots Two Ways


3 Parsnips
3 Large Carrots
2 Turnips
2 tsp. Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
(Juice of 1/2 Lime)
Kosher Salt
Cracked Black Pepper
For version #2: Chicken Broth


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel and clean the vegetables. Cut them into pieces that are roughly 1/2″. Pour the veggies into a bowl and stir in olive oil, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. (I also added the juice of half a lime at this point, but that was only to prevent oxidation since I wasn’t roasting right away.) Spread the veggies onto a roasting pan and place into the oven for about 10 minutes. Stir and roast for another 10 minutes until soft. Serve.

Version two:

Place roasted veggies in food processor. Add chicken broth and process until smooth. Reheat if necessary and serve.

I roasted my veggies too long. They were done at the times listed in the recipe, but I kept cooking them hoping they’d get a little color. They didn’t.

I liked both versions of this recipe. I wish I hadn’t overcooked them, they were a little tough. The pureed version in particular is sweet with a peppery bite. My two year old ate two helpings of the pureed ones. My husband was not a fan of either.

And Dan’s entry:

Double Deep-Fried Twinkie-Enrobed Spear of Sweet Potato

Double Deep-Fried Twinkie-Enrobed Spear of Sweet Potato

(Based on seeing deep-fried Twinkie vendors at the fair and childhood
memories of pig-in-a-blanket…)

Slice & deep fry sweet potato spears (a la sweet potato fries) (~ 3 min)
Cut a small hole in one end of a Twinkie & insert fry into hole lengthwise
Roll Twinkie in maple syrup, then mixture of flour & powdered sugar
Cook until turning light brown (~1 min)


And Natalie’s recipe and comments:

Do I always go for the most obvious recipe? Shows that I don’t get to cook, but rather have to feed people, I guess. Anyway, thanks for the challenge (I forgot to take a picture, but you’re not missing anything: imagine little chunks of scarlet and pink-stained vegetables with browned edges on a big baking sheet.)

Oven: 450
Cut in a one-inch dice: 2 parsnips, 4 beets, 2 sweet potatoes. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Drizzle with 2 Tb. maple syrup. Roast for 20-25 minutes, turning once. Serve over couscous. (I ate mine with simmered beet greens and draped a piece of salmon over the veggies for the final 15 minutes, for the fish-eaters.)

Here’s Erika’s entry:

Sponge Bread, or Brown Bread

Sponge Bread, or Brown Bread

And here’s her charming blog post about it:

Here’s Neighbor Nancy’s mean rutabaga recipe (a vegetable I must try):

Take off all the skin with a big ass knife.

Using your strongest knife, try to quarter it. If you can’t, just
assume a longer cooking time. Cut to bite sized pieces as it softens

Boil forever until fork tender. Water must be salted to help tenderize it.

Serve with butter, a nice chunky salt, pretzel salt, sea salt, kosher salt.
Toss with maple syrup.
Creativity: Launch the entire thing with a very sturdy sling shot at
your enemies. I fear that is as creative as it gets tonight.

Finally, Myra’s entry:

Sweet Onion Groosh

Sweet Onion Groosh

1/4 c. butter
2 sweet onions, sliced
1 apple, sliced
3 strawberries, sliced
1/3 c. sherry
2 T. honey
1/8 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. cloves
2 T. half’n’half
1/2 c. green peppers
1 1/2 c. dry rice

Saute onions in butter until caramelized. Add fruit, sherry, honey, spices, and half’n’half. Turn off heat.
Cook rice and add green peppers to it. Eat together.

The sweet onion groosh was interestingly good on the first bite. But the longer I ate it, the stronger my gag reflex became. It didn’t go with the rice. I wouldn’t recommend my recipe.

And that concludes this month’s cooking challenge. Remember to vote for the most creative entry, so that person can win one of the fabulous prizes. 😉


Trackbacks & Pingbacks


  1. * maar says:

    I’d vote for yours, Rachel, although if I saw it at a potluck, I’d probably pass over it and choose the bbq meatballs and potato casserole. 😉 I guess I’m not much of a veggies-by-themselves eater. I’d vote the twinkies as the best-tasting recipe here.

    Posted 9 years, 2 months ago
  2. * precisionink says:

    For best-tasting (I’m guessing, since I haven’t tried the recipe yet. I plan to.) my vote goes to Rachel’s creamy leeks and beets. Why would you leave out the capers, btw?

    For fearlessness, my vote goes to Myra.

    Posted 9 years, 2 months ago
  3. * precisionink says:

    Oops. I re-read. I’m supposed to vote for creativity. I’ll have to give the vote to Myra. (Sorry, Dan, I’m from Wisconsin, the fried-food capitol of the world. Put that thing on a stick, and you’ve got a state-approved breakfast for a little cheesehead.)

    Posted 9 years, 2 months ago
  4. * Gail says:

    I’d vote for Dan’s being the most creative–I’ve never heard of frying twinkies, and I certainly wouldn’t think to put a sweet potato in the middle of it! (Maybe the fried twinkies thing is commonplace for some people and I’ve just been missing out.)

    Posted 9 years, 2 months ago
  5. * Dan says:

    I’d vote for Myra’s, just for the name and the description made me laugh.

    Posted 9 years, 2 months ago

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: