Vegetables are a wonderful thing!  I can’t get enough of them.  They’re packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and the list goes on.  Not only are they good for you, they are also very versatile to cook with, and come in an infinite combination of colors, shapes, and textures.  Now, this may not mean much to to everyone, but …me…well, let’s just say I do my christmas shopping in the produce isle.  Veggies, are exciting to me, and they should be to you too! So I wanted to share a cooking technique that works on every vegetable known to mankind.  It;s painfully simple too. First, turn on some mood music, I like Marvin Gaye, but thats just me…Next preheat an oven to 400.  Lay out a sheet of parchment paper big enough to close arond all of your vegetable matter, and lay the vegatbles tenderly in the center.   If it’s a large vegetable like a pumpkin or a head of cabbage, consider cutting it down into smaller more manageable peices, as this will make cooking and eating much more enjoyable.   Give a liberal sprinkling of salt, pepper, and whatever combination of herbs or spices or seasoning that you desire.  Now, add enough fat over the top of the vegitables to coat.  It could be olive oil, butter, sesame oil, candle wax…scratch that last.  Finally, fold the parchment over all the vegitables and crimp it closed as tightly and securely as you can, put on a sheet tray seam side up, and roast for as long as it takes to get them barely fork tender.  I just can’t give you an exact time, I’m sorry.  Please don’t be mad, I promise it will be worth it.Check after 10 minutes, and check back every few minutes after that.  The idea is that we are combining different elements of different cooking methods to make a super cooking method that gives us that best parts of each.  The vegetables are essentially steaming, roasting, and frying all at the same delicious time.  The Italians call this method “en cartoccio”, and I also suspect this is how mob bosses in little Italy deal with wise guys.  Since the veggies are in such a tight space, this will minimize nutrient loss and maximize flavor.  And since we are using parchment paper(which is heat resistent) not foil, we have more protection from the harsh metallic environment of the oven and wont have to be as worried about overcarmelizing (burning) our food.  Once the vegetables are out, we have more options to consider.  We could adjust the seasoning, and eat just like that.  We could sautee in a hot pan to get a nice crust and a more intense flavor.  We could puree them and turn it into a soup…or we could take the puree and put it in an ice cream churn and make ice cream ot of it… or not, I mean, it’s just an idea.  Eventually all my ideas turn into ice cream.  Just something you’ll have to deal with.  Any how,  this method is fast, easy, and in my opinion, produces the best results for preserving the beautiful flavors and textures of the vegetable.  My present to you!  See you soon.


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