Those words could be the name of a cookbook, with every page filled entirely by recipes for the warm, and caramelized goodness that emerges when you roast something. Sweet or savory, meat or vegetable, fruit or bread; let the mouth of your waiting oven swallow all of them whole. Each exiting transformed and tinged with dark crusty morsels of heaven, each a beautiful flavor bomb that will whisper with honesty why cooking is so wonderful.
Still in service to this day, the old Revere Ware my mother cooked with is visibly fatigued by age and frequency. The lid on the dutch oven is nearly out of its screw hole, and has worn down so much there are only rounded edges to grab with her red, crocheted oven mitt. It was the go-to roast beef meal each Sunday that aged the old girl, (The pot, not my Mom. She still looks GREAT.) and we were nearly bent over in anticipation as we sat down for a taste of 1 soft, moist slice of heaven. It was covered with gravy -- dark, speckled with pepper and the fatty charred edges of meat juices -- blanketing everything in carnivorous joy, that sent a prayer of thanks skyward. If you didn't bring your plate to the sink decorated the tell-tale skid marks of a roll that sopped up every bit of it, everyone thought you were out of your gourd. It was that good.
And speaking of gourds, how about let's give a round of applause for that beautiful photo above, featuring one of my favorite things to roast: butternut squash. Orange, sweet, earthy, vibrant and patient; the odd shaped and lightly colored orb lay in my kitchen for three weeks before it became dinner and would have remained perfectly fine for a bit longer if I hadn't come home from the store feeling a chill to the bone and needing something roasted. It's truly a favorite, and so easy to make. For me, what doesn't get devoured hot, gets put in the fridge for another day, and enjoyed cold with a lunch of ham and cottage cheese, or mushed up with a cheesy pasta. Or drizzled with honey and enjoyed with crusty bread and kalamata olives.
You can't mess it up and you can't resist it. Enjoy...
Better Roasted Butternut Squash
Squash (I used a small one. Each quarter was about 4 inches long and 2 inches high)
Salt and Pepper
Garnish with fresh flat leaf parsley
Rinse the gourd. Cut it in half, then half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cover a roasting sheet with foil and place squash on foil. Drizzle about 1/2 T oil on each upper facing half. Cover with Salt and Pepper and a smidgeon of allspice. Roast in a 375 degree oven for 40 minutes or so. Remove and devour!
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Meet the Cook...
My name is Camine Pappas and I love to create beautiful and delicious food that anyone can make. My signature style centers around a love for combining things in a way you might not expect as I work to find a hidden combination of colors, textures and flavors from the things that are in my pantry and/or easy to obtain.