How to Roast Beets, Potatoes etc

Beets and potatoes ready for the oven...
For those of you daunted by the prospect of cooking a ''root vegetable...'' here is an easy way to do it: pretend you are cooking a potato. 
Except one that is far more nutritious than just plain starch. The easiest way to cook a potato, and therefore any vegetable that has the same consistency as that of a potato, is to roast it. Sweet potatoes, beets, turnips, parsnips, carrots, butternut squash, onions... 
Beets, parsnips, turnips, potatoes...
Tonight, in an effort to expand my kids' food repertory, I mixed beets, parsnips and turnips with the potatoes. Roasted to a beautiful golden brown, it was challenging to tell a potato and a turnip apart. Miles took a full piece of ''potato'' into his mouth, and only when he started to chew he asked what vegetable that was. Elena, for the part, told me that her potato tasted ''really weird.''

How to roast...

1. Chop the vegetables you choose that day- or night... about 1 inch per side sounds about right. Some will be round, others square, others shapeless... not a problem. As long as they are all about the same size, they will cook evenly.

2. Place the vegetables in a Pirex 9X13 dish, or whatever glass/ceramic ware you may have. Do not use Teflon bakeware!

3. Generously coat vegetables with olive oil and sea salt, pepper or any other spice you may choose. 

4. Bake at 500ºF, in the middle rack of the oven, for about 15 minutes. Take casserole out of the oven, stir vegetables around, and put them back to cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how soft and/ or browned you like your roasted ''potatoes.'' If the oven does not quite reach 500ºF, no worries. 400ºF to 450ºF roasts just as well- it just takes a bit longer.

And where does one find all those vegetables, along with good quality olive oil and sea salt? Head over to Grassroots- tell them ''Sofia sent you!"

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