One thing I love about Fall and Winter is the coziness that accompanies these two seasons. Sweaters, fleece, scarves, layers of blankets, I love it all. In the kitchen it means lots of oven time and normally, slow cooker meals. Sadly, this year my slow cooker is sitting in a storage unit, along with its friends, the stand mixer, food processor, blender and a few others. This means, my little oven is going to be doing all of the heavy lifting in bringing the warmth and coziness to my kitchen.
Roasting is one of my favorite oven methods, and I got the roasting season started with some simple roasted veggies and chickpeas. I threw this together for lunch earlier this week and had the leftovers for dinner with a few Marguez sausages. The beauty of roasted veggies are their versatility. You can enjoy them out of the oven as a side dish, let them cool and throw them into a salad, toss them into some fresh pasta, or pack them into a pita for a sandwich. When I roast vegetables, I roast as many as my baking sheet can handle, and add in a little more for good measure. They are perfect for re-purposed leftovers.
In addition to the veggies, I used a can of chickpeas to add some protein for our lunch. Flavored with some Moroccan spices, this was the perfect side dish to a couple sausages for dinner the next evening. Many veggies take well to roasting, I used tomatoes, red onions, zucchinis, carrots, mushrooms, and peppers because that is what I had on hand. You can easily throw in pumpkin, winter squash, eggplants, potatoes, and even broccoli. Toss everything with some salt, pepper, and olive oil and you are good to go. Or, if you are in the mood, try spicing it up, like I did in the recipe that follows.
ROASTED VEGGIES AND CHICKPEAS
1 medium red onion, cut into large pieces
4-5 small zucchini, washed well and cut into chunks
3-4 carrots, washed, peeled and cut into large pieces
8-10 button mushrooms, halved and quartered
1 large tomato, cut into large pieces
1-2 bell peppers (the color of your choice), cut into large pieces. You can use the veggies that fit your fancy. Many veggies will take to roasting, different veggies, winter squash, pumpkin, root veggies, fennel, etc.
1-2 15 oz. cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Moroccan spice blend (I bought this blend at the souks in the Medina, and to be honest, I don’t know the exact blend, but my best guess is that this is a combination of cumin, coriander, turmeric, nutmeg, curry, cayenne. You omit this entirely, or use rosemary, or oregano to season the veggies.)
Pre-heat the oven to 400F or 200C. Place all of the veggies, garlic, and the drained chickpeas on a large baking sheet, lined with a silicone baking mat. Drizzle over with olive oil, then sprinkle the spices, salt and pepper over. With a large spoon, turn over the veggies to coat evenly with the olive oil and spices.
Here’s a pick with the leftovers redux with Marguez Sausages for dinner: