I made a terribly embarrassing error the other day: I mistook a bunch of radishes for a bunch of beets. Fortunately, both of these root vegetables roast wonderfully with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs.
In a recent CSA box, I received red and yellow beets. I love these lip-staining vegetables and eagerly awaited a free evening when I could toss them in the oven. I finally got around to doing so last week when Rob and I made maple curry chicken penne. He was doing some fancy flipping while sauteing the onions and I was taking the new carrot peeler out of its packaging. (Rob’s apartment is a bit barren of kitchen utensils and our shopping lists just as often include implements as ingredients.)
I started peeling a “beet” and to my surprise the meaty center was not red but white! It was then that I realized that these were not mammoth beets but simply radishes. Opps. I decided to just throw them in with the potatoes and beets (the yellow ones were, in fact, beets and there was a single, lone red beet in the bunch as well).
Interesting note: Potatoes cook faster than beets. My mom was kind enough to tell me this—and thus advise me to cut the potatoes into larger cubes than the beets so that they wouldn’t burn—when I mentioned my beet-roasting plan. Once you have the vegetables—whatever kinds you discover you are using—chopped, toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs (I used chives since that’s all we had in Rob’s kitchen). Place in the vegetables in a glass pan or bowl so that as many cubes touch the bottom as possible and pop them in the oven, set at 350F. Cook for about 45 minutes or until they reach a desired brownness, stirring halfway through.
By the time my vegetables finished roasting, it was quite late and I only tried one radish (to see if it was a success or failure; it was delicious) before going to bed. On Saturday, however, we heated them up again for breakfast, with scrambled eggs for Rob, a poached egg for me, and they still maintained their crispiness and flavor—good to know so that I can make them in advance next time I have the girls over for brunch.