I didn’t intend for it to happen, but when I went to make the roasted vegetables for Sunday dinner, they were all purple! So I threw in a bunch of grapes for good measure.
I sent my husband to the market to get sweet potatoes, and he came back with a purple variety. They were really pretty, and I knew they would be flavorful. I had already sliced a bunch of fingerling potatoes in half, and they happened to be purple and pink. The only onion I had in the house was purple, so I definitely sensed a trend here.
The right place, the right time
After I finished slicing up the vegetables, I glanced at the fruit bowl right next to my cutting board and there was a kind of sorry looking little bunch of grapes that I doubted were going to be eaten. Yes, they were purple, too.
Why not? I decide to toss them in to the roasting pan as well, and boy am I glad I did. The sweet little pops of the grapes were delicious with the roasted vegetables, and the best bite of all was the onion and grapes, so I think I’ll have to experiment with this!
Retaining the unique flavors
Roasted vegetables when I was growing up were usually carrots, potatoes, and onions nestled in a pan alongside some sort of roast. The vegetables were delicious, but they definitely tasted more like the roast than themselves. These vegetables keep their own unique flavors, with a little onion involvement in all.
I had lots of rosemary on hand in pots I’ve lugged in from the garden to protect, and I love this herb with roasted vegetables, especially potatoes, so in it went to the mix.
Of course, use any color of root vegetable you like or have on hand. You might also find yourself one day using regular sweet potatoes, squash, and carrots and have a study in orange…
Roasted (purple) Vegetables (and a fruit)
2 purple sweet potatoes
1 large purple onion
10 or 12 purple and pink fingerling potatoes
Small bunch of grapes
2 bay leaves
2 or 3 rosemary stalks
2 tbsp. duck fat or olive oil
Salt and pepper
Red wine vinegar for drizzling
Place a roasting pan or sheet in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.
Prep the vegetables: Slice the sweet potatoes lengthwise into four sections. Cut the onion pole to pole into six or eight wedges Slice the fingerlings in half lengthwise.
Once the oven and roasting pan are hot, add the duck fat or olive oil. Position the vegetables on the surface with the cut sides down, drizzle with a bit more oil, and sprinkle with salt and lots of pepper. Snuggle the bay leaves and rosemary stems around the vegetables.
Cook for 20 minutes, then turn if they are browned enough. If not, give them another five minutes. Continue cooking after turning just until the vegetables are tender. The sweet potatoes will be done first, and you might have to fish these out earlier, tenting them to keep warm.
When all the vegetables are cooked, remove the bay leaves and rosemary stems, and place on a platter. Drizzle with the vinegar (make sure to get plenty on the sweet potatoes), and finish with a little more salt and pepper.
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