June 19, 2013
Written by Robin Glowa
Tuesday, 19 January 2010 09:44
“I was 32 when I started cooking; until then I just ate.”
— Julia Child
My idol, Julia Child, discovered later in life the magnificent joys and benefits of cooking.
This awakening inspired her to explore the world of cooking with complete concentration; and her great zeal and zest for life, love and good food continues to stimulate legions of fans. Through her books and television programs, she went on to teach so many of us the glories of great food and great company.
Child knew that food is not just about what goes into your mouth, but what feeds your heart and soul. She knew firsthand how the food of love, literature, music, travel and adventure all combine to create a delicious life.
During the frigid days of January, the body and soul call out for intensely warming foods. Roasted vegetables fit the bill nicely.
Bathe cut-up pieces of root vegetables such as parsnips, potatoes, butternut squash, onions, carrots and Brussels sprouts in olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper; and roast at a high temperature (425 degrees) until they are tender inside and caramelized on the outside to a sumptuous, sticky sweetness. Their transformation into crusty cubes of lusciousness will add succulent flavor and fortitude to cold-weather dining.
Roasted vegetables also can be puréed into silky side dishes that will harbor a hint of smokiness. Carrots puréed and blended with a bit of cinnamon and cardamom are particularly delicious with a roast chicken or pork loin.
Mediocre, tasteless winter tomatoes turn into sensational bites of sunshine when roasted. These toothsome tidbits can be used as a pizza topping, an hors d’oeuvre or as a base for tomato-basil soup. Nothing, but nothing, restores and warms the body like a steaming bowl of soup.
Roasted vegetables will deliver warming, healing vitamins and nutrients; and deep, decadent deliciousness. As Child would say, “Bon appétit!”
Makes 24 pieces
1 day-old baguette (sliced into 24 pieces and brushed on both sides with extra-virgin olive oil)
1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese or a good-size log of goat cheese (or no cheese)
2 1/4 pounds fresh plum tomatoes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
freshly cracked black pepper
1 bunch fresh basil
In a 400 degree oven, toast bread slices until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
Slice plum tomatoes in half, lengthwise. Remove seeds. Arrange cut-side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Roast tomatoes for about 50 minutes, until tender and lightly charred. Let cool.
To assemble bruschetta: Cut mozzarella into thin, even slices and put slices on toasted bread; or spread goat cheese evenly onto toasted bread. Top with roasted tomato half and chopped basil. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil, if desired.
Robin Glowa is a holistic health counselor who specializes in teaching healthy cooking classes for adults and children, privately or in groups.
She also conducts workshops and classes, with an emphasis on healthy ingredients, for many local organizations.
Glowa is certified by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and Columbia University Teachers College.
She is a member of the Northeast Organic Farming Association and the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.
Her column, “The Conscious Cook,” appears in publications throughout New England.
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