Here on the last day of winter, Teresa and Michael are delighting in their latest garden harvests. Teresa dug winter carrots that she sowed last fall, and Michael’s been enjoying a covered row of collards through this mild winter. Now, they just need Debra to create a good recipe with the two ingredients. For next season, they’re making more plans for multiple crops. Michael has a cold frame ready to plant tomato seeds, and Teresa recently planted peas and lettuce seeds. What vegetables are you planting this spring?
Debra’s Response: Most of the Midwest has experienced a very moderate winter with respect to temperature. The collards and carrots that Michael and Teresa are enjoying have a sweetness to them that is born of being frosted, but not frozen. Today, while planting peas, I noticed that our kale has resprouted from the stems that I cut back last month after we harvested, what I thought, was our last kale. It has been a most surprising winter!
For a quick yet very satisfying side dish, try roasting carrots and collards. Again, I’m offering a free-form recipe; a cooking technique rather than a specific dish.
Roasted Collards and Carrots
Preheat the oven to 425°.
Scrub or peel the carrots, 2-3 per person depending on the size, and slice them into 1 ½” pieces
Toss with 1-2 TBS of olive oil – I use Extra Virgin – and herbs of your choice. One of my favorite combinations is dill, shallot pepper (from Penzy’s) and salt.
Spread the carrots out on a roasting pan. About pans: I have round deep steel pans and stoneware baking sheet pans. Both are great.
Roast for ~25 minutes or until you see the carrots starting to carmelize.
While the carrots are roasting, wash and chop the collards (or kale) into 1-2” pieces.
When the carrots are at where you want them, toss the collards on top, mix quickly, and cook for 5 minutes. The collards will slightly crisp and take on a toasty flavor.
An optional addition: toss some sesame seeds on top of the vegetables when you remove them from the oven.