Roasted Root Vegetables and Tomato Barley

mmm, leftovers 🙂

refrigerator stragglers

As per usual, tonight’s meal was inspired by things in my refrigerator which need to be eaten soon.  From top left, I have tomato sauce, barley, sweet potato, celery root, turnip, and onion (which didn’t end up getting used).

Since I have only been putting the turnip and celery root in soup, I really wanted to try roasting them.

Roasting vegetables is something I had never done, or even considered, before moving in with Becca.  The first few weeks we lived together she would rave every day about how roasted broccoli was her favorite dessert.  I’m not going to lie, I thought that was a little strange…but I went along with it.  The first time she roasted broccoli for me, though, I was absolutely smitten.  Becca’s pretty big on getting the vegetables charred (I don’t have the patience for it) but it makes such an amazing difference.  It’s so easy, too!  Anyway, I decided to try roasting these to see how the flavor changed.

I was absolutely not disappointed.  The subtle flavor of the celery root seemed to become a little bit stronger, in a good way.  Likewise, the flavor of the turnip became sweeter and lost some of its pungent bite.  Most definitely worth doing again.

Also, I have to go on an aside about these sweet potatoes.  Best. Sweet Potatoes.  Ever.  Bloomingfood’s had them on sale for $0.99/lb, so I grabbed a couple.  The first thing I noticed is that they are much more vibrant than other sweet potatoes I have bought.  The color is much more red than orange.  Becca and I aren’t sure if it’s a different variety, or if it has something to do with being organic.  The flavor is also remarkably better.  Like the color, the flavor seems to “pop” more than a normal sweet potato.  The only reason I am mystified by this is because when it comes to pesticide residue on vegetables, sweet potatoes are one of few vegetables where it doesn’t matter if you buy organic or conventional.  They are found to have the lowest pesticide rating.  This would lead me to believe there isn’t much difference in flavor.  When I’m not so crunched for money I would like to try comparing organic and conventional fruits and vegetables and see if I can detect any differences.

But I digress.

Back to dinner.  Easiest. Meal. Ever.

Roasted Root Vegetables and Tomato Barley

-in a small pan, bring water and barley to a boil.  stir occasionally
-dice 1/2 a turnip, 1/2 a sweet potato, 1/2 a celery root and toss in salt and olive oil
-place in oven at 400 degrees C for ~15 minutes (or until veggies are soft)
-once barley has absorbed all the liquid (~20 minutes), mix in leftover tomato sauce.

-remove vegetables from oven

is there really anything better than roasted vegetables?

-combine vegetables and barley


So, I initially thought parmesan cheese would be good grated over the top of this.  Don’t bother.  It wasn’t all that good.

The crazy thing about roasted vegetables is that no matter how much you make, you never have leftovers.  Becca and I could make 10 pounds of broccoli and honestly eat all of it in one sitting.  I suppose there are worst things, but it’s kind of frustrating when you’re banking on having enough for lunch the next day.  🙂

Total Cost: $2.15

organic barley: $0.60
organic tomato sauce: $0.32
1/2 organic turnip: $0.25
1/2 organic celery root: $0.58
1/2 organic sweet potato: $0.40

I have enough left over for lunch tomorrow, too!!


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