Fort Mill Times

Cooking with Joy - October 15, 2008

Joy Smith of Fort Mill, an English teacher until she became a mother, refined her culinary skills as a homemaker and now has a fully stuffed and still growing collection of recipes to share.
Joy Smith of Fort Mill, an English teacher until she became a mother, refined her culinary skills as a homemaker and now has a fully stuffed and still growing collection of recipes to share.

We lived in Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., from 1979 to 1998, and our local Westchester County newspaper had what I considered to be an excellent food section. Reading this informative section each week was a joy. It certainly expanded my culinary horizons, and I really looked forward to it.

I still have numerous articles I clipped and saved from this section of the paper. One in particular, a vegetarian column, titled "Garlic Is a Good Guy in Your Diet," was a keeper.

According to the article on garlic, garlic-based medical remedies go back to at least 1500 B.C. It was used to cure headaches, dress battle wounds, and ward off evil spirits. The article goes on to say that modern research shows that garlic reduces levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol and can be used to treat diabetes, pneumonia, anemia, arthritis and colitis. Wow!

After reading about all the wonderful benefits of garlic in this vegetarian column, I just had to try one of the recipes. One, called "Roasted Vegetables with Garlic and Rosemary," peaked my interest. It sounded good, and boy is it ever!

This recipe combines garlicky roasted vegetables and fresh rosemary for a wonderful marriage of flavors. A dash of balsamic vinegar just before serving is the perfect final touch to this delicious side dish. Even if you don't like vegetables I'll bet you'll like it. Just try a little "brownie bite," as my mother would say, and I think you'll be hooked.

To serve, garnish this pretty combination of vegetables with sprigs of fresh rosemary. I know for sure people just love this because I've taken it to lots of parties and all that's left is an empty casserole dish.

This recipe serves four people, but it can easily be doubled or tripled. A word to the wise: If you're making this for a group, make lots of it. You'll be glad you did!

Roasted Vegetables with Garlic and Rosemary

4 cups water

6 red potatoes (2 to 3 inches in diameter) cut in 1 inch cubes

1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 green bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces

3 cups mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed, and halved if large

10 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Bring water to a rapid boil in a large saucepan. Boil potato cubes for 5 minutes. Drain potatoes thoroughly, and in a large bowl toss cooked potatoes with bell peppers, mushrooms, garlic, olive oil and rosemary until vegetables are well coated with oil and rosemary.

Spread vegetables on a broiler pan lined with tin foil and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Broil for 10-12 minutes until slightly crisped and browned at the edges. Stir once or twice to ensure even cooking.

Return roasted vegetables to the bowl and toss with vinegar. Serve hot or at room temperature.

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