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big, easy bites

5 easy pieces, part 2: roasted potatoes and turnips

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By Jen White · November 28, 2012 · 0 Comments ·

There's nothing easier than roasting vegetables, and this is a great combination that yields crispy red-skinned potatoes, caramelized sweet potatoes, and robust little baby turnips whose tops become crunchy after a long baking time.  I love to cook vegetables this way; it's an easy side dish that will go with just about anything, needs hardly any seasoning at all, and will look after itself for most of its oven time.  Sometimes I'll pop a pan of veggies in the oven and THEN decide what the main course will be for dinner, while they're baking.  

You can season roasted roots however you want: salt and pepper, fresh or dried herbs, spices such as curry powder or paprika.  There are no rules! I've never tried a roasted vegetable I didn't like.  Lagniappe: Make a really big batch, then puree the leftovers the next day with chicken stock for roasted vegetable soup!

<strong>roasted potatoes and turnips


  • 3 medium red skinned potatoes, cut in 1" chunks
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, cut in 1" chunks
  • 1 pound baby turnips, tops trimmed (or regular turnips, cut in 1" chunks)
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste (plus any herbs and/or spices you like)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. In a large, shallow baking pan, combine the potatoes and turnips.  Drizzle with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Toss with your hands to coat and distribute the oil evenly, spreading everything out into a single layer.  Add more seasoning if necessary.
  3. Roast for 40 to 60 minutes, until browned and tender, stirring once or twice throughout the cooking process. 

serves 3 as a side dish

See part 1 of 5 Easy Pieces: smoked salmon breakfast pizza

on sustainability, part 2: the thoughtful composter

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By Jen White · August 24, 2011 · 0 Comments ·

This summer, Paul and I tried growing a few vegetables and herbs in containers on our porch, and for first-time growers, we managed to do an acceptable job.  We ate about 12 remarkably sweet tomatoes [pictured at left], some bell and cayenne peppers, strawberries, and raspberries, and never wanted for herbs.  We did some bare-bones growing, not using any pesticides, of course, but also not really feeding the plants, which we're realizing now would've made some of the other things we planted--eggplant and zucchini, for instance--actually produce.  So before we plant for the fall, we're doing some serious studying.


My friend Donn Cooper is a genius gardener.  He's so good at it, in fact, that he now manages the garden at Greyfeld Inn on beautiful Cumberland Island, Georgia.  Recently, I asked Donn if he had any composting tips to share with us and our readers.  Now, Donn is always a very thoughtful person (see this article I linked to last week), whether he's baking biscuits, discussing books, or playing pool--but he's an exceptionally talented educator, as you can see in this wealth of information he's been so kind to share.  If you are in the deep South's temperature zone, have sandy soil, or are just interested in what the heck compost is for, read on--and feel free to add your own two cents.

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