Rosemary, sage and other fresh Herbs which tend to be infested with aphids, thrips and other insects. Please check “Special Instructions” below for instructions on checking these fresh herbs for insect infestation.
2-3 pounds of mixed root vegetables such as:
sweet potatoes or yams
2 large red onions, cut in large chunks
6-8 whole peeled shallots
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
several sprigs of fresh rosemary
fresh sage leaves (about 5 or 6)
1 large pumpkin
OPTIONAL: Roasted red and green peppers
Pre heat oven to 325. Cut off the top of the pumpkin in such a way that it gives you a “top.” Scoop out the seeds of the pumpkin and save them for toasting, or discard them. Clean out the inside of the pumpkin and rub with olive oil. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and add about 1/2 cup of water. Place the pumpkin in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes until slightly softened on the inside. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Peel and cut the root vegetables in large pieces all about the same size. Place them in a resealable plastic bag with about 1/3 cup of olive oil. Close the bag and shake to coat the vegetables well. Pour the vegetables in a large roasting pan.
Add the cut onions, shallots, minced garlic, and herbs. Stir with a large spoon. Sprinkle with the kosher or sea salt and some black pepper. Place the pan, uncovered, in a 425 oven. Roast for about 20 minutes, shaking the pan two or three times. Turn the pan and reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake for another 20 minutes, shaking or stirring to keep the vegetables from burning. Continue baking until all veggies are soft, about 10-20 minutes more. Remove the vegetables to the warm pumpkin and cover with the top. Serve, adding small pieces of the softened pumpkin if you like. Remember to remove the bay leaves before eating.
Variations: Add some roasted red or green peppers. Add a bit of cayenne
pepper for a “hot” taste.Fresh Herbs and Insect Infestation: Rosemary and Sage and other fresh herbs (including basil, cilantro, dill, mint, oregano, parsley) are often used as spices or garnishing. Aphids, thrips and other insects may often be found on the leaves and stems of these herbs. Insects tend to nestle in the crevices between the leaves and branches of herbs. These insects can curl up and stick to the leaf once they come in contact with water. Recommendation: In order to determine if a particular bunch of herbs is infested prior to washing, bang it several times over a white cloth. This is most important when checking oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme. If only one or two insects are found, proceed with the steps below. If three or more insects are detected in a particular bunch of herbs, it should not be used. Inspection: 1. Soak herbs in a solution of cold water and vegetable wash. The proper amount of vegetable wash has been added when some bubbles are observed in the water. (In the absence of vegetable wash, several drops of concentrated non-scented liquid detergent may be used. However, for health reasons, thoroughly rinse off the soapy solution.) 2. Agitate the herbs in the soapy water, in order to loosen the sticking excretion of the bugs. 3. Using a heavy stream of water, thoroughly wash off the soap and other foreign matter from the herbs. 4. Check both sides of each leaf under direct light. 5. If one or two insects are found, rewash the herbs. 6. If any insects are found after repeating the agitation process twice, the entire bunch must be discarded.