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Roasted vegetables, Thai-style

Posted by Jeanne on November 7, 2009

I first encountered Mark Bittman and his book How to Cook Everything when I was in college.  I don’t actually own a copy of the book, but I remember going to it over and over to figure out what to do with this thing called a kitchen that was placed in my apartment.  I have given it as a gift numerous times – it’s such a good reference, and is great for the person who wants to learn how to cook, not just how to follow a recipe.

He’s come out with several other books – I have (and often use) The Best Recipes In the World and I’ve heard good things about How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, although I don’t own a copy.  Bittman also writes The Minimalist column for the New York Times, and has a blog there called Bitten.   That’s where I found this recipe.

Roasted vegetables, Thai-style

Yield As a main dish, 4 servings; as a side dish, 6 to 8 servings

Time About an hour

Mark Bittman

Summary:  The finished vegetables are saucy enough, and certainly substantial enough, to serve on top of plain white rice as a main course.  (This is true, and this is how we served it).


* 1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil

* 1 medium-to-large potato, peeled and diced (we didn’t have any potatoes that night, so I used 2 large carrots instead)

* 1 medium-to-large eggplant, diced (I used some tiny eggplants we got from Liz and Nancy after that freak early-October snow we had this year.  Aren’t they adorable?)


Eggplant note:  you can eat the skin of an eggplant; when they are larger the skin is tough and chewy and not very tasty.  On these guys I just left the skin, but on full-sized eggplants I usually peel them halfway, leaving a few strips of skin for the awesome purpleness.  After all, there are few purple foods, and purple food is kind of cool.

* 1 red pepper, cored, stemmed and cut into strips

* 1 cup peas (frozen are fine)

* 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed

* 4 peeled shallots or 1 onion, quartered

* 8 to 12 cloves garlic, peeled

* Salt and freshly ground black pepper

* 2 tomatoes, cut into eighths (we used a handful of cherry tomatoes)

* 1/4 cup green, yellow or red curry paste, or to taste (start slow, especially if you are not into spicy food – you can always add more but you can’t really take it out once it’s in there)

* 1 cup coconut milk (I used one 14.5 oz. can)

* 1 tablespoon fish sauce

* 1 tablespoon soy sauce

* Lime and chopped fresh cilantro, mint and/or Thai basil leaves for garnish


1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place a deep ovenproof skillet or casserole over medium heat and add all but a tablespoon of oil. A minute later, add all vegetables except tomatoes; sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir.


Put pan in oven and roast, stirring once or twice, for 30 minutes.


Add tomatoes, stir, and continue to roast until vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, about 45 minutes to an hour total.

2. Put remaining oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add curry paste and stir; whisk in coconut milk, fish sauce, and soy sauce and bring to a simmer. Keep warm.  (The original recipe adds chunky peanut butter – I don’t really like peanut butter in Thai sauces.  If you want a peanutty taste, I would suggest chopping some roasted peanuts and adding them at the end rather than using peanut butter.)

3. When vegetables are done, stir in coconut milk mixture. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more soy sauce or curry paste if necessary. Garnish with herbs and serve hot or warm.


Ok, so it kind of looks like a greyish mess.  I blame the eggplant.  Greyish mess or not, this is nice and tasty and a great way to use up lots of vegetables that were hanging about in our kitchen.


See?  Weird-looking.  Tasty though.

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