Nelson Chef Jamie Hertz shares his secrets behind roast vegetables and his love for Easter.

Nelson chef offers tips for roasting vegetables

Nelson chef Jamie Hertz offers his suggestions on creating the perfect roast vegetables.

So Easter has come and gone and it’s one of my favourite times of year.  The trees start budding and everyone starts to think about getting their gardens ready for planting their vegetables.  We start to see the light with the warm weather ahead and it brings everyone’s spirits up.  One of the reasons I like Easter so much is it is the last family holiday until the fall.  I mean there are others in between but Easter has a special quality to it.  It is the last time we eat Ham or Turkey until Thanksgiving and the last meal that has some heartiness to it.

My family is back in Ontario so getting back to see them is difficult, but Nelson is home to my second family and very dear friends so I spent my time with them.  We do a potluck to spread out the work load and I have to say I love this style.  You get to see a different twist on dishes and see how creative some can get.  I have to say I am very lucky to have friends that have great taste in food so there are very few times where there is a disappointing dish.

I was on vegetable duty which can be very boring but a great challenge.  I wanted to stay away from the mashed squash or heavy dishes that stick to your ribs and go for something with beautiful earth tones in flavour.  I chose to do a variety of roasted vegetables and have each element bring something to the table.  I used leeks, radishes, purple top turnips, cauliflower, and broccoli rab.  Yes I said cooked radishes and I am amazed how many people have never had a cooked radish.  Try it and I am certain you will be pleasantly surprised.  You have to be careful when you are using many different kinds of vegetables because they have different cooking times and each must reach the point of perfection otherwise you will spoil the other flavors.

When you roast something like vegetables, they eventually turn golden brown.  This is the sugars inside that begin to caramelize and accentuate the flavours of whatever it is you are using.  I first clean and wash all of my produce before cooking them.  I like to give them a quick blanch before roasting them but you must use caution when doing this.  If you over cook them slightly and then roast them, then you will be left with mush.  Mush is bad!!  In the culinary world we cook things al dente meaning to the tooth.  It has some bite or crunch to it.

You should set up your blanching water with some flavour and I think this is often over looked.  You should be trying to maximize your flavour potential when cooking and starting with the blanching water should be done.  Add a little acid like lemon or lime to it or even some white wine.  It is amazing how much flavor is absorbed into your little vegetables.

Once you blanch your vegetables you should immediately dump them into an ice bath to stop the carry over cooking and keep their bright colours.

Now the roasting bit can be done all together as the blanching should have leveled out the cooking times.  Simply toss them with nice oil, salt pepper and roast until beautiful golden brown.  You can try tossing some nice hard herbs like thyme or rosemary and don’t forget to finish with a little squeeze of lemon once they are out and resting.

Chef Jamie Hertz


Just Posted

Firesmart program has homeowners ‘thinking like an ember’

RDCK offering free home assessments to protect homes from wildfires

RDCK issues evacuation order to Deer Creek residents

Local state of emergency declared in the area because of Deer Creek fire

Delays on Highway 3 at Kootenay Pass

DriveBC reminding travellers the area is an active wildfire zone and warning of fallen debris.

Nelson designer raises money for New York Fashion Week trip

Lillea Goian will show off her work next month

Trail company bids to replace Greyhound for Nelson-Kelowna run

Silver City Stage Lines has applied to the Passenger Transportation Board

Social media, digital photography allow millennials to flock to birdwatching

More young people are flocking to birdwatching than ever, aided by social media, digital photography

Vehicle fire on the Coquihalla

Heavy congestion in north bound lanes

East Kootenay fire victim honoured

Bradley Patrick Tipper remembered as gentle-hearted and generous

Lightning blamed for most recent regional fires

Southeast Fire Centre says 90 per cent of the 342 fires recently reported are lightning-caused

Prime minister greeted by B.C. premier as cabinet retreat begins

PM Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan meet in advance of federal cabinet meetings in Nanaimo

Are your kids anxious about going back to school?

BC Children’s Hospital offers tips to help your children be mindful and reduce stress

New trial ordered for James Oler in B.C. child bride case

Meanwhile, appeal court dismisses Emily Blackmore’s appeal of guilty verdict

This trash heap in Vancouver could be yours for $3.9 million

Sitting atop 6,000 square feet, the home was built in 1912, later destroyed by fire

Team Canada’s next game postponed at Little League World Series

They’re back in action on Wednesday against Peurto Rico

Most Read