During the peak of the vegetable harvest, a simple vegetable roast with an egg on top is enough to satisfy the whole family for dinner. Sometimes cheese is thrown on top (feta, fresh mozzarella, goat, manchego, fontina, it all works!), sometimes it’s served with pita bread, and sometimes it’s served with tacos. What remains constant is that I use whatever is most abundant, and I include an egg or two per person, thrown on in the last 7 minutes of roasting, for protein. And that is it, dinner in a pan with less than 15 minutes of active work.
This dish also works great with something from the allium family, be it shallots, leeks, onions – anything really. My daughter, who is the choosiest eater in our family, loves the roasted alliums and potatoes best of all. She loves the alliums for their sweetness, and the potatoes because she likes all things potato (aiming to pleases, I will be giving this recipe a try come the fall.)
Members of the allium family store energy in the form of fructose, rather than the more typical starch molecules used by plants for energy storage. The characteristic sweetness of roasted onions results from the breaking down, with heat, of chains of fructose sugars. The extent to which they are broken down depends on the amount of heat and time. The longer onions cook at low heat, the sweeter they become (It will come as no surprise that my source is McGee)