The beauty of roasting


There’s something to be said about roasting, it’s a method of cooking that’s been with us for ages and renders an almost perfect texture and taste at the end. It’s relevant to meats, seafood, vegetables and fruit. Roasting meats on high temperatures pulls the fat out and leaves you with a tender, juicy interior encased by a tasty crusted exterior. Roasting meats on a low heat for a long period of time results in an extremely tender and juicy end result. Roasting vegetables removes the water in the vegetables, concentrates the flavour and caramelises the sugar in the veggies to yield a tender and sweet vegetable. The same applies to fruit but the beauty of roasting fruit is the succulent juicy and tender fruit you get to enjoy at the end.

There are no hard and fast rules to roasting you can experiment and tailor it to your own personal liking.

Roasted beet and onion salad with balsamic vinaigrette

4 medium sized beets, washed

4 medium sized onions

1 large sprig fresh French thyme

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 350F.

Peel onions, lightly score at top.

Place beets and onions onto some heavy-duty aluminium foil.

Combine pepper, balsamic and olive oil, drizzle onto beets and onions, top with sprig of thyme and wrap securely.

Bake until tender about 60 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool.

Peel beets and slice, arrange on platter topped with onions.

Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette, and serve warm.

Balsamic vinaigrette

1 oz balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic minced

3 ozs olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine vinegar with garlic, whisk in olive oil, season with salt and black pepper.

Drizzle onto beets.

Makes about one third of a cup.

Roasted pineapple with brown sugar

1 small pineapple, peeled cored and cut into chunks

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup dark rum (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F.

Place pineapple in a shallow buttered baking dish.

Sprinkle on brown sugar and rum if using.

Roast uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes until pineapple is tender and a bit charred on the edges.

Grilled mango with lime and coriander

2 tbs coconut oil

1 tbs fresh lime juice

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp ground coriander

4 firm but ripe Julie mangoes

Preheat grill to medium.

Combine one tbs oil, lime, salt and coriander

Cut the faces off the mangoes, then score to the skin in a diamond pattern.

Turn inside out.

Brush with remaining oil and grill until slightly charred.

Remove to a platter and drizzle with spice mixture.

Garnish with freshly chopped chadon beni.

Marinated roasted vegetable salad


1 medium eggplant

1 sweet red pepper

1 onion, peeled

1 cup fresh mushrooms, preferably portobella

¼ cup olive oil

6 cloves garlic, minced

salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tbs balsamic vinegar

½ cup chopped fresh basil

Combine olive oil, garlic, vinegar salt and pepper and whisk together.

Slice the eggplant into ¼ inch thick slices.

Rub the vegetables with about 2 tbs of the marinade and let sit for about 30 minutes.

Grill until tender.

Chop vegetables into strips and combine with the remaining marinade.

Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve.

Serves 4 to 6.

Split roasted chicken with guava rum glaze

1 4¼ lb chicken, split into two, washed and cleaned


2 tbs red wine vinegar

4 cloves garlic minced

2 tbs fresh oregano, chopped or minced

2 tbs minced chives

1 tsp salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tbs olive oil

Combine all the marinade ingredients and rub onto the chicken, taking care to get the marinade under the skin as well. Cover and refrigerate for about one hour or overnight.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Place the chicken on a baking rack and place in oven, cook for about 40 minutes until browned on both sides.

Baste chicken with guava glaze, turn and baste other side.

Do not leave too long in the oven with the glaze it will burn easily.

Guava rum glaze

1 cup guava paste

2 tbs ketchup

4 tbs white vinegar

2 tsp yellow mustard

1 tbs brown sugar

1 tbs molasses

¾ tsp cumin

¼ tsp each allspice and nutmeg

2 tsp grated onion

2 tsp minced garlic

4 tbs rum

salt to taste

2 tbs vegetable oil

In a small sauce pan, heat vegetable oil, add onion and garlic, stir to combine, add the rest of the ingredients, cook slowly until well combined and smooth.

Cook until bubbly.

Remove from heat and baste chicken.

Makes about 1 cup.

Refrigerate unused glaze, it would keep for up to 2 weeks

You can use this on grilled mahi mahi or kingfish fillets or grilled steak as well.

Steak and pineapple kebabs with teriyaki syrup


1 lb boneless steak cut into one half inch pieces

1 onion cut into quarters

1 bell pepper cut into pieces

12 pieces fresh pineapple

2 tbs minced chives

2 cloves minced garlic

2 tbs red wine vinegar

1 tbs vegetable oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine steak with all of the above ingredients, marinate for 30 minutes.

12 metal or wooden skewers

Teriyaki syrup

½ cup soy sauce

½ cup rice wine

⅓ cup brown sugar

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbs minced ginger

Combine all the ingredients and simmer until thick, 20 minutes.

Soak wooden skewers in water overnight

Thread steak, vegetables and fruit onto skewers.

Grill or barbeque on high heat for about 10 minutes, until meat is cooked.

Brush with teriyaki syrup.

Remove from heat.

Serves 4 to 6


"The beauty of roasting"

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