Gardening Articles: Health :: Cooking

Harvest Feast (page 3 of 3)

by A. Cort Sinnes

Roasted Beets and Carrots with Orange Ginger Sauce

In the days of the Pilgrims, beets and carrots were of the mammoth variety - the best size for winter keeping - and were traditionally roasted over or in the coals. Once you've tried them, you'll wonder why we ever stopped cooking them that way. Absolutely delicious!

To charcoal-roast beets: After removing the tops, either lay the beets directly on top of white-hot charcoal briquettes or, if you have enough briquettes, actually bury the beets in the coals. Allow to cook for 45 to 60 minutes, depending on the size (hardball-sized beets will roast tender in about 45 minutes). If the beets are resting on top of the coals, turn once or twice to evenly "char" on all sides. Once the beets are tender, remove from the coals and allow to cool to the point where you can handle them. Using a sharp knife, remove the charred skins and slice the beets into 3/8-inch rounds.

To charcoal-roast carrots: Wash and scrub (but don't peel) carrots. Place them on the cooking grate, directly over the coals (which should be white hot). Turn every 10 to 12 minutes until nicely browned on all sides. Large carrots will cook tender in about 35 to 45 minutes, Allow to cool slightly and then slice lengthwise in 3/8-inch slices.

Arrange warm beets and carrots on a platter, drizzle with Orange Ginger Sauce (see recipe below) and garnish with a little chopped parsley, if desired.

Orange Ginger Sauce

2 T mayonnaise
4 T fresh orange juice
1/4 t salt
1/2 c freshly grated ginger root, skin intact

Combine mayonnaise, orange juice and salt. Using your hands, gather grated ginger together in a ball, and squeeze tightly over the mayonnaise mixture. You'll be amazed at the amount of juice that comes out! Discard the pulp. Stir mixture and pour over warm, sliced beets and carrots.

Pandora's Turkey

Here's the simplest and best way I know to cook a turkey for Thanksgiving, or for that matter, at any time of the year. You'll need a covered kettle grill for this recipe. The reason it's Pandora's turkey is because once the turkey goes on the grill and the cover is put in place, there's no peeking allowed - period! The best part is that you can cook a 18- to 22-pound turkey in 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Here's how:

Ignite five pounds of charcoal briquettes in a covered grill.

Remove turkey from refrigerator 1/2 hour before grilling. Wash and dry it, and stuff neck and body cavities with a few handfuls of chopped celery and onions, mixed with a few tablespoons of melted butter and poultry seasoning.

Rub outside of the bird with vegetable oil or melted butter; sprinkle with seasoned salt and pepper, and place it in an disposable aluminum roasting pan.

When coals are hot, arrange them in even amounts on opposite sides of the fire grate. Put cooking grill in place, and position turkey (in its pan) directly in the middle.

Put lid on the grill. Leave both top and bottom vents fully open.

Do not remove the lid until the fire goes out, approximately 2-1/2 to 3 hours later, at which time your turkey will be perfectly cooked. Allow it to rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving.

A. Cort Sinnes is the author of more than 20 books on gardening and outdoor living, including The Grilling Encyclopedia: An A-Z Compendium on How to Grill Almost Anything, Atlantic Monthly Press, 1994; $16.

Photograph by National Gardening Association

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