The Slow-Cooked Sentence

In the plate-licking aftermath

Rachael Conlin Levy

To counter a week devoted to a single meal, I return from the grocery store with bags overflowing with vegetables: kale and yams, cauliflower, broccoli and swiss chard, a bag of pretty potatoes all purple, red and white, a hefty butternut squash. Instead of stuffing them into the refrigerator where they’ll grow pale and weak like a winter’s shadow, I cook them all.

I wash, chop, slice, and pour the vegetables onto cookie sheets. I bathe them in olive oil, crack pepper and sprinkle salt over them, then tuck them into a roasting oven. They emerge transformed: caramelized, charred in spots, and utterly delicious. I stuff them into jars along with cloves of toasted garlic. Over the week, these vegetable, which have been cooked in under two hours, will be added to many meals. They’ll find their way into curry and onto toast, they will thicken soup and get tucked into quesadillas.

This is awesome fast food.


The necessary bravado and burst of energy need to buy forty dollars worth of vegetables and transform them into consumable convenience originated from the delightful cookbook “An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace” by Tamar Adler. It’s pretty awesome, too.

4 responses to “In the plate-licking aftermath”

  1. Have been reading only 10 minutes since I got up and already, between your blog and a few others, have 5 books to look up at the library. Good average, that–a book every 2 minutes! 🙂 Love roasted veggies, too. But without escargot.

  2. Andrea says:

    Mmmm, sounds wonderful. We watched “Forks Over Knives” Thanksgiving night (how’s that for irony?) and while I’m not quite ready to go full-on vegan, it definitely inspired me to get a lot more fresh vegetables into our meals (and cut way back on cheese and eggs). I like the idea of cooked-ahead veggies. Maybe my husband would even use them when he cooks if I did that!

  3. Rachael says:

    Christina, that little snail was safely carried to the back door, but the second I discovered only after it had spent too many fateful minutes in the hot pan. (Shhh, I never shared that with my family!)

    Andrea, there’s nothing like roasting potatoes in the same pan that held the chicken drippings. Yum!

  4. An excellent method of cooking for the week. My husband loves to talk about his Sunday post-farmers market roast. It is so wonderful having all that goodness ready to add to meals during the week. We just got home from a trip yesterday evening and are without a stash of roasted vegetables. We only have one funky bunch of kale in the vegetable drawer that needs to move on to the compost bin. So sad… Hope you are enjoying yours.

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