Finally the County Line farm stand is open!
We no longer buy for everyone, and instead focus on the children, and get little things to contribute to stocking stuffers. As we were leaving St. Augustine for Ocala, I realized I had not bought anything for the stockings, but there was no time. Of course, we left the house later than expected, and as we were beginning to make some time on SR 207, we whizzed by the farm stand at the St. Johns and Putnam County lines (thus, its name), and so I made a U-ey. This year my family received a mountain of fresh local produce. I bought a cabbage the size of a basketball, an enormous head of cauliflower, a bunch of beautiful short and stout carrots, and a stalk of brussel sprouts almost 3 feet tall, (with the leafy greens on top it looked more like a bouquet than a vegetable), five dainty little baby eggplants, a can of Sprite, Diet Coke and a bottle of water for ten dollars and fifty cents.
When we got to Ocala, Chris and Leo carried in the gifts, and I walked in with the bounty from County Line. You would have thought I had won the Blue Ribbon at a 4H competition. Both my parents, one of my sisters, and one of my nephews took pictures of me as I posed with the bouquet of brussel sprouts. Next, we laid them all out on the table in an arrangement to take pictures of them, and later on we ripped off Anne Geddes and posed babies- Evelyn and Lily with the vegetables. All of this was wonderful, and shows I come from people who celebrate food as much as I do.
Anyways, I chose to roast the carrots, brussel sprouts and cauliflower. It was delicious. It was easy. My foodie family was pleased. Yours will be too.
Get whatever vegetables you like, but if you can find fresh brussel sprouts- buy them! After eating them roasted, you will have an appreciation for them you had not known possible.
If the brussel sprouts are medium to large, I cut them in half. Otherwise, I leave them whole, and trim the bottoms to get rid of the hard part that was attached to the stalk.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Wash, dry, and cut the vegetables. I choose to break apart the cauliflower with my hands so it breaks naturally, (If you use a knife you will wind up with more crumbling). If you use carrots, peel them and cut them into long half inch sticks.
Always buy the best extra virgin olive oil you can stand to buy. The cost can be painful at first, but it is worth it.
Put all of your vegetables on your baking sheet. Drizzle generously with olive oil, using your hands to make sure all the vegetables are coated. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Please do not pile the vegetables, give them all a little space to get a little crunchy on the edges.
Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes. Half way through, move them around, and turn vegetables over.
That’s it. Enjoy. You can eat them straight out of the oven, or at room temperature. If you have some Pecorino Romano cheese, or other hard nutty cheese, garnish the cooled vegetables with it. Use your vegetable peeler to make big wide strips. You will thank me for it.
Heather Saalfeld has lived and worked in downtown St. Augustine for the last 15 years. She has a ten year old son, Leo and a bad dog named Jeffe. Her passions are travel, food and entertaining. She is a bartender at St. George Tavern and Cap’s on the Water, and a full time student at Flagler College. In her spare time she attempts to garden. Her best days are spent with family and friends, usually around a large table in the back yard.