Friday, June 29, 2018


My daughter has been visiting this past week—a rare event. One of her main goals was to clear out her former room and either toss or donate the stuff she didn’t want, or pack up the (fewer) treasured items to take back with her to Chicago. I heartily applaud her efforts (and I’ve only rescued two things from her discard pile—so far).

So she drove from Illinois to Massachusetts, and on the way she stopped at a farmers market in New York state. Clearly she’s my daughter! One of her finds was a batch of skinny sweet potatoes, and since she (and they) arrived I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with them.

Then it hit me: it’s summer! Grill them! The only problem with that was that someone (who was not me) put away our vintage Weber grill last fall without cleaning it, and I didn’t feel up to scrubbing it. But then I realized that the oven would do as well, although I do regret giving up the smoky flavor that outdoor grilling would have added. But I can make the recipe again—it’s easy and quick, and the dish would pair well with most grilled meats or even fish.

I could give you measurements for the ingredients, but that seems kind of silly, and not critical to making this. I ended up making enough to serve two to four people as a side dish. I was a little fuzzy on how much time it would take to actually cook the vegetables through, so I included some steps that ensured  they’d be cooked without getting mushy.


Skinny sweet potatoes (these weren’t too sweet, which was good)
Other vegetables of your choice (I had a lot of colored carrots, so I chose the pale yellow ones by color to complement the orange potatoes)
Small bunch of chives (home grown!)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, and
Pomegranate molasses! (I’d never tried it, but I couldn’t resist buying a bottle when I saw it. It proved a good choice! And it's not too sweet or sticky.)


Scrub the potatoes (thin skinned, so they didn’t require peeling). Peel the carrots. Cut all the vegetables into roughly similar-size pieces about one inch long.

Parboil the vegetables in boiling water for about five minutes to soften. Drain well and let cool slightly.

Parboiled (and steaming!)

In a large bowl, add to the vegetables some chopped chives (or other herbs—I was out of parsley). Sprinkle liberally with olive oil, salt and pepper, and add the pomegranate molasses (you might want to taste it first, to see how much you like it). Toss the vegetables until they are evenly coated (you don’t need too much liquid—just enough to coat the pieces).

If you haven’t charged up your grill, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with heavy-duty foil and spread the vegetables evenly on it. Place in the middle of the preheated oven and bake for about 5 minutes (just in case the parboiling didn’t do the trick). Then turn on the broiler and broil until the vegetables just begin to brown around the edges. 

Remove from the oven and serve (hot or warm). 

If you are doing this on an outdoor grill, you can make one or more foil packets and place them on the grill itself. Leave the packets open at the top so the vegetables can absorb the cooking flavors. (If you want to make this more intense, you could cook them with the grill cover closed, before your meat or fish or whatever, then set them aside and cook the rest of the meal with the top open.

This is obviously a very flexible recipe. Make it with whatever you happen to have on hand, or whatever very fresh vegetables you find at a market. Season to taste. Just don’t overcook them!

And then there's this! Murder at the Mansion, the first book in my new Victorian Village series. Released just this week by Minotaur Books.

Find it at all the usual places, or check my website for more details (like what some kind reviewers have said about it!)


  1. Aren't you doing well to have grabbed only two things from the discard pile?! Well, so far.

  2. I like that the molasses is not too sweet.