Recipes to Help You Spice Up Your Vegetables

Try Ina Garten's recipes for sweet potato fries and broccoli.

Oct. 28, 2008 — -- Vegetables — something most people know they should eat but just have a hard time trying to swallow. Well, Ina Garten has found a way to keep the healthy factor of veggies without sacrificing the taste.

Check out her recipes below and for more food ideas try the "GMA" recipe index. Also, with the holidays rolling around, many people are looking for a way to give. Click here to find a food bank in your area. Note: Though four recipes were featured on the show, "GMA" only is allowed to post two of them.

Parmesan-Roasted Broccoli

Broccoli is one of the green vegetables that's available year-round. Look for firm heads with tight florets and stalks with green leaves. I cut the broccoli in florets with about an inch or two of stem below the head but you can peel the stems and use them, too, if you prefer. Roasting the broccoli with garlic and Parmesan gives this dish great flavor. Ingredients

4 to 5 pounds broccoli

4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced

Good olive oil

11/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (page 43)

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves (about 12 leaves) Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Directions Cut the broccoli florets from the thick stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets. Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned. Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with 11/2 tablespoons olive oil, the lemon zest, lemon juice, pine nuts, Parmesan, and basil. Serve hot.

Courtesy of "Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics"

Baked Sweet Potato 'Fries'

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled

2 tablespoons good olive oil

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Directions Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Halve the sweet potatoes lengthwise and cut each half into 3 long spears. Place them on a sheet pan and toss with the olive oil. Spread the potatoes in one layer. Combine the brown sugar, salt, and pepper and sprinkle on the potatoes. Bake for 15 minutes and then turn with a spatula. Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Sprinkle lightly with salt and serve hot.

Courtesy of "Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics"