Sunday, 18 October 2009

How To Roast Vegetables Simply



by Melinda Briana Epler
One Green Generation

When I bring my lunch to work, or I tell people what we had for dinner last night, people are often impressed with my roasted vegetables. "How do you do that?" I'm often asked. Yes, I remember before my husband went to cooking school, I had no idea how to roast veggies, and it sounded really difficult!

Well I'm here to tell any of you who don't know how, that it is one of the easiest things to cook when you have a busy schedule like mine. Basically, you do a very small bit of prepping, and then you set it and forget it.



How To Roast Vegetables Simply

The following is Matt's awesome recipe - enjoy!

Ingredients.

  • Seasonal Vegetables
  • Cooking Oil (we prefer olive oil)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Steps.

  1. Preheat the oven to 400. Matt says, “Set it and forget it, don’t listen to recipes that give different temperatures for everything.”
  2. Chop the vegetables into large pieces (photos above).
  3. Put the vegetables in a large bowl and coat in oil (we prefer olive oil). For the amount of veggies above, we used 2-3 tablespoons. Don’t be afraid of over-oiling - the extra will just pool at the bottom of the bowl.
  4. Toss!
  5. Salt heavily. I throw in a small handful of salt.
  6. Toss!
  7. Pepper the vegetables well, but don’t over do it.
  8. Toss!
  9. Place the vegetables on baking sheet, without over-packing them. The vegetables should lightly touch, but not pile up on top of each other. If you’re roasting a lot of vegetables, put different vegetables on different baking sheets. If you’re roasting vegetables of very different cooking times (eg, potatoes and broccoli) you can put them on different baking sheets and stagger the timing - or just throw it all together like we often do.
  10. Give the veggies a good stir with a metal or wooden spatula about 15-20 minutes in.

Total roasting time is between 30 minutes and 1 hour, depending on what you're cooking. Taste to see if it's done - you may like it crispier or you may like it just barely soft. (Or if you like them a bit browned, you can switch to broil at the end for some quick extra color.)

That's it! Serve as a snack, as a side dish, or as a main dish over couscous, rice, bulgar wheat, farrow wheat, or some other tasty whole grain.

Variations are plentiful. We often add fresh herbs. For example, rosemary and potatoes go well together, thyme and carrots go well together, sage and cauliflower go well together. You can also try different oils - canola oil has a lighter flavor. A little lemon juice or orange zest gives it a bit of zing. Matt likes to sneak in a few cayenne pepper flakes for a splash of heat.



Veggies That Are Good For Roasting


Our favorites are potatoes, corn, summer squash, winter squash, garlic, peppers (hot and sweet), eggplant, onions, scallions (put them in toward the end), carrots, beets, bulb fennel, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli.

Others we've successfully roasted include tomatoes, string beans (put them in toward the end), lemons, greens (right at the end, put them in for a minute or two), garlic scapes.... We haven't roasted anything we didn't like, so have fun and experiment!

What Do You Like To Roast?