How To Roast Vegetables
Alternatively titled: Vegetables That Even Your Kids Will Eat
Several of you have asked if I could share my tips on cooking vegetables, particularly roasting them. I make no bones about it. I am not a veggie person. I particularly dislike them raw. I do like fresh veggies if they are cooked JUST RIGHT (not too crisp, not too mushy), and my very favorite way to eat a fresh veggie is to roast it. In fact, there are some veggies (carrots and brussels sprouts, to name a couple) that I will ONLY eat roasted. Roasting vegetables is great because it retains the vitamins that you often lose when you boil them, and it has a way of bringing out their sweetness.
Roasting is also nice because it’s so simple. All you need is a sheet pan with short sides, olive oil, and salt & pepper. Since there are so few ingredients, it’s important that they are GOOD ingredients. I use “Real Salt” and freshly ground pepper from good pepper corns, and I always buy a good quality organic olive oil. Sometimes I throw in some garlic or a fresh herb, but usually I just make them plain.
Here’s what you do:
1) Heat your oven to 400 degrees.
2) Wash and chop your veggies as desired and spread out on a sheet pan.
3) Drizzle the veggies with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4) Using tongs or clean hands, mix them together so that the oil and salt and pepper are evenly distributed, and spread the veggies out in a single layer. Like this.
5) Then pop them in the oven, and cook to desired doneness, turning once. Cooking time actually varies quite a bit, so experiment (or research online) when trying a new veggie. They’re done when they’re lightly browned, but you don’t want to over cook them either. Ideally, the green vegetables will still have some crispness to them when they’re done.
Variations: Thyme is great with potatoes. (I use the little bitty potatoes and quarter them.) I often grate fresh Parmesan cheese over asparagus when it comes out of the oven. Dill is great on carrots.
You can roast green and yellow squash with onions. You can do things like eggplant (not my favorite, so I can’t speak to that one, but I’ve seen it done.) You can roast just about anything.
Here are some photos I took of roasted brussels sprouts and asparagus last week:
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