As noted in my recipe for Roasted Carrots, I roast almost all of my vegetables. They simply taste better that way. There are two keys to roasting vegetables: high heat and evenly sized vegetables.
Oh, and some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Everything else is just a variation on the theme.
Also, don’t crowd your vegetables, and make sure as much of the vegetable as possible is touching the pan. It’s that contact with the heat that matters. Here are a few more tips on roasting vegetables.
If I’m using my oven to roast veggies, I cook in the upper third of my oven and turn once or twice during the cooking process. If I’m using the grill, I keep an eye on the vegetables to ensure even browning (versus, you know, burning). You want to achieve a nice level of caramelization — a deep golden brown shade.
How to Roast
- Preheat your oven or grill to 425 degrees.
- Make sure your vegetables are about the same size.
- Toss with olive oil (a few tablespoons usually does the trick)
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Other herbs and spices can be used as well.
- Cook for approximately 30 minutes, or until you have a good number of caramelized spots. Turn once or twice during the cooking process if necessary. Different veggies cook at different times, so pay attention!
So what can you roast? Read on, my friends, read on. This is, obviously, not a complete list…use your imagination.
- Asparagus. Break off the woody ends, otherwise leave whole. If you’re adding to a pasta, you can cut into smaller pieces, then roast. Asparagus cooks pretty fast, so check at the fifteen minute mark.
- Bell peppers. Cut into strips and roast.
- Broccoli. I love roasted broccoli. Cut into 1 − 1 1/2 inch florets. The ends will get very brown, but that’s a good thing. You can also roast the stems.
- Cauliflower. Oh, roasted cauliflower is especially good (and use the leftovers as the basis for a great soup; or just, you know, roast the cauliflower for the soup). Cut into 1 − 1 1/2 inch pieces. Or make roasted cauliflower “steaks”: cut the head of cauliflower into 1/2 inch thick slices, brush olive oil onto both sides, add salt and pepper, and roast, turning once. Yummy!
- Parsnips. Roast like carrots — diagonal chunks or whole (cut in half if the parsnips are especially thick).
- Sweet Potatoes. Cut into 1-inch chunks, and serve as a meal or make part of a great sweet potato salad. You’re welcome.
- Turnips. Cut into 1-inch chunks and discover what you’ve been missing all these years.
- Zucchini. I usually cut my zucchini in half or quarters (lengthwise) and roast away.