Roasting vegetables seems like a simple task, but many people have a hard time with it. I blame the number 350. There should be a Sesame Street episode where that number is banished from kitchens across the world to dig caves somewhere. When you roast veggies at 350 and over-crowd the pan, you get mush or dehydrated veggies. My video is really great and shows you step by step how to roast vegetables perfectly every time, but if you don’t happen to like watching videos:
EASY STEPS TO ROAST VEGETABLES PERFECTLY
Cut all veggies the same size (1.5″ or smaller is good)
Smaller cooks faster – I roast teeny potatoes in 15-20 minutes using my toaster oven
Softer veggies that contain more water like broccoli and cauliflower can be left a little larger
Toss veggies in oil and sea salt or kosher salt generously
Spread out super evenly in an aluminum foil-lined sheet pan (shallow is good – just ask US Weekly)(deep pans are bad for roasting veggies)
You should see metal between most of the veggies
Grind fresh ground pepper over the top
Add a few cloves of garlic whole to the party if you like that sort of thing
Throw into the middle rack of a pre-heated 450 degree oven for 30-45 minutes
I ALWAYS check my veggies after 20 minutes… I poke a potato or any hard veggie for doneness and that tells me how much longer to cook them.
There is NO need to toss vegetables mid-cooking
If you need to roast a lot of veggies, use two pans and rotate them in the oven a few times.
Use a flat spatula to remove the veggies with breaking them by sliding it under them.
Roasting brings out the best in most veggies because it “empowers” the naturally ocuring sugars. The sugars are what make the veggies a beautiful caramel color, hence the term “caramelization”. It works sort of like the melanin in our skin and helps them get brown n tasty.
THOUGHTS ON ROASTING AND TIPS
You can pretty much roast any veggie, but keep in mind that if you roast peas with potatoes, the peas may disappear.
Salt and pepper will make your veggies sing, but you may add any spice and even some herbs to make them yodel.
When using fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary, coat with olive oil so they don’t burn or throw them in towards the end.
If you roast potatoes, you can roast little ones whole or cut big ones into 1.5″ sized pieces. Waxy potatoes like red or white are better for roasting than Russet (Idaho) potatoes that are better for baking.
Leftover taters or veggies? Smush the taters with the bottom of a mug or glass so that part of the insides burst… sautée them on high for a few minutes on each side until they are brown and crispy. Serve for breakfast or a re-invented side-dish the next day. Watch this video.
Red or green bell peppers are really aromatic. If you don’t love them, don’t put them in.
Beets are wonderful, but space them out nicely so that you don’t turn everything red.
Cut onions into quarters. They will flare open and some pieces will get crispy, but that is a wonderful thing.
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