Now that it is finally cool enough to crank up that oven it’s time for roasting vegetables! Roasting brings out the natural sugars in vegetables, which helps get that char and crisp tender texture. They make a great flavorful side dish, or you can add meat or eggs for a healthy main dish, and make even the most anti-vegetables, veggie-hating person turn into a roasted veggie lover!
Here’s what you should know:
Be creative when choosing vegetables to roast. Relatively any vegetable can be roasted. We think of root vegetables like onions, potatoes, carrots, and parsnips when roasting, but don’t be afraid to expand.
Try cruciferous veggies like cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and broccoli. Try a colorful medley of peppers thickly sliced with onions. Tomatoes are delicious roasted since it really intensifies that tomato flavor (especially the not too wonderful out of season tomatoes). Asparagus and zucchini really take to roasting also.
Roast an entire bulb of garlic with olive oil, wrapped in foil till soft. It’s great on toasted French bread and makes the most flavorful mashed potatoes!
Vegetables will all roast at different times. The one constant is a hot oven. Preheat your oven for at least 20 minutes at 425 degrees. Preheat your sheet pan for ten minutes.
Always use oil to get that delicious roasted flavor. Olive and avocado oils are both healthy and flavorful, but you don’t need more than a tablespoon or so for an entire sheet pan.
Toss the cut vegetables with the oil and any other seasonings. Your choices are endless! Sea salt and freshly ground pepper is always a good start, then add whatever you like. Garlic is good on nearly everything, fresh or granulated. Red pepper flakes add a spicy punch. Fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, parsley, and chives add dimension. Carrots and different squashes are great with a brown sugar glaze.
Place vegetables cut side down on your preheated baking sheets, leaving space. Roast until tender and slightly charred. If you are roasting several different vegetables, simply stagger the cooking, starting with long cookers like potatoes and carrots and ending with quick cookers like beans, peppers, and zucchini. Your total time will go from 15-20 minutes for asparagus to 40 or more for potatoes and carrots.
Kathleen Weaver-Zech and Dean’s Team Chicago