Roasting transforms the taste of vegetables caramelizing their natural sugars giving them a full, sweet flavour. It’s hard to coax out this rich depth from vegetables with any other cooking method.
The technique is simple. Toss cut vegetables with oil and seasonings. Roast at 425 - 450°F (220 - 230°C) until tender and browned.
Great choices for roasting include potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, parsnips, winter squash, turnips, beets, cauliflower and zucchini.
The following suggestions will help you achieve delicious results when roasting vegetables:
- Use a heavy baking pan as a thin one may warp under high heat. A broiling pan is a good choice. It should have sides and be big enough to accommodate vegetables in a single layer without crowding. Lightly grease the pan or line it with greased aluminum foil to prevent sticking.
- Cut vegetables uniformly. Try thin slices, 1 inch (2.5 cm) chunks or leave them whole if they’re small, such as baby carrots and potatoes. The size of the pieces will determine the length of cooking time.
- Thoroughly coat the pieces with oil to ensure even browning and keep them from sticking together. Use olive oil or a blend of vegetable and olive oil, but be sure your oil is fresh.
- Herbs such as oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary or Italian seasoning blends will retain their flavour best during the roasting process.
- Place vegetable pieces in a single layer on the baking pan. Make sure not to crowd them.
- Roast uncovered. Covering steams foods and will prevent your vegetables from browning and developing that delicious caramelized flavour. You may turn the vegetables part way through roasting for more even browning.
Ideas for Leftover Roasted Vegetables
- Toss them with a vinaigrette for a delicious salad.
- Combine them with cooked couscous, rice or barley and additional seasonings for a quick pilaf.
- Heat beef or chicken broth with cooked rice and roasted vegetables, such as parsnips, carrots, onions and turnips, for an easy, hearty soup.