I love to roast. No, I’m not talking about the current temperature in California. I’m talking about vegetables. And yes, I turned on the oven yesterday when it was 100 degrees outside. But when I want to roast, you just can’t stop me. It is really a simple technique that yields such flavorful, satisfying results.
The basic concept: pick your favorite veggies, keeping in mind that root veggies will need to cook longer than others such as zucchini or mushrooms. Cut them up into similar size pieces, grouping similar cooking vegetables together in one pan. Then slather them with a fantastic or even mediocre olive oil (I, of course, used my Italian olive oil that I wrote about last February, salt, pepper, and then you decide what sounds good. Yesterday I used balsamic vinegar, dried Italian herbs, and garlic powder (sometimes I don’t use fresh – yes I am admitting it here in a public forum). But garlic powder easily gets the garlic flavor all over the veggies in a very quick fashion and I am usually rushing when I cook.
I tossed all the veggies with my hands to be sure they were coated and threw them in a 375 degree convection oven (400 regular) for about twenty minutes, shaking the pan about halfway through. The aroma about 10 minutes in permeating my kitchen was so yummy.
So what to do with this fabulous plate of veggies when you’re done? Here’s just a few ideas. Serve them hot or cold as a side dish with almost anything you are eating for dinner. I whipped up some roasted tomatoes yesterday for a quick roasted tomato sauce and served the sauce on some tortellini with the roasted veggies on the side. Today I made both of my kids sandwiches with the veggies – one with leftover flank steak, one with cheese. They would be wonderful in an omelette. Or just to snack on when you crave good flavor but want to keep it healthy. They make a great buffet platter as they are wonderful at room temperature and can be made ahead of time. You can also grill them, but in my house, the grill and remote control are permanently attached to the male inhabitants so I’m only writing about roasting in an oven. My husband will have to guest post to talk about grilling veggies.
Hope you will be roasting today too.
- Vegetables of your choice – buy seasonally
- Olive oil
- Fresh Lemon Juice
- Additional spices to your taste
Line roasting sheet/cookie sheet with parchment if you like. Makes for easy clean up. I use 12 X 17 sheets pans – often filling up two of these with vegetables so I have leftovers or can feed a crowd.
Cut vegetable (s) of choice into pieces and spread on your cookie/roasting sheet. I usually put each vegetable into their own sections so if they cook faster, it is easier to remove them and let the others finish cooking.
Now add some olive oil – about 2 tablespoons per sheet pan. I just pour but measuring is a good method so you can get an idea of how much you prefer to use when you roast. Then I add salt and pepper – probably about a ½ to 1 teaspoon of each per sheet of vegetables. Then mix it all around right on the parchment. Also add other spices if you like – think about what else you are serving and choose spices to complement your protein and the vegetable. But just olive oil and salt and pepper is magical. When the vegetables are done, they will be caramelized – even almost burnt. When I take them out, I like to squeeze fresh lemon juice on them – it is an excellent finishing touch.
I roast my vegetables at 375 degrees convect or 400 degrees conventional. I usually check them and toss them about at about 10 minutes, then cook additionally at 5 minute intervals. If you roast asparagus – (see this recipe), it cooks very quickly if the spears are thin – more like 7 minutes total.