Winter is the time to roast your vegetables! Especially all those root vegetables that you may still be digging up if you’re a winter gardener, or taking out of storage from the fall, or buying because they look so intriguing.
Here’s my selection from a few nights ago, which includes carrots (orange and red), rutabaga, and daikon radish. Roasting radishes is a great kitchen hint I only learned this year, and I am so glad because I plan on growing about fifteen different kinds this year (more or less) and you can only put so many in salads, sandwiches, stir-frys or pickles. Radishes lose their intense bite when roasted, but retain delicious flavor.
Some of my other favorites include potatoes, sweet potatoes, and parsnips. And non-root veggies make for great roasting, too; try squash, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, or kohlrabi.
Here’s a nice Bon Appetit article with hints for roasting vegetables and avoiding common mistakes. I’m glad to see I’ve been doing some of these right all along, and have learned the others through trial and error! Here’s my general process for roasting veggies:
- Clean, peel, and cut up the vegetables into bite-sized but not tiny pieces.
- You can hasten the roasting process through pre-steaming some vegetables (usually for about 10 minutes). I don’t have a complete list of those that benefit from cooking ahead, but potatoes, carrots, and the harder brassicas are on it. If you’re mixing them up with quicker cookers like sweet potatoes or squash this is particularly important. You don’t want a blend of hard little nuggets and complete mush.
- Put all the veggies in a roasting pan or (as advised in article) on a sheet pan. I find that I need to make a decision ahead of the chopping process about whether I’m saving energy by using my toaster oven for a small batch, or roasting large amounts for leftovers in the big oven. It’s very important not to crowd the veggies, and they should all be touching the pan, not be piled on top of each other.
- Season the veggies. Use olive or other oil, but just enough to coat – do it in stages till you’re sure. You don’t want excess oil sizzling in the pan. My default is to add some balsamic vinegar plus salt and pepper, but there are lots of options. Stir to cover evenly.
- Put the dish into a 400 degree oven and roast for between 20 and 45 minutes, depending; the veggies should be tender and starting to crisp. Stir about every 10 minutes. (Set the timer.)
- Enjoy! You might want to give them a final drizzle of high-quality oil or an extra shake of seasoning, if they need it.
What are your favorite vegetables to roast?