Roasted Vegetables

Roasted Vegetables


I love vegetables, and in my opinion, dinner is not complete unless there is a serving of vegetables with it.  The great thing about vegetables is that there are so many different types of vegetables, and countless ways to prepare them, so they are never boring!  Usually I steam or sauté them, because it’s easy and quick, but every once and a while I like to switch things up, and roasted vegetables are a great alternative.  They have such a wonderful flavor!

A few years ago I came across a very informative article about how to roast vegetables.  It was in the October/November 2007 issue of one of my favorite cooking magazines, Fine Cooking.  I tore the article out of the magazine and filed it away in my recipe binder.  I refer to it frequently, and it has been a great resource.  The article has instructions for how to roast several types of vegetables, as well as ideas for different flavorings for the vegetables.

Most recently, I roasted a combination of butternut squash, red potatoes, and carrots.  I flavored the vegetables with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme.  The vegetable medley turned out to be a great accompaniment to my dinner of baked chicken and spinach salad.  I hope you find the information from this article as helpful as I do!

Recipe from: Fine Cooking Magazine (October/November 2007 issue)

Basic Roasted Vegetables

(print recipe)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. vegetables
  • 1-3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt; more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fresh lemon juice (optional)

Directions

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 475°F.  Line a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Prepare the vegetables according to the instructions below (preparation and cooking time varies based on the type of vegetable).  In a medium bowl, toss the vegetables with enough of the olive oil to coat generously, the salt, and a few grinds of pepper.  If using a flavoring before roasting (see below: “Flavorings for Roasted Vegetables—Before Roasting”), toss it with the vegetables now.
  3. Turn the vegetables out onto the baking sheet and arrange the pieces so that they are evenly spaced and lying on a cut side (if that applies).  If the pieces cover the baking sheet sparsely, arrange them toward the edges of the baking sheet for the best browning.  Roast according to the instructions below (“How to Prep & Roast Various Types of Vegetables”).
  4. Return the vegetables to the bowl in which you tossed them with the oil, or put them in a clean serving bowl.  If they seem a bit dry, drizzle them with a little extra virgin olive oil.  Season to taste with salt, pepper, and lemon juice or another flavoring, if using (see below: “Flavorings for Roasted Vegetables – After Roasting”).

Roasted carrots, red potatoes, and butternut squash.

How to Prep & Roast Various Types of Vegetables

Sweet Potatoes

Prep: Peel & cut into 1-inch pieces

How to Roast: Roast until lightly browned on bottom, 10 min.  Flip & roast until tender, 5-10 more minutes.

Yield: 3-4 servings per pound

Potatoes (red, yellow, russet)

Prep: Peel or scrub well and dry.  Cut into 1 inch pieces.

How to Roast: Roast until browned on bottom, 10-15 minutes.  Flip and continue to roast until tender, 5 more minutes.

Yield: 2-3 servings per pound

Cauliflower

Prep: Trip & cut into 1-1.5 inch florets

How to Roast: Roast, stirring every 10 minutes, until tender and lightly browned, 20-25 minutes total.

Yield: 3-4 servings per pound

Broccoli

Prep: Trim and peel the stem; slice it into ¼ inch thick disks.  Trim and cut the rest of the broccoli into 1.5-2 inch florets.

How to Roast: Roast until the florets begin to brown, 8-10 minutes.  Stir, then continue to roast until tender, 3-6 more minutes.

Yield: 2-3 servings per pound

Carrots

Prep: Peel and cut into 1-inch pieces.

How to Roast: Roast until lightly browned on bottom, 12-15 minutes.  Flip and roast until tender and slightly shriveled, 3-5 more minutes.

Yield: 3-4 servings per pound

Asparagus

Prep: Rinse, try, and snap off (or trim off) tough bottom ends.

How to Roast: Roast for 5 minutes, flip, and roast until tender 5-8 more minutes.

Yield: 3-4 servings per pound

Fennel

Prep: Quarter lengthwise.  Trim the base and core, leaving just enough of the core intact to hold the layers together.  Cut into ¾-1 inch wedges.

How to Roast: Roast until the pieces begin to brown on the edges, 15 minutes.  Flip and roast until tender and nicely browned, 10 minutes.

Yield: 3-4 servings per pound

Brussels Sprouts

Prep: Trim, halve lengthwise.

How to Roast: Arrange cut side down on baking sheet.  Roast until tender and browned, about 15 minutes.  No need to flip.

Yield: 3-4 servings per pound

Parsnips

Prep: Peel & cut into 1-2 inch cubes.

How to Roast: Roast until browned on bottom, about 10 minutes.  Flip and roast until tender, about 5 more minutes.

Yield: 2-3 servings per pound

Green Beans

Prep: Trim ends.

How to Roast: Roast until tender and slightly browned, about 15 minutes.  (No need to flip).

Yield: 4 servings per pound

Butternut Squash

Prep: Peel and cut into ¾-1 inch pieces.

How to Roast: Roast until browned on bottom, 15 minutes.  Flip and roast until tender, 5-10 more minutes.

Yield: 4 servings per pound

Mushrooms (cremini or small white button mushrooms)

Prep: Wipe clean and trim stems

How to Roast: Roast stem side down until brown on bottom, 20-25 minutes.  Flip and roast until browned on top, 5-10 more minutes.

Yield: 3-4 servings per pound

Flavorings for Roasted Vegetables – Before Roasting

-        Rosemary Thyme Lemon Oil

  • Pairs well with butternut squash, carrots, cauliflower, fennel, mushrooms, parsnips, potatoes, and sweet potatoes
  • Yield: enough for 1 batch of roasted vegetables
  • Ingredients:
    • Zest of 1 large lemon, removed in long strips with a vegetable peeler
    • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil; more as needed
    • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
    • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • Directions: In a small saucepan, combine the lemon zest and oil.  Set over medium-low heat and cook until the lemon zest bubbles steadily for about 30 seconds.  Remove from the heat and let cool briefly, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the herbs and let sit at least 20 minute before using.  Substitute this flavored oil for the plain olive oil in the master recipe and toss with the vegetables and salt and pepper before roasting.  Once the vegetables are on the baking sheet, pick out and discard the lemon zest.  If the vegetables seem a little dry after roasting, toss them with additional oil before serving.

-        Moroccan-Style Spice Rub

  • Pairs well with butternut squash, carrots, cauliflower, parsnips, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.
  • Yield: About 5 teaspoons, enough for 5 batches of roasted vegetables
  • Ingredients:
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • ½ teaspoon chili powder
    • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
    • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
    • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
    • Pinch ground cloves
  • Directions: In a small bowl, mix all of the spices.  In addition to the oil, salt, and pepper in the master recipe, toss 1 teaspoon of the spice blend with a batch of vegetables before roasting.

Flavorings for Roasted Vegetables – After Roasting

-        Sesame Salt

  • Pairs well with asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans, parsnips, and sweet potatoes
  • Yield: About 2 tablespoons, enough for 3 batches of roasted vegetables
  • Ingredients:
    • 2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
    • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Directions: In a small dry skillet, toast the sesame seeds over medium heat, stirring almost constantly, until light golden brown, 3-5 minutes.  Add the salt and cook, stirring, for about 30 seconds.  Transfer to a small bowl and cool completely.  Put the salted seeds in a clean spice grinder and pulse a few times to grind coarsely – you should still see a few whole seeds in the mixture.  Toss about 2 teaspoons sesame salt with a batch of vegetables after roasting.

-        Caramelized Shallot Butter

  • Pairs well with asparagus, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, carrots, fennel, green beans, mushrooms, parsnips, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.
  • Yield: About ¼ cup, enough for 3 batches of roasted vegetables
  • Ingredients:
    • 3 ½ Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 large shallot, finely diced (1/3 cup)
    • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
    • ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
    • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Directions: Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small saucepan or skillet over medium-low heat until melted.  Add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until deeply browned, 8-10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the thyme.  Cool completely.  In a small bowl, combine the shallot mixture with the remaining 2 ½ tablespoons butter and the lemon zest.  Stir to blend well.  Lightly season to taste with salt and pepper.  Scrape the butter onto a small piece of plastic wrap, mold into a log shape, and wrap in the plastic.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  Toss about 1/3 of the butter (a generous tablespoon) with a batch of vegetables after roasting.

-        Ginger Lemon Soy Splash

  • Pairs well with broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and mushrooms.
  • Yield: Enough for 1 batch of roasted vegetables
  • Ingredients:
    • 1-inch piece fresh ginger
    • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    • ½ teaspoon soy sauce
  • Directions: Set a small strainer in a small bowl.  Extract the ginger juice by pressing the ginger into the sieve with a small spoon.  Transfer ½ teaspoon ginger juice to another small bowl (discard the rest).  Stir in the lemon juice and soy sauce.  Toss with a batch of vegetables after roasting.

-        Toasted Garlic & Coriander Oil

  • Pairs well with asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, fennel, green beans, and mushrooms.
  • Yield: Enough for 1-1 ½ batches of roasted vegetables.
  • Ingredients:
    • 1 ½ Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped garlic (2 large cloves)
    • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
    • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Directions: In a small saucepan, combine the oil and garlic.  Set over medium-low heat and cook until the smaller pieces of garlic turn light golden-brown, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the coriander and cook for about 20 seconds.  Immediately remove from the heat and transfer to a small heatproof bowl to prevent overcooking.  Keep warm.  Sprinkle the roasted vegetables with the lemon juice, season to taste with salt and pepper, and arrange on a serving platter.  Spoon the toasted garlic oil over the vegetables.

Tips

-        Make sure the vegetables are cut in evenly sized pieces.  This will ensure that they cook evenly and at the same rate.

-        Make sure to line the baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent the vegetables from sticking to the pan.

-        To Roast a Medley of Vegetables: A mixture of vegetables with different cooking times should be kept separate from each other, to accommodate for different cooking times.  Either use different baking sheets, or different sections of the same baking sheet.  That way you can remove each type of vegetable when it is done cooking.  You can then combine them after roasting.

-        Leftover idea: Add the leftover roasted vegetables to a pot of simmering jarred marinara sauce and simmer on low until the vegetables and sauce are hot.  Serve the sauce/vegi mixture with cooked rigatoni pasta (or any type of pasta) and parmesan cheese for an easy and healthy weeknight dinner.

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