Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Roasted Veggies

Roasted carrots, parsnips, and Brussels sprouts

Roasted veggies are a staple in our kitchen. When I'm unsure of what to make for dinner, roasted veggies are usually my default dish. Or when I've perhaps over-indulged a bit on desserts or fried foods one weekend, a couple of dinners of roasted veggies can turn it all around. Roasting in the oven at a high temperature is bound to make any veggie taste good - even ones you thought you hated. Just go to the store, pick out what looks fresh, chop it up, toss in some olive oil, sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper et voila! You've got a delicious meal. Adding potatoes always helps make it more hearty and feel like a main dish rather than a side.

A few tips to keep in mind when roasting veggies:

1) Roast at 400 to 425 degrees to achieve that yummy caramelization.

2) Be sure to use plenty of olive oil and toss to make sure each veggie is coated - don't want them sticking to the pan!

3) Don't chop them too small - they will shrink when roasting, so err on the larger side.

4) Root veggies will take a bit longer than, say green beans and asparagus. Start the root veggies first (including potatoes, if you desire), then after about 15 minutes or so, add the green veggies and roast for 10 minutes more (or until all is tender). For the veggies pictured below, I roasted them all together for about 20 minutes, shaking the pan a few times during roasting to make sure they didn't stick.



I tried a new method for roasting beets last night, too. I read about this in America's Test Kitchen (where else?) and decided to try it. First you remove the stem parts, scrub the beet, and wrap it in foil. (You can do this with multiple beets as well, I just happened to be roasting one). Place the foil package on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a knife slides easily into the beet.

Unwrap (carefully, it's hot!) and let cool for 10 minutes. Using paper towels (to shield your fingers from beet stains), rub off the skin of the beet - it will come off very easily.

Once you've got all the skin off, slice the beet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper! I find beets delicious all by themselves, but they are also wonderful in salads, such as with arugula and goat cheese.

If you're not a big fan of vegetables, have a go at roasting them. I honestly believe it's a good way to get even the pickiest of eaters to enjoy veggies.


mark711777 said...

Long live the oven roasted vegetable! I could eat them almost every day. That beet sounds delicious... I'm going to have to give this a try!!

Julia said...

Mmm, beets, arugula & goat cheese--three of my favorite things!