I pulled several vegetables from my refrigerator bin, that had been languishing there since earlier in the week—-the ones I bought when I resolved to incorporate more green and yellow into my cooking this year. I roasted those rascals, because nothings say “I’m Good for You!” more convincingly than a lightly-oiled, gently-seasoned, charred vegetable.
The Baking Sheet
As an aside, I might mention that I used a couple of baking sheets to handle all the chunky pieces. One was too crowded. When I shuffled through my cabinets in search of just the right size pans, I recalled the story of the chef who was teaching a baking class.
A woman asked: “How many baking sheet do I need?”
The chef asked, “How many do you have?”
“Three,” she replied.
“You need four,” he said with great authority.
The woman stared at him for a moment and said, “If I had said four, what would you have said?”
The chef replied with a smile, “Five.”
The moral of the story, of course, is that one can never have too many baking sheets. There’s always room for one more. They come in all sizes and colors and have different purposes. Unlike cookie sheets, they have a rolled lip that prevents things from falling off the pan. If you want to know more, Martha has a exhaustive post entitled Baking Sheets 101. But I digress.
Incredibly Easy and Delicious
Each time I roast vegetables, I wonder why I don’t do it more often. They’re incredibly tasty and nutritious. The best of the roasters are potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, zucchini, beets, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli. This time I cooked Brussels sprouts (the small ones are best), pre-chopped butternut squash, and red potatoes. In so doing, I reclaimed half of my refrigerator bin.
There wasn’t a lot of prep work involved. I just smeared the pieces with a bit of olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper. I keep spoonfuls of duck fat in the freezer, especially for baking (or frying) potatoes, but I stayed with olive oil this time.
Spice It Up!
I even threw in some turmeric, because the spice is so doggone good for you, that I look for ways to include it. Sometimes I add garlic or red onion slivers. When I want to crank up the recipe with even more vegetables and spices, I go with this old stand by.
I especially like to char small, mixed-colored carrots, that have been sliced once vertically, leaving an inch, or so, of the green stem.
7 Things to Remember When Roasting Vegetables
- Keep all pieces about the same size for even cooking.
- When applying oil, make sure the veggies are shiny, but not greasy. About 2 Tbs. of oil to a sheet pan of vegetables works well.
- Lightly salt, and add more at the end, if needed.
- Line your baking sheet with parchment, or foil, to lessen clean up.
- Don’t crowd the pieces or vegetables will steam instead of charring nicely. (Hmm. . . maybe you need another baking sheet after all.)
- Roast at a high temperature, 425 degrees for about 30 minutes, turning veggies a few time for even browning. Leave longer if more color is desired.
- Restrain yourself from eating the veggies like M&Ms, when they come out of the oven.