Roasted Veggies

roasted carrots

StrudelThe other day I was mulling over what exactly I do in the kitchen, and decided to break down, by percentage, my time per task. Here’s what I came up with:

  • 30% washing dishes
  • 20% chopping
  • 15% stirring
  • 10% fretting if I’ve over-cooked dinner
  • 5% staring lovingly at my tangerine-colored Kitchen Aid and/or flame colored Le Creuset

…and definitely a solid 25% roasting vegetables.

 

In fact, when I think about my interests (hiking, gardening, eating pickled foods) it’s absolutely possible that roasting vegetables could technically be considered a hobby of mine. Simply based off of the amount of time I spend finding happiness in veggies cooked in high heat, I think this is a real possibility.

 

I love roasted veggies so much that when someone tells me they don’t like a certain vegetable (say, broccoli or a brussels sprouts) I just assume they’ve never had it roasted. Because as far as I’m concerned, it’s impossible not to love.

 

So to close out”go-to foods” month here on S&S, I bring you the single most used method of veggie cooking in my house: high heat. I use this method for tons of veggies, but here we’ll talk through: broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, cauliflower, carrots, and wee potatoes.

 

 

The technique is pretty much the same for all of the veggies I like to roast. Wash and dry the veggies, then cut into similar sizes and place in a bowl. Pour a bit of olive oil over the produce, sprinkle on kosher salt and black pepper and toss (I use my hands) until everything is lightly coated. You don’t need a ton of oil, but you don’t need to be scared of using it either.

Also, it’s best not to overcrowd the pan (though I do it sometimes) – giving the veggies more space will provide the opportunity to crisp up the outsides.

Preheat oven to 425. Here’s a few specifics:

 

roasted carrots

carrots: I often roast these with parsnips too; if I’m not roasting too much all at once, I’ll sometimes also include the potatoes (below). I like to use either a ceramic or glass pan for the roasting (though I’m sure an aluminum baking sheet would be fine too). These guys take a while to cook – maybe 45-60 minutes. I check on them periodically and give them a shake and a stir.

 

 

roasted potatoes

potatoes: These are the teeny tiny potatoes from Trader Joe’s (you can also often find them at the grocery store). I really like them for my Niçoise salad and in this case I sprinkled on some dried herbs along with the salt and pepper (apparently I was feeling fancy!) These guys also take about 45-60 minutes, in a ceramic or glass dish, with a stir/shake 2-3 times during cooking.

 

roasted asparagus

asparagus: I like to cook these guys on a rimmed baking sheet that covered in aluminum foil (’cause I already spend enough time washing dishes). Cooking time depends on the thickness of the asparagus, this batch took about 15-20 minutes. If you do it right, you even get the tips of the asparagus nice and crispy!

 

IMG_0264

 

brussels sprouts: I always feel a bit bad for these guys – they got a bad reputation because people like to boil the hell out of them, which I feel is an affront to their natural delicious state. After trimming them, I like to slice in half. Roasting again in a ceramic or glass dish for 30-40 minutes.

 

not pictured but equally as amazing:

 

broccoli: One extra step for roasted broccoli: preheat the pan while the oven preheats. Take a rimmed baking sheet, cover in aluminum foil, place in oven, and preheat the oven to 425. I’d suggest giving the pan at least 15ish minutes in the oven (even if it doesn’t take that long preheated) to get it nice and hot. Take your oiled/prepared broccoli (and my lazy self sometimes even buys a bag of pre-cut broccoli) and when it’s time (carefully) remove the hot baking sheet from the oven. Pour the broccoli pieces on to the hot pan (it’ll sizzle) and, working quickly, spread out in a single layer. Return to oven and roast for 15ish minutes, checking regularly. The preheated pan means that the broccoli gets crispy on the bottom along with the top!

 

cauliflower: Also usually roasted in a glass or ceramic dish, stirred/shaken a few times as it roasts – just like carrots and potatoes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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