Roasting vegetables may be the simplest, most rewarding meal of the fall and winter months.
I can't think of a vegetable that's not worthy of roasting (well... except for maybe cucumbers). To successfully roast veggies, consider the size and texture of what you'd like to cook.
Size: Cut everything to equal sized pieces for uniform cooking. The larger the pieces, the longer they'll need to cook. If you cut your vegetables into smaller sizes not only will they cook quicker, but there will also be more surface area for spices to adhere to.
Texture: Harder vegetables, like potatoes, winter squashes and carrots will take 50-60 minutes total to roast. Softer vegetables, like peppers, mushrooms and summer squashes will take 40-50 minutes to roast.
1. Preheat over to 425.
2. Toss cut vegetables in a few tablespoons of cooking oil. Consider a high heat oil such as coconut or avocado oil for a rich, even result. Use olive or canola oil for a crunchier surface area. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and spread vegetables evenly on a baking sheet. For crispier roasted vegetables (like potatoes), be sure not to overcrowd the pan. For best results, make sure the pieces do not touch.
3. I like to check and stir vegetables every 15 minutes during cooking so I can determine if the tray needs to be turned (sometimes the back left corner of my oven cooks a lot faster than the rest of the oven contents do). If you're mixing hard and soft veggies on the same tray, add the softer items after the first 15 minutes.
4. While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the rest of your meal.
Here are my top 5 ways to create a delish, full meal with roasted veggies:
1. Add some crunchy nuts and drizzle with lemon-tahini dressing.
Combine the following in a blender or food processor: Juice of 3 lemons, 2-3 tbsp tahini, 1 garlic clove, 1 tsp sea salt
Taste and adjust as needed.
2. Serve over rice and or quinoa to create a grain bowl. Great additions: nuts, feta or goat cheese, hummus
3. Serve over a dense pasta noodle. Add pesto or Parmesan cheese and olive oil for a savory delight.
4. Choose your favorite squash (I use butternut squash for this meal), include a few heads of garlic on your roasting tray. When squash and garlic are roasted to perfection, puree with vegetable broth and 1 can of full-fat coconut milk for a delicious soup that everyone will rave about. Season lightly with salt, pepper, and a dash of allspice.
5. Chill vegetables to at least room temperature and serve over a bed of greens for a winter salad.