I love learning new ways of cooking vegetables. And making roasted vegetables is one of my favorite ways to make a delicious vegetable side dish.
First of all, it’s amazingly delicious. Roasted vegetables just taste different from boiled or steamed vegetables. Evaporation and caramelization enhances their natural flavor and sweetness, giving you an incredibly tasty dish!
But it’s also super easy. You can prepare it in advance, pop it in the oven, and pretty much forget about it until it’s done – leaving burners free, and extra counter space to work with. All you need to do is follow these two simple steps.
Step 1: Preparation
When you’re making roasted vegetables, the first step is to prepare the veggies.
- Wash the vegetables, and dry them thoroughly. If they’re too wet, you’ll end up steaming the vegetables rather than roasting them, and they won’t caramelize.
- Cut them up into little chunks. They should all be about the same size, so that they cook evenly. Smaller pieces will cook faster than big ones.
- Toss the vegetables with a bit of oil and spices. Olive oil is great. For spices, try out different combinations. Salt and pepper are always good, garlic is great with potatoes, and cardamom is a nice change of pace for carrots. Remember, there’s no need to drench the veggies in oil. You just want a thin coat to help the veggies brown and keep them from drying out.
Step 2: Cooking
Once you’re done cutting up the vegetables and seasoning them, you’re ready to roast them. And roasted vegetables are really easy.
- Preheat the oven to 400F. You may need to tweak the temperature a bit, but generally that setting works for every vegetable.
- Place the vegetables in a shallow roasting pan. Low edges let air flow all around the vegetables. The pan should be big enough to hold all the vegetables in a single layer. It’ll help them caramelize, and prevent them from steaming.
- Place the vegetables in the oven, and roast them until they’re cooked through and nicely browned. You can flip them or stir them when the bottom starts to brown.
Some vegetables, denser ones like potatoes, just take longer to cook than others, like mushrooms. If you want to mix vegetables, you have a few options. You can cut the slower-roasting vegetables in smaller chunks, or you can start cooking them earlier.
And that’s really all there is to making roasted vegetables! And it works with almost any kind of vegetable – try it with carrots, potatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, anything! Every vegetable you try will taste new, different and awesome!