October 11, 2011

How to Roast Vegetables

The process of roasting brings out the natural sweetness in vegetables and intensifies their natural flavors.  Roasting is great for many vegetables including: asparagus, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, green beans, onions, potatoes, and squash.

Tonight, I roasted acorn squash, beets and brussels sprouts.  My acorn squash came in back-to-back CSA boxes, and I simply cut each squash in half, scraped out the seeds, cut into uniform pieces and baked for 30 minutes.

I picked up beets and brussels sprouts at the farm stand near my house last night.  It was my first time buying a proper stalk of brussels sprouts, which Chris used as a cat back scratcher after I removed all the brussels sprouts...yeah, he's weird like that.

After removing the brussels sprouts from the stalk, I trimmed the ends, halved them lengthwise, and then roasted for 15 minutes.  You're not suppose to peel beets before you roast them, but I have a heck of a time peeling them hot out of the oven, so I disregard the rules and peel ahead of time.  After cutting them into uniform chunks, I roasted the beets for 25 minutes.

Step-by-Step Guide to Roasting Vegetables:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a jellyroll pan with foil, and coat the foil with cooking spray. 
  • Cut the vegetables in a uniform size so they cook at the same rate. Add vegetables in a single layer to the foil-lined pan.
  • In a large Ziploc bag add approximately a tablespoon of olive oil per pound of vegetables (enough to coat lightly) along with any desired seasoning (salt and pepper are often enough).  Add vegetables to the bag, making sure the pieces are coated on all sides.
  • Remove vegetables from bag and arrange in a single layer on the foil-lined pan, leaving space between the pieces.
  • Roast for 10-60 minutes, depending on the vegetable. About halfway through the roasting time, give the vegetables a quick toss, redistributing the pieces. After that, check and toss every five minutes or so, until they’re done.
  • Check if the vegetables are done, by piercing with a knife. When the tip goes in easily, they're done!

The brussels sprouts were fantastic!  I had the beets as part of my favorite roasted beet salad, and the squash was great but I wish I hadn't cut it into small pieces, as it ended up being difficult to eat.  Just chopping each squash in half would have been sufficient.

1 comment:

  1. I had no idea that's what brussels sprouts look like on the stalk! Hmmm. I love them when they're good, but a couple of times I've bitten into a rotten one, and IMHO there is nothing nastier on the planet than a rotten brussels sprout. ::shudder::