Roasting Vegetables

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Posted by gilly


As I’ve gotten older, vegetables have become more and more appealing. I no longer groan at green beans, balk at bunches of broccoli, or curse cooked carrots as I did in my younger days. In fact, many days I crave their healthy simplicity, pure taste, and beautiful colours.

I’m fortunate that my husband has become increasingly open to trying new and different vegetables with me when the mood strikes – a long cry from when we first started dating. I attribute his adventurous spirit to the fact that he associates them with a delicious and flavourful experience.

How do I pull that off? Easy. If I have any doubt as to whether or not he’ll enjoy a new vegetable - I roast it.

In my opinion, roasting is one of the most palatable ways of preparing vegetables. It brings out delicious, rich, complex, and concentrated flavours as no other method of preparation does, while preserving appetizing colours and textures. It’s also a cinch.


Selecting and Preparing Vegetables

  • Select a colourful mix to appeal to the eye.
  • Remember: different vegetables have different roasting times, depending on their density. Lighter-weight vegetables such as peppers, asparagus, and green beans do not take as long as root vegetables such as potatoes, parsnips, and carrots. They can still be roasted together – just add the lighter veggies about 30 minutes after starting the roots – or partially cook root vegetables on the stove top.
  • Veggies with a high water content, such as zucchini or eggplant should be salted first to draw out additional moisture. This will keep them from becoming mushy as they roast.
    Cut similar weight vegetables into equal sized pieces for even cooking. The smaller the pieces, the faster they will roast.
  • Toss veggies in olive oil to prevent sticking, and keep them from drying out under the intense heat. You can also marinade them beforehand using olive oil, balsamic vinegar, soy/tamari sauce, and/or other complimentary spices such as rosemary, thyme, chives, salt and pepper.

Preparation

  • Use a heavy pan that is large enough to accommodate all the cut up veggies in a single layer. This will ensure that all vegetables have similar heat exposure, without burning.
  • Use a non-stick pan, parchment paper, or another non-stick surface if possible. This will keep vegetables (and peels) from sticking and coming apart when you toss them, or remove them from the pan.
  • Preheat your oven to quite hot: at least 400°F (200°C).

Roasting

  • Roasting can take anywhere from 20-50 minutes, depending on your selection of vegetables. Be sure to keep your eye on them as they are roasting.
  • Toss at least once during the roast process, but not more than twice preferably.
  • Vegetables around the perimeter of the pan will roast faster than the ones in the center, so be sure to rotate the inside veggies for the outside ones.

Serving

  • Roasted vegetables make a wonderful accompaniment to pasta, rice, polenta, and salads.
  • Roasted veggies make a fantastic pizza topping!
  • Puree roasted vegetables to make flavourful sauces, dips, and spreads.
  • Add roasted vegetables to soups and stews to enhance their taste.

I hope these tips inspire you to roast up some new vegetables, or put a new spin on some of your existing favourites. Until next time, I wish you health, happiness, and balance!





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This Post was written by Gilly from Humble Pie

3 comments:

Gilly, this is a great post. I love roasting vegies too because as you said they make a great side, so when there is a huge meal on the stove I can simply cut up the vegies lay them on the baking tray, sprinkle olive oil, garlic and herbs and put them in the oven to slowly roast. I love your tips. Thank you!

Meeta said...
March 30, 2007 at 7:37:00 AM GMT+2  

Hi Meeta! Thanks! Roasting veggies is so easy, and relatively hassle free, so it's great for making stress free dinners.

gilly said...
March 30, 2007 at 6:27:00 PM GMT+2  

Personally, I highly recommend using extra-virgin olive oil in place of normal olive oil. The reason being that extra-virgin olive oil seems to enhance the flavor of foods you add it to.
I usually buy my extra-virgin olive oil from Holy Food Imports.

Patrick said...
June 30, 2008 at 9:47:00 PM GMT+2  

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