SPARTANBURG — Vegetables are not only good for you but roasting them can turn them into a tasty treat as well.
Roasting brings out the natural sugars of vegetables, giving them a different flavor compared to other cooking methods. It can transform your less-than-favorite veggies into a weekly side, or give your go-to another reason to devour it. It’s easy, versatile, and requires few ingredients.
Here are the steps for roasting vegetables:
1. Preheat the oven
This is an important step. You want the oven nice and hot when you go to put the vegetables in. A less-than-hot oven will turn our less-than-browned vegetables. The exact temperature doesn’t matter too much. Anything in the 350°F range will work.
2. Cut vegetables into even pieces
Smaller vegetables (brussel sprouts, green beans, baby carrots) can be roasted whole as long as they are of even sizes. You want even pieces so the vegetables cook at an even rate. In general, vegetables need to be trimmed and cut.
3. Toss vegetables with oil
Either in the roasting pan or a large bowl, toss vegetables with a tablespoon or two of olive or canola oil — you don’t need much. Oil helps the vegetables brown, so don’t skip this step, but too much can leave them soggy. Drizzle vegetables with the oil, then toss to coat them as evenly as possible. You can add coarsely chopped garlic, slice of chilies, pepper flakes, or other no-sodium seasonings like garlic powder, freshly ground pepper, basil, oregano, cumin, paprika, etc. at this point, too.
4. Don’t crowd the vegetables
You want plenty of hot air all around the vegetables. The less the vegetables touch each other, the more area on them will brown.
5. Roast vegetables at the top
Roasting the vegetables in the top third of the oven will help them brown the best.
6. Shake or turn vegetables
Keep an eye on the vegetables, and when they start to brown, give the pan a good shake or use a spatula to turn the vegetables to move them around a bit to brown evenly.
7. Roast vegetables thoroughly
You want roasted vegetables to be two things: brown and tender. Keep the vegetables in a hot oven until they are both. If they start to get too dark, cover them with foil until tender, then cook for a final 5 minutes or so with the foil off. If they aren’t browning, raise the heat in the oven and move the pan to the top of the oven.
8. “Finish” the vegetables
Roasted vegetables can be “finished” with some of the following: a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice, minced fresh herbs (mint, parsley, thyme, or rosemary), or a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.
9. Serve vegetables warm or let them cool
Roasted vegetables are great while still warm, but can also be served at room temperature. If you want to serve them room temperature, be sure to let them cool in a single layer, uncovered or very loosely covered, so the vegetables don’t start to steam each other and get soggy.
Some Excellent Options
Here some of your options when it comes to choosing the vegetables you want to roast.
• Brussel sprouts
• Green beans
• Any type of peppers — bell, hot, etc.
• Root vegetables like beets or parsnips
• Any type of potato — sweet, new, red
• Combine any for a vegetable medley!
This story was submitted by Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System and is adapted from the About.com article “How to Make Roasted Vegetables.”