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how to roast vegetables

TCM Classics – We originally ran these tips for how to roast vegetables in 2015 but loved them so much we decided to bring it all back.

Roast all the things! It takes a staunch carnivore to resist a caramelized rainbow of gorgeous, seasonal roasted veggies. We’re breaking down the simple secrets for how to roast vegetables perfectly.

Maybe you already know how to roast vegetables and want to brush up on your skills, or perhaps you’re new to the whole cooking thing and want to wean off the Whole Foods hot bar. Whatever your ambition, read through our general tips on how to roast vegetables, then find your fave veggie and dial in deep!

What to Roast. Some veggies were just made to be roasted – think hearty fall and winter vegetables like onions, potatoes, carrots, beets, winter squash and mushrooms. Most summer vegetables and more delicate greens are better sautéed or left fresh. When you’re learning how to roast vegetables, experiment with a few of your favorites and see what works and what doesn’t.

chop chop. Make sure to cut veggies into evenly sized pieces, about 2-2 1/2 inches, to ensure they cook evenly. We all love those extra crispy pieces, but there is a fine line between crispy and completely charred.

grease up.Make sure to coat your veggies with olive oil or melted clarified butter, but don’t be too heavy-handed. Your vegetables should glisten, but not be so oily that they are dripping in fat; we want to showcase the vegetable itself. Root vegetables tend to need a little less love with the oil than spongier vegetables such as mushrooms. Really get in there with your hands and toss them so they are evenly coated.

Don’t Crowd. Your pan should be big enough to accommodate all vegetables so they don’t clump together and cook evenly. Using a curved pan will distribute heat unevenly. If you are set on using a particular dish that doesn’t fit the bill, simply save it to use as the serving bowl.

Hot, hot, Hot. Don’t think that simply turning up the temperature will produce a faster cooking time. You don’t want mushy veggies. The goal is to allow them to cook evenly and create a nice caramelized glaze. Aim for a temperature of about 400-450 degrees Fahrenheit for the perfect roast.

Spice is nice. Seasoning is key when it comes to the perfect vegetables! When seasoning, sea salt and pepper will be your best friends, but don’t skimp on those aromatic herbs either. If you have access to fresh herbs, go for it – these will bring more flavor than dried. Some of our favorites are sage, thyme, and rosemary, but we also like to add a bit of surprise by using something extra special like a touch of turmeric or cardamon to really elevate the dish.

Cauliflower:

Prep: Wash and remove leaves and hearty stem. Break into even bite-sized florets. Roast at 425-450 degrees for 10-20 minutes or until tender.

Try It: Pistachio Cranberry Pilaf with Roasted Cauliflower.

Why we love it: The sweetness of cranberry and pop and texture of pistachio livens up our taste buds, and the mix of lentils and quinoa complete this dish making it well suited as a hearty side or main dish.

Brussel Sprouts:

Prep: Trim stems and remove any wilted outer leaves; wash thoroughly. Cut any large sprouts in half lengthwise. Roast at 400 for 30-40 minutes or until tender.

Try It: Chef Josiah Citrin’s Roasted Brussel Sprouts.

Why we love it:  This once despised veg is now a showcased mainstay. This recipe recreated a classic by adding the surprise of mint and pairing it with a classic Asian black bean sauce and punch of rice wine and garlic. Worthy of the chef who made it!

Butternut Squash:

Prep: Cut into evenly-sized pieces and roast at 350-400 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until tender.

Try It: Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Why We Love It: Butter. Need we say more? Actually, the roasted, caramel flavor creates an intoxicating mix in this delicious soup. We could eat this straight out of the oven.

Beets:

Prep:  Scrub and peel beets. Trim off stem and root ends. If desired, halve or quarter baby beets. Cut regular beets into 1-inch pieces and roast at 375-400 for about 40 minutes or until very tender.

Try It: Roasted Beet and Apple Skewers

Why We Love It: Goat cheese and beets were a match made in heaven. We love the idea of roasting beets and apples with a savory herb like rosemary and balsamic.

Sweet Potatoes:

Prep: Wash well and peel (if desired), and cut in to bite-sized pieces. Roast at 450 degrees for 30-40 minutes until tender.

Try It: Sweet Potato Granola Breakfast Bowl

Why We Love It: This recipe had us hooked at sweet potato granola! This twist creates the perfect fall and winter warming breakfast treat. But seriously, does anything sound better than sweet potatoes paired with honey and maple syrup, figs, and Greek yogurt?

Grapes:

Prep: Technically not roasted, but a delicious compliment to any roasted dish, these are prepared in a skillet on medium heat. Because they are so delicate and full of juicy goodness, they only take about 3-5 minutes to cook.

Try It: Truffle Honey Roasted Grapes

Why We Love It: An amazing way to wow your table with a twist on such an unassuming fruit. Paired with truffled honey, we could easily see these served as a savory dessert or with a cheese plate.

Tomatoes:

Prep: Wash and and half lengthwise, or if using small tomatoes keep whole. Roast at 350 degrees for 12 minutes, and then broil for about 5 minutes.

Try It: Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Why We Love It: Roasting tomatoes amplifies the juicy and tangy flavor of this “fruit”. Pair them with classic Mediterranean flavors of  basil, garlic, and olive oil, although classically for summer, completely fit for fall.


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