We all know it’s important to eat our veggies. The challenge often comes in how to prepare them. Nothing brings out the flavor profile of vegetables more than roasting. Roasted vegetables achieve a caramelization factor that leads to vegetables that are crisp on the outside while being tender on the inside with a sweetened flavor that tantalizes the taste buds.
Almost any vegetable can be roasted, the only variation necessary is the length of cooking time. The range in temperatures for roasting vegetables are between 350°F to 425°F. Higher temperatures shorten the roasting time required; but vegetables that are cut small or are delicate do better at lower temperatures for a longer time period. The following are approximate cooking times for roasting vegetables cut into 1-inch pieces at 400°F – 425°F. Don’t forget to toss the vegetables half way through the suggested cooking time:
Asparagus – 20 minutes
Bell Peppers – 20 minutes
Broccoli – 25 minutes
Brussels Sprouts (halved) – 25 minutes
Butternut Squash – 30 minutes
Cabbage (cut into 1-inch thick slices) – 30 minutes
Carrots (cut into 1-inch chunks or whole baby carrots)- 30 minutes
Cauliflower – 25 minutes
Corn (cobs left whole with husks) – 40 minutes
Green Beans – 20 minutes
Kale – 15 minutes (it doesn’t need to be in a single layer)
Onions – 35 minutes
Potatoes – 45 minutes
Sweet Potatoes – 30 minutes
Tomatoes (grape or cherry) – 15 minutes
Yellow Squash – 20 minutes
Zucchini – 20 minutes
If the vegetable you want to roast isn’t listed here, just pick the timing required for a vegetable with a similar density. For instance, if you were roasting radishes (halved or whole) they would be similar in density to carrots, so you would roast them for approximately 30 minutes.
There are three ways to roast mixed vegetables. First, and easiest, you can roast the individual vegetables on separate trays and combine them after they are cooked. This method may require reheating the combined dish at the end. Second, you can pair together “vegetable friends” — ones that roast at roughly the same rate. For instance, you could roast cauliflower and broccoli together, or butternut squash with cabbage. Combine them on the same baking sheet and roast them together. If the baking sheet is getting crowded, split the vegetables between two sheets to prevent steaming instead of roasting. When using two sheets be sure you put the top rack in the upper third of the oven and the lower rack in the bottom third of the oven. This will allow the heat and air to circulate better to help get the vegetables tender and caramelized. If the baking sheets are only an inch or two apart, the bottom vegetables will steam rather than roast. Be sure to rotate baking sheets between the racks half way through to ensure even roasting at the same time as you toss the vegetables. Third, you can add different vegetables to the baking sheet in stages — start roasting the hardest, longest-cooking vegetables first, and then add softer, quicker-cooking vegetables later on. If the baking sheet starts to get full, split the vegetables between two pans so you don’t crowd them. Doing it this way allows the vegetables finish roasting around the same time, and remember: A little extra roasting time is unlikely to hurt.
Try this Life’s Solution and intensify the taste by roasting up your favorite vegetables using the following directions. Be sure to do a large batch if you want leftovers. They can be refrigerated 3 to 4 days in an airtight container and be reheated in a 450°F oven for 4 or 5 minutes before serving. Leftover roasted vegetables can also add a burst of flavor to your favorite soups, casseroles, quesadillas, omelets, pizzas, and grain bowls (directions for making a grain bowl can be found in Life’s Solutions-Making the Most From What You Have).
How to Roast Any Vegetable
1- 2 lbs. of any vegetables, cut to a like size
1-2 tablespoon of oil or vegetable oil spray
½ teaspoon of salt (optional)
¼ teaspoon of pepper
½- 1 teaspoon of additional seasonings of your choice (you might want try a seasoning mix described in Life’s Solutions- Tasteful Additions
- Arrange oven rack to the middle of the oven then pre-heat to 425°F.
- Prepare vegetables by washing, peeling (if desired), and cutting into uniform pieces so they cook evenly. If your vegetables still have some moisture after washing, be sure to pat them as dry as possible; the drier the vegetable, the better it will roast.
- Put the vegetables to a large bowl. Add the oil and toss to coat. Vegetables should be lightly coated and glistening but not doused in oil or spray with vegetable oil spray.
- Spread the vegetables out on a rimmed baking sheet or in a baking dish. Make sure they are in a single layer with a little space in between. Use two baking sheets if needed to prevent crowding. Sprinkle vegetables with salt, pepper, and seasonings.
- Estimate your cooking time based on the vegetables you are cooking and the method you chose if roasting combined vegetables.
- Place the vegetables in the oven and begin roasting. Toss vegetables halfway through the cooking time, if using two racks rotate baking sheets at this time.
- Continue roasting until the vegetables are easily pierced with a fork or knife and they are showing crispy, browned bits at the tips and edges.
- Remove from oven and transfer the vegetables to a serving dish.
If you are interested in more recipes, nutritional information, or classes, visit our website at www.cceschoharie-otsego.org or contact Michelle Leveski, Nutrition Program Educator by calling 518-234-4303 ext. 115 (please leave a message), or emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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