Cooking 101: Roasting Vegetables
Ahh, mid-March. For me, one of the worst times of the year. Holidays are long over, piles of dirty snow everywhere, and though this is the month when spring technically begins, we all know that it’ll be a while before it starts feeling that way.
Even cooking is in the doldrums. By this time of the year I feel like I’m hitting the replay button with most dishes, and I’m counting the days till that gorgeous early spring produce begins to make its appearance.
So what to do in the mean time?
Roasting vegetables – especially root vegetables – has a transformative effect that is truly magical. Roasting brings out a sweetness and flavor that elevates even the most busted, lackluster veggies to truly delicious heights.
And it couldn’t be easier. In fact, the simpler the better!
Here’s what to do:
Pre-heat your oven to 475. Get out the olive oil, kosher salt, pepper and some fresh herbs (I’m partial to thyme and rosemary). Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Trim your vegetables so that they are somewhat similar in thickness – this will ensure that they cook evenly, and are finished at the same time. I sliced the carrots and parsnips in half crosswise, then in half lengthwise (in quarters for the very thick ones). For new potatoes I cut the tiny ones in half, the larger ones in quarters.
Now toss the veggies in a large bowl with 1-2 tablespoons of oil, and arrange in a single layer on your prepared baking sheet. Season liberally with salt and freshly ground pepper and top with herb sprigs (reserve a few sprigs for garnish).
Bake till browned and very tender, which will take about 30-45 minutes. Remove and discard herbs; serve immediately, with fresh herbs for garnish if desired.
Now come on, Spring!