Burnt is Better

Remember a while back I mentioned stuff on how to roast vegetables MY way? Well, I wanted to revisit how to roast vegetables because it is SO easy and really an amazing way to get tons of vegetables into your diet. Winter vegetables can get old REALLY fast. I mean… how much kale and squash can you possible consume before you lose it and resort to stuffing your face with chocolate and cheeseburgers (maybe not together though…).

Anyway… I like my vegetables to get this unbelievably golden (almost burnt) salty crust on them before gobbling them up with some protein (sausage, egg, steak… anything). ┬áMy favorites these days have been cabbage, brussel sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, and sweet potato. You can really roast any type of vegetable like this… acorn squash, butternut squash, radishes, beets… anything.

My oven and I have come to the understanding that 400 F is the right temperature because it is low enough to get the vegetables soft and chewy, but hot enough to get the edges crispy. I use a good helping of good olive oil (between 1/4 to 1/2 cup of olive oil for every sheet of vegetables). Good salt. And about 60 minutes to 120 minutes depending on how chunky your vegetables are and how “burnt” you like them. I make plenty of roasted vegetables at a time and store them for up to 1 week in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. It’s an excellent way to prepare for healthy meals for the entire week.

Obviously… just salt and oil can get a little boring, so there are some add ins to toss with the salt and oil:

  1. Herbs de Provence (oregano, lavender, and some other yummies)
  2. Chopped garlic and parsley thrown in for the last ten minutes of the roast
  3. Chunky slices of onions with root vegetables
  4. Honey glazed – add a few tablespoons of good honey with the salt and honey, and toss to coat the vegetables before roasting
  5. A generous sprinkle of black pepper and pink peppercorns for a zingy punch
  6. Cayenne and red pepper flakes for spicy vegetables

Here are some pictures of the vegetables I’ve roasted recently.

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What about you guys? How do you like your vegetables? Crispy crispy? Or less?

Oh look…

I’m back… as promised!

So… I spent a few days with my older sister and whipped up some things for her to eat through the week. She’s an intern, so she spends a lot of time at the hospital and very little time at home. Since she spends so little time at home, it’s obviously difficult to find delicious and healthy meals to whip up in short periods of time.

This time I made roasted root vegetables and meatballs. Meatballs get popped in the freezer to be cooked freshly each day and the root vegetables are roasted all at once and refrigerated to be eaten for a couple days. S commented that how I made roasted vegetables are better than the way most people make them…

I laughed, because the key to having really delicious roasted vegetables is patience. There is a distinct difference between the temperatures at which vegetables are cooked that makes them more or less palatable… and how long you cook them.

The general rules I follow when roasting vegetables: (At some point, I’ll get more specific and even bring pictures!!)

  1. Use good quality olive oil, salt and pepper. I normally coat the baking sheet with a light coat of oil, toss the vegetables on the sheet with another generous drizzle of oil with the salt and pepper
  2. Space the vegetables out – the closer the vegetables are, the more likely they are to steam instead of roast… and you end up with uneven slices and soggy vegetables
  3. Roast at higher temperatures. I normally roast my vegetables at 425 F or 450 F. The higher temperature helps the vegetables get that desirable golden crust and cooks the insides of the root vegetables into a fluffy texture.
  4. Roast longer. There is a distinct difference between well cooked vegetables and undercooked. I think this is what sets my roasted vegetables apart from most others… I cook mine for a LONG time. I normally put a tray of cauliflower and carrots into the oven at 425 F for 65 minutes. Most recipes I’ve seen for comparable roasted vegetables say about 30 minutes. Vegetables take on an entirely different texture once they have been roasted for longer. Sweet potatoes start to caramelize and take on a chewy texture that rivals the best caramels. Carrots become plush but toothsome bites that are like distilled sunshine.
  5. Rotate generously – I rotate my pans about 3 or 4 times. I often switch from the bottom to top racks to ensure that the vegetables roast evenly and flip the pans around so everything is browned nicely.

Next time? There will be pictures. So many pictures.

xoxo

-H