Monday, March 14, 2011

Roasted Vegetables

If you know the basics of roasting vegetables, you can work miracles in your kitchen, because roasting brings out the natural sweetness of anything.  I know many people marinade their vegetables before roasting - adding things like vinegar or lemon juice.  I don't think that does anything for the actual process of roasting.  When you add an acidic element, not only may you have too much liquid, so that your veggies end up steaming and not roasting, but it immediately started breaking down the fibers of the veggies and you run the risk of a steamed, soggy mess - that may be eatable, but it will not be scrumptious.

So remember - in the oven, all you need on your veggies is oil - nothing else.  If you want to add other flavors, add it after the roasting is complete.

1 large onion
2 red peppers
2 small zucchini
1 large funnel bulb
2 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
fresh herbs

Preheat oven to 425 degrees (if you don't feel comfortable with your oven that hot, 400 degrees will work also - you may need to roast a few minutes longer).

Cut the onion in half and slice into wedges.  Cut the peppers into 1 inch chunks.  Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and slice on the diagonal into 1 - 2 inch chunks.  Cut the funnel bulb in half, core, and trim the tough outer layer.  Cut into roughly 1 inch chunks.  Place all of the veggies on a sheet tray, add olive oil and toss until all of the vegetables pieces are coated with oil.

Roast in the preheated oven for 15 - 20 minutes, turning the veggies half way thru.  Test with a fork, veggies should be tender crisp and beginning to brown. 

Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.  Also, add any fresh herbs you like. 

- substitute your favorite veggies for the ones listed above (broccoli is our favorite)
- after removing from the oven, sprinkle with a good quality balsamic vinegar
- when cooled a bit, roasted veggies are fabulous in a green salad
- also wonderful on pasta, top cooked pasta with roasted veggies, a fresh herb such as flat-leaf parsley, a bit of red pepper flake, garlic, parmesan cheese and 1/4 cup or so of the pasta cooking water - toss.  Lemon zest would be good too.
- add roasted veggies to cooked quinoa (bring 2 cups of water and 1 cup quinoa to a boil, simmer, covered for 15 - 20 minutes - til all the water has been absorbed).  Might also want to add a bit more olive oil, vinegar, herbs, etc. This could be a warm side-dish, or a room-temp salad.  (I love anything in quinoa!)

Note: when roasting dense vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes or butternut squash, you will probably need to roast 5 - 15 minutes longer (depending on the size of the pieces).  Or you can blanch these vegatable first in salted water for about 10 minutes prior to roasting.


  1. This is just what I needed Mel! Now I can pop onto your site and follow the directions any time. I've not tried fennel roasted but am game. I'll be sure to post after my 1st roast and let you know how it went. Appreciate the instructions and all the options. Love to you!!! xoxoxo

  2. Melanie- I just tried it with asparagus and it was super easy and they are delicious! Thank you so much! Off to enjoy... I added Herbs du Provence and sea salt... Yummers!

  3. thanks for you comment Suz - I'm so happy it was helpful!