How to Roast Vegetables
Knowing how to roast vegetables allows for a tastey alternative to the standard boiling process. Much more of the flavour tends to develop when vegetables are cooked with way, whilst a crisp outside texture makes their eating more interesting. This ‘how to’ shows you how.
1- Prepare your vegetables. Prepare butternut squash by chopping off any tough skin. Scrub or peel root vegetables like parsnips. You can also use other vegetables such as carrots, celeriac or sweet potatoes.
2- Think about what thicknesses the different vegetables need to be. Vegetables roast at different speeds so cut to the right size to make sure they all cook evenly. Soft vegetables like aubergines cook faster so cut these up larger. Hard vegetables like parsnips take longer to cook so chop up finer.
3- Season and flavour. Place them in a single layer in a roasting dish. Add some robust herbs such as thyme or rosemary with a few pinches of salt and pepper to taste.
4- Roast with whole cloves of garlic. A few cloves of garlic, left whole in their skins, can be roasted with the vegetables to give them flavour. You can also use them to make a sweet roasted garlic paste to spread on toast or add to dressings. They really sweeten and become much less pungent when roasted.
5- Add red onions. Red onions can also be quartered and added. The roasting process removes the harshness yet keeps the sweetness!
6- Moisten with olive oil. Pour on a glug of olive oil and use your hands to make sure that the vegetables are completely coated. Other aromatic oils can also be used.
7- Cook root vegetables for 40-50 minutes. Root vegetables will cook in 40-50 minutes in a fairly hot oven – 180-200C, or 350-400F.
8- Roast soft vegetables for 30 minutes. Soft vegetables like peppers, aubergines, onions and tomatoes roasted at higher temperatures will have lovely charred edges.
Using a mixture of different vegetables will give a good balance of tastes and textures.