Roasting is one of the easiest, tastiest, AND healthiest ways to prepare food, particularly vegetables. Roasting vegetables in a very hot oven gives them a caramelized, sweet exterior and flavor while keeping the inside moist and tender. This showy cooking method easily feeds a crowd or just a couple, and has been known to turn around any picky veggie eater into a believer!
Roast in a HOT Oven
Heat your oven to 450-475. This way the vegetables cook quickly—many vegetables take only 25 to 30 minutes—they still have a chance to brown nicely on the outside by the time they become tender inside. Be careful NOT to crowd the vegetables on your roasting pan or baking sheet- or else they’ll steam.
Add Flavor with Oil and Spice
Toss the vegetables in olive oil + your favorite spice mixture BEFORE roasting. This mixture keeps the veggies from drying out and helps to add flavor. My go-to mix is olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper.
It’s very important that you cut the vegetables in pieces of about the same size. Unevenly sized pieces won’t roast and brown in the same amount of time, and you’ll end up with both overroasted and underroasted vegetables.
Stop to Stir
Halfway through the roasting process, pull out your pan and stir the vegetables. This allows browning on all edges and lets you see how fast/slow the roasting is happening. Make sure you position vegetables near the pan’s edges. If the vegetable pieces cover the pan sparsely, arrange them more toward the edges of the pan. Pieces near the edge brown better.
But what’s especially great about roasting is that it’s fairly quick and hands-off, and much of the prep can be done ahead of roasting time. You can cut up the vegetables (except potatoes and sweet potatoes) in the morning, if you like, so by the time you’re ready to roast, all you have to do is toss them with oil and seasonings, spread them on a pan, and check on them occasionally as they roast.