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How-to: Roasting Vegetables

Everyday Food, October 2006

This easy cooking method is one of the best things that will happen to vegetables in your kitchen.

Why It's Terrific
Nothing quite makes the case for simple cooking like roasted vegetables. With just salt, pepper, a bit of oil, and a hot oven, nearly every vegetable becomes sublime. Their flavors are intensified and concentrated, with a sweetness that only roasting can impart. I've put together a seasonal combination for you, Roasted Fall Vegetables, but don't be timid about experimenting -- not only with the vegetables you choose to roast but how you use them afterward. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Roasting Tips
- Use shallow pans (such as baking sheets) and don't overcrowd vegetables. This allows vegetables to brown rather than steam.

- Toss vegetables during roasting; they'll stay coated with oil and won't dry out.

Some Ideas
- Roast vegetables with a few sprigs of fresh sturdy herbs, such as rosemary, oregano, or thyme (or about a teaspoon dried).

- Toss in soft, leafy herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, or dill, after the vegetables are cooked.

- Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese 10 to 15 minutes before the end of roasting.

How I Like to Use Roasted Vegetables
- Piled in a sandwich with a little goat cheese.

- Tossed with pasta or layered in lasagna.

- Mixed into cooked rice, couscous, or bulgur.

Roasting Time Depends on the Vegetable
Experiment and create your own combination of vegetables. If mixing slow- and quick-roasting vegetables together, cut the slow-roasting ones in smaller pieces than the quick-roasting ones so they'll all be done at the same time. Here's a list of vegetables that roast well:

- Asparagus
- Corn
- Mushrooms
- Tomatoes

Somewhat Quick-Roasting
- Bell peppers
- Broccoli
- Cauliflower
- Eggplant
- Fennel
- Onions
- Zucchini and summer squash

- Beets
- Carrots
- Onions
- Parsnips
- Potatoes
- Sweet potatoes
- Turnips
- Winter squash

Recipes That Use Roasted Fall Vegetables
Spinach Salad with Roasted Fall Vegetables
Roasted Fall Vegetable and Ricotta Pizza
Roasted Fall Vegetable Soup

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