Perfect Roasted Vegetables

Are you looking for a no-fail, easy-to-remember method for roasting up any type of vegetable to perfection?

Good news. We got your method right here.

The secret to consistently sensational veggies lies in five simple steps. Begin by sortingyour vegetables, then prep them for even cooking and to maximize surface area for developing caramelization. Arrange on a tray lined with parchment paper, lube ’em up with a little oil, season, and cook according to their grouping. From there, it’s just a matter of finishing your vegetables with a little more seasoning and oil and serving them up to your grateful guests.

They make an amazing accompaniment to any roast or golden-brown bird and can even stand on their own as a light meal—especially if you top ’em with an Emoji or sous vide egg or serve them with a side of umami-rich Kewpie style mayo for dipping.

Why learn an easy-to-recall mental model like this? It not only simplifies the process and imbues you with confidence in the kitchen, it also helps cut down on food waste because you’ll never need to wonder what to do with that crisper full of cauliflower or that CSA box bursting with sunchokes. So go forth and get roasty—perfectly cooked plant food is well within your purview.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Vegetables! All sorts of vegetables! Olive oil

Salt N Pepa Parchment paper Baking sheet

STAGE 1: Sort

Sort vegetables according to groups—note that these groups don’t correspond exactly to scientific classifications, but rather to the length of time it takes those vegetables to cook. The categories are meant to be easy to remember and practical, but they’re not the stuff of textbooks, capiche? Some common roasting candidates are below. Don’t know which group your vegetable of choice falls into? Ask us in the comments.

LONGER COOK TIME (about 45 min at 425 °F / 218 °C)

Squash: kabocha, pumpkin, butternut, acorn, delicata

Roots and tubers: Potatoes, parsnips, yams, beets, carrots

Alliums: Garlic, onions, shallots, leeks

SHORTER COOK TIME (about 25 min at 425 °F / 218 °C)

Brassica flowers and buds: Cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli

Mushrooms: Porcini, chanterelle, shiitake, morels, cremini, portobello

STAGE 2: Prep!

Slice vegetables into similarly sized pieces to promote even cooking. Slicing also increases surface area to give you plenty of caramelized, roasty goodness.

STAGE 3: Arrange & season!

Line baking tray, or trays, with parchment paper.

Arrange veggies on the tray or trays.

Sort them according to the time they take to cook: put squash, roots, and alliums on one tray, brassicas and mushrooms on the other.

Lay them down flat in a single layer on the parchment paper, and make sure they don’t overlap.

Drizzle vegetables generously with olive oil, and season with salt (and pepper if desired).

NOTE: Not all parchment paper is appropriate for higher cooking temperatures. Check packaging for details.

STAGE 4: Cook at 425 °F / 218 °C

Starchier or harder vegetables like squash, roots, and onions take about 45 minutes to fully roast, whereas mushrooms and softer vegetables should take about 25.

If you’re cooking both, begin with the veggies that take longer to cook. After 20 minutes, add the rest and continue cooking 25 more minutes.

For even browning, flip vegetables halfway through cook time.

STAGE 5: Finish and serve!

Add a little more oil and salt if desired, then season as you like—we add lemon juice and fresh herbs. Arrange on a plate and get munching. So good, right?

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