Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Recipe: Oven-Roasted Vegetables (Λαχανικά στο Φούρνο)

Red Pumpkin ready to be peeled and cut up for roasting

I gave up steaming and boiling vegetables years ago.

It started with grilled asparagus. The concentrated flavor of the asparagus was glorious, and put its water-logged boiled brothers to shame. We went on a vegetable-grilling kick, and discovered they all tasted better when cooked over fire.

Then the weather turned cold. Grilling outside when it’s 10°F is no fun. Even so, we didn't want to go back to cooking vegetables in water.

No problem. Cranking up the oven, and roasting vegetables for a short time at high temperature, provided the concentrated vegetable flavor we’d grown to love over the summer. Without smoke from the grill, the pure essence of roasted vegetables was the highlight of our meals that winter and in all the years since.

Nothing could be easier.

Roasted Delicata Squash

Oven-Roasted Vegetables (Λαχανικά στο Φούρνο)
Vegetables from asparagus to zucchini are suitable for roasting. Today, my favorites are cauliflower, winter squash, sweet potatoes, and turnips. Tomorrow, who knows? My favorites change with the seasons.

Preheat the oven to 475°F. Clean and dry the vegetables. Cut them into whatever size pieces you prefer. I usually cut the vegetables small, so they are bite-sized and cook more quickly.

Toss the vegetables with plenty of olive oil and salt, and spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet. Don’t crowd the pan or the vegetables will steam rather than roast.

Roast the vegetables for 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces and the type of vegetable used. I set the timer for 10 minutes, and then add time as necessary until the vegetables are fully cooked. Roasted vegetables taste best when the edges are a little charred.
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This is my entry for Heart of the Matter’s Quick and Easy event for heart healthy food, sponsored this month by Lucullian Delights.

13 comments:

Suganya said...

Wow! You have posts lined up one after the another.

Ilva said...

This is perfect as an entry of this month HotM-Thank you!

Laurie Constantino said...

Suganya, and here I've been worried that I haven't been posting enough! HA!

Ilva, I'm so glad you like it!

Peter M said...

I've really enjoyed roasted squash this year...a hearty vegetable dish.

maybahay said...

roasted vegetables are great, they are a life-saver for me. great as sides or i toss them in with couscous or pasta,when i don't want to cook separately for everyone in the family (with little kids)

Kevin said...

Roasting vegetables is my favorite way to cook them as well. I just tried oven roasting some brussels sprouts and they were really good.

bee said...

that is a truly delicious way to eat pumpkin. wish you happy holidays and a wonderful new year.

Maryann said...

I love roasted vegetables also. They caramelize :)

Laurie Constantino said...

Peter, I'm having a hard time eating winter squash any way other than roasted -- it's that good.

Maybahay, you are so right that they are a lifesaver. I use roasted vegetables the same way you do. So easy, and so good.

Kevin, oven roasted brussel sprouts are delicious. Wish I had some right now!

Bee, happy holidays and happy new year to you!

Maryann, the caramelization is what I love about roasted vegetables. And you get it without having to stand over a hot burner forever.

anna l'americana said...

Roasting was a life-saver for me this past Thanksgiving. While the turkey was resting and I was busy trying to drain, defat, reduce and season the gravy I didn't have to worry about fresh-cooking a veggie and trying to get it on the table while still green and crisp. Oven roasting veggies ROCKS! When the turkey came out the veggies went in and it all made it to the table at the same time, hot, delicious, ready to eat!

Cris said...

So healthy and yummy! Love your recipes, they save time, while they are roasting you can fix other things... nice!

Cris said...

Hi... I have pumpkin in the oven right now... and I also sprinkled pepper and cinnamon, let's see how it turns out, I have in mind a dip with tahine... will let you know, thanks for inspiring me today with this recipe. Take care.

Laurie Constantino said...

Anna, excellent food planning with the turkey and veggies, and exactly the kind of time saving necessary to simplify big holiday feasts!

Cris, I'm so glad you tried this. The pepper and cinnamon sound like a nice touch. I'll be curious to hear what kind of dip you ended up making. I love tahini.