Roasted Root Veggies
Roasted vegetables are so delicious. Anyone who I have ever cooked dinner for has most likely experienced some sort of roasted vegetable, especially in the fall and winter months. With root vegetables, in particular, many people find them unappealing. But, I am telling you, with this basic roasting technique, you can take ANY root vegetable and roast your way to deliciousness.
Here is a shortlist of veggies you can use with this technique, keeping in mind that you may need to give or take a few minutes depending on the density of the veg…carrot, parsnip, sweet potato, radish, beet, turnip, rutabaga, daikon, and even celery, Brussels sprouts, okra, squash, zucchini, and potatoes, with attention to changes in what each of these noble vegetables need. Once roasted, these vegetables get caramely, and sweet. They are warming and filling, and go as a side with just about anything.
My favorite is to serve them alongside an oven roasted chicken. You just prep everything and let the oven do all the work! (Very handy when you have a toddler on your hands!) I hope you will try roasting some root veggies of your own. They will make a great addition to your Thanksgiving spread!
[pe2-image src=”http://lh6.ggpht.com/-oeQRjctpxhw/UnvG1GGGJiI/AAAAAAAAAXk/_bbQxKBxplg/s144-c-o/Beet1.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/104413851917705081151/20131107#5943562748717049378″ caption=”Fresh Beets! – Click to View” type=”image” alt=”Beet1.jpg” pe2_img_align=”left” ]
Whatever root veggies you plan to roast, just wash (I don’t even peel!) and cut into bite size chunks. You can roast one type at a time or blend two or three together.
Preheat the over to 425. Drizzle about 1/4 cup EVOO and lots of sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Toss. Make sure that you are using a pan large enough that the vegs are in a single layer and that they’re not too tight in there. I think that is probably the easiest rookie mistake to make.[pe2-image src=”http://lh6.ggpht.com/-yi7QZsBnS_c/UnvG03NjAVI/AAAAAAAAAXg/Ob-c1fItow8/s144-c-o/BeetTurnip2.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/104413851917705081151/20131107#5943562744721768786″ caption=”Diced Turnips and Beets in the Roasting Pan – Click to View” type=”image” alt=”BeetTurnip2.jpg” ]
If you load a ton into a glass dish, and they are laying all over each other, the vegs are just going to steam. They will end up mushy and not caramely, and you might as well have just boiled them (yuck). I use the biggest metal cake pan I have, and if I’m cooking for a lot of people, I use my large turkey roasting pan to make sure every piece has direct contact with the pan and the heat of the oven.
[pe2-image src=”http://lh3.ggpht.com/-RATxTsV7m1o/UnvG2IhzOVI/AAAAAAAAAX8/yIRiyHkrqJQ/s144-c-o/BeetTurnip4.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/104413851917705081151/20131107#5943562766549989714″ caption=”Turnips and Beets snuggled in the oven next to some meatloaf – Click to View” type=”image” alt=”BeetTurnip4.jpg” pe2_img_align=”right” pe2_caption_css=”See how they’re not too crowded. ” ]
Roast on 425 for 10-15 minutes, giving them a shimmy-shake once or twice to make sure they’re not sticking. The exact time will depend on the size of your dice and the specific type of veg. For instance, it takes beets a mite longer than sweet potatoes. Once you can insert a knife with little resistance into one little buddy, crank the oven up to Broil for 3-5 minutes. This will ensure maximum carameling and outer crispiness.
[pe2-image src=”http://lh6.ggpht.com/-P8H-ULOruPE/UnvG1KC6PJI/AAAAAAAAAXs/IdjY6E6sTLw/s144-c-o/BeetTurnip1.jpg” href=”https://picasaweb.google.com/104413851917705081151/20131107#5943562749777427602″ caption=”Roasted Beets and Turnips – Click to View” type=”image” alt=”BeetTurnip1.jpg” ]
Remove from oven, if you like fresh herbs, toss them around with some lovely chopped parsley, sage, or thyme, and serve!