3.09.2012

Roasted Vegetables

In the late 90s, we discovered oven-roasted vegetables at Chicago's now defunct Bistro 110. The first time I saw them on the menu I had to ask the waitress, "What are roasted vegetables?" She explained. I ordered. It was love at first taste.

Fast forward to mid 2000s, my friend Gayle showed up to a potluck dinner holding a tray chock full of perfectly roasted vegetables. I had to ask, how did you do this? She explained, "You need a very hot oven: 425 or 450. Cut everything small and the same size. Olive oil, drizzled, salt and pepper. Take 'em out when they sizzle. Delicious!" I took note.

Recipe

Preheat oven to 375. Why a lower temperature than previously mentioned? I have found that vegetable combos cook more evenly with a lower oven temperature/longer roasting time.

Grab a baking sheet with sides or a shallow casserole dish. Add:
  • Cauliflower:  Cut the florets away from the stalks, pull apart or chop into 2 inch-ish pieces. Chop stalks into same-sized cubes.
  • Broccoli: Chop a touch larger than the cauliflower and carrots because they cook fast. Leave the thin stems attached to the florets. Cut the outer 1/2 inch of the fat stalks to reveal the inner sections and chop
  • Carrots: Chop into one inch pieces
  • Other Vegetables: all colors and backgrounds welcome (red onions, sweet peppers, and potatoes)

Drizzle into a little bowl or ramekin, then drizzle onto the veggies:
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Use your hands to mix until veggies are shiny. Add more oil, one tablespoon at a time, if necessary.

Add and toss in:
  • 1-2 tablespoons dried herbs like oregano, thyme, and/or sage

Place dish on the middle rack. Cook 20 minutes. Remove pan from the oven to stir. Cook another 20 mins. Remove dish from oven and stir. (Taste a carrot. Almost done?) If you like them slightly browned continue roasting another 10 minutes or more.

Remove dish from the oven. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2-3 turns of fresh ground pepper; toss to combine. That's all, folks!