8 Tips For Roasting Vegetables
Though it may be tempting to chop an assortment of veggies and throw them on a pan together to roast, we’re here to tell you that not all vegetables are created equal, and how you roast them DOES make a difference. Here are 8 of our best tips for roasting vegetables to help you reach maximum caramelized, charred veggie goodness!
8 Tips For Roasting Vegetables
- HOT AND FAST – Naturally occuring sugars in vegetables will caramelize at higher temperatures yielding chewy, crispy charred bits (which we love). For max caramelization and char roast vegetables between 400º and 450ºF.
- HARD VS. SOFT VEGETABLES – Harder root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, parsnips, and sweet potatoes require more time in the oven than softer vegetables like onions, mushrooms, and broccoli. I like to roast harder root vegetables at 400º for 15 minutes, then add softer vegetables to the pan, roasting everything together for another 20-30 minutes, and flipping halfway. If you would rather roast all of your vegetables together at the same time, simply chop everything into uniform pieces and keep you eye on them.
- WHICH FAT SHOULD YOU USE? – I love melted butter on vegetables, however, when you’re edging into the 450ºF temperature range for roasting, it’s better to choose a fat with a higher smoke point. For super hot temperatures I prefer to roast vegetables with coconut oil, sesame oil, vegetable oil, or peanut oil.
- DRIED SPICES FIRST, FRESH HERBS LAST – I like to toss chopped vegetables with spices like turmeric, paprika, ground coriander, or dried chilli flakes with oil before they go in the oven, however, if I’m using fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary, I’ll add them to the pan a few minutes before my vegetables comes out of the oven. You can definitely add chopped fresh herbs at the start, however adding them nearer the end of your cooking time will preserve fresh herb flavour.
- SEASON, SEASON, SEASON – Spices, herbs, and fat are great but DON’T FORGET TO SALT. Salt is a natural wonder that will perk up, as well as compliment, the mellow sweet flavour of your roasted veggies.
- DON’T OVERCROWD – It’s definitely easier to chop all of your veggies, throw them in a large bowl, toss them with oil and spices, and roast them in a jumbled mass on a baking sheet, however I am here to tell you it’s actually better if you don’t overcrowd your vegetables in piles. Overcrowding your pan will result in steamed vegetables rather than true roasted and trust me, you want the char and caramelization that roasting will bring. If you have too many vegetables to roast on one pan, simply roast on two pans, or in batches.
- SKIN SIDE DOWN – This tip is pertinent to carrots and parsnips. If you’re leaving the skin on, roast these root veggies with the skin side down. Placing them on the sheet with the cut side down leaves them more likely to burn on your hot baking sheet.
- VINEGAR IS YOUR FRIEND – One of my favourite things to do when my vegetables come out of the oven is to drizzle a small amount, say a teaspoon or so, of vinegar all over. I have multiple bottles of vinegar – white, apple cider, balsamic, red wine, sherry, and more – in my pantry and a tiny splash of red wine vinegar just seems to wake up the flavours of my veg and brings them to life. Try it and let me know what you think!
What do you think? Do you have any great tips for roasting vegetables that we haven’t mentioned? Let us know in the comments below or tag us on Instagram @baked_theblog!