Not until I came across Pam Anderson’s wonderful cookbook, The Perfect Recipe for Eating Great and Losing Weight( see my Granola recipe for the link), did I ever consider roasting vegetables. Sure I’d had eaten a righteous roasted vegetable salad in my life but the concept of doing this myself was ludicrous. Until I learned that all it takes is a baking sheet, oil, a 425 degree Farenheit (220 degree Celsius) oven , and 20 – 25 minutes to roast uniformly medium cut veggies to perfection.
Vegetables that I’d previously written off as not a part of my eating or cooking vocabulary suddenly became exotic. Beets? I don’t make borscht and I like an occasional dose of sweet and sour beets in my salad bar trough. But roasting them renders them a delicacy and sort of unrecognizable. Roasted beets, who knew?
Cut them to a quarter-inch thick, toss them in oil and sea salt if desired, and lay them out on a baking sheet. The sugars bubble to the surface and they are tender and meaty and become a vegetable candy they’re so sweet. Carrots do a similar thing and they make a happy combination on any salad. Today I put them in with salmon, feta, and a raspberry walnut vinaigrette. I could have added apple and walnuts or substituted chicken and it would have been equally yummy.
Another vegetable that took me by surprise when roasted was green beans. I detest the squeak of a crispy green bean but when roasted, they have a meaty nutty texture. Then marinade these to put back on top of a salad and you are eating “out”suddenly. Roasted cauliflower is immensely popular these days. When roasted in cubes, sweet potatoes are a great potato salad base with craisins and apples and celery for crunch with a little Tumeric. And we always roast red potato cubes as a french fry substitute. Higher sugar content will make any veggie yummier with the roasting method.
If you have the oven on for a chosen meat already, consider being proactive and cooking up a sheet of veggies to eat on the rest of the week. Cut everything uniformly in half-inch widths and at 425 for 20 minutes, you will wonder like me, how you hadn’t started this practice a long time ago. Happy Veggie Roasting !