Come the weekends we all like something extra delicious and my absolute favourite is roasted vegetables, it never fails to satisfy. There is something very comforting about food coming out of a hot oven.
Roasting brings out the sweetness of beets and parsnips, peppers, carrots and potatoes, and intensifies the robustness of garlic, mushrooms and shallots. Even vegetables you may not normally like can taste wonderful when roasted.
I usually use coconut butter or avocado oil as they have a high flash-point, meaning they do not burn at high temperatures. Save your good olive oil for dressings.
Using herbs such as rosemary, sage and thyme, or honey and mustard drizzle to season can really help to get the digestive juices flowing.
Tips for roasted vegetables:
- The oven should be hot, 200° C /400° F usually works well.
- Think about the required roasting time for different vegetables when cooking a variety of them together. Chop parsnips, carrots, beets and potatoes thinly as they tend to take longer than sweet potatoes, cauliflower florets and squashes, and courgettes, peppers, aubergine, tomatoes or mushrooms will require even less time, so I either leave them whole or halve them depending on size.
- Season your oil before tossing your vegetables in it, you just want an even coating to ensure they crisp up, too much oil and they will get soggy.
- Sweet potatoes should be soaked in cold water and then patted dry before roasting to ensure crispness.
- Most vegetables will shrink during the roasting process as the moisture from the vegetables evaporates and intensifies flavours. There are rarely any leftovers but when there is I save them for use in salads and other dishes.
- Remember to turn your vegetables halfway through so that they get browned on both sides. At the same time, turn the roasting pan around as most ovens get hotter in the back to ensure all your vegetables cook evenly.
- Resist the temptation to over-fill your roasting dish, allow space for roasting or you will end up with mushy veggies instead of nice crispy ones.
- Use what you have. It is amazing how even your least favourite vegetables can be transformed by roasting. I have seen people who dislike Brussels sprouts spear the last one, just because they are roasted.
- If you like crispy kale leaves, add them right at the end, 2-3 minutes is usually long enough in a hot oven.
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