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How to Roast Vegetables

Tried-and-true Tips on How to Roast Vegetables Properly

Roasting brings out the sweetness and flavor of vegetables. Go through this article for some guidelines regarding this cooking method.
Sonia Nair
Last Updated: Mar 8, 2018
Fried bell peppers
Roasting is a method of cooking, that uses indirect and diffused dry heat, till the food gets caramelized. Even though, it is a slow-cooking method, roasting is preferred for certain vegetables, like squash, potatoes, carrots, onions, eggplant, cauliflower, parsnips, asparagus, turnip, and peppers. This is also a popular cooking method for poultry, and other types of meat, like beef, lamb, and pork.
Tips to Roast Vegetables Properly
So, roasting is a common method for cooking vegetables, especially root vegetables. It is said that fall vegetables are more suitable for this type of cooking. Roasting enhances the flavor of the vegetables, as it imparts a slight sweetness. This is due to caramelization of sugars in the vegetables, when they get exposed to heat. Even the nutrients in the vegetables are retained to some extent. Above all, roasting is perfect for those who want to cut down on fats and calories.
  • Choose the vegetables for roasting. You may use a single vegetable, or a combination of different types. Potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes, squash, rutabaga, carrots, parsnips, turnips, asparagus, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, and peppers are commonly used for roasting.
  • Once you choose the vegetables, wash them to remove any dirt. Peel (if necessary) and cut the vegetables into pieces of uniform size. Usually, 1 to 1½ inch pieces are preferred for roasting vegetables in the oven.
  • As the cooking time varies from one vegetable to another, you may cut them into pieces with varying thickness. Those with a lesser cooking time can be cut into bigger chunks, and vegetables that take more time to cook can be cut into slightly thinner pieces.
  • Once done, take a large bowl, and put the vegetable pieces in it. Add some olive oil or any other vegetable oil, along with some salt (kosher or sea salt is preferred). You may also add the herbs and spices of your choice.
  • Toss the vegetable pieces, till they get uniformly coated with the oil, salt, and other seasonings. Take a baking tray or a shallow roasting pan, and spread the cut vegetables on it. It is always advisable to arrange the vegetables in a single layer. Avoid overcrowding, so as to facilitate even roasting.
  • Place the pan inside the oven that is preheated to 400° F. Another important point to note is that you have to flip the vegetables once in every 15 minutes, as this ensures even roasting.
  • Temperature to roast vegetables is maintained between 400° F to 475° F. However, some people prefer low temperatures (300° F to 325° F) for root vegetables, and high temperatures (up to 500°F) for certain other vegetables. You may experiment and find out the perfect temperature for roasting different vegetables.
  • The cooking time may vary with different vegetables, and the size of individual pieces. In such cases, all you have to do is to check the doneness, using a fork.
  • It can be said that hard ones, like potatoes require around 50 to 60 minutes for getting cooked. Garlic, onions, and eggplant require about 30 minutes for roasting. The cooking time may vary with the thickness of the pieces, as thin ones cook faster than the thicker pieces.

You may experiment with different vegetables and their cooking times, and find out the best way to roast vegetables. You may also roast them on the grill. All you have to do is to wash and cut them into pieces (may be roasted whole too), and roast them on the grill, after coating with oil and seasonings. It takes around 20 minutes for roasting vegetables on a covered grill, and around 30 minutes on an open one. So, try roasting, and enjoy the goodness of vegetables with a rich flavor.
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