Search

Roast Vegetables: Professional Tips for Getting the Most Taste Out of Your Veggies

Roast Vegetables: Professional Tips for Getting the Most Taste Out of Your Veggies

Hello All! This is my very first blog post so I will take a moment to introduce myself before we get into the real reason you are here!

My name is Elizabeth Vincent. God has blessed me with a wonderful husband and three beautiful daughters. We've just recently moved from Charleston, SC where my husband I both grew up, to the upstate area of Greenville, SC. I have so enjoyed getting to know this beautiful area and have already been spoiled by all of the fresh farming options the area has to offer. I've always had a love for food and cooking but I never really know how I wanted to express it until recently and I cannot wait to share with you all I have learned along the way in hopes that I can help take the intimidation out of the kitchen and make your lives a little easier. We all have to eat right? So why not make it easier and more enjoyable! For more about me go here!


Now let's get into the cooking!

As the seasons start to change I think about what produce is in season. Autumn and winter vegetables lend themselves well to roasting and it just happens to be one of my favorite ways to cook them.
By roasting you caramelize the natural sugars found in each veggie and transform them into the best they can taste and look.
Chop to create the most surface area, olive oil and salt, cook at 400° until golden brown. But there are a few tips to make it the BEST!

Tip 1: Maximum Surface Area

More surface area on the pan = more flavor. As celebrity chef Carla Hall says, “there’s flavor in the brown”. The more contact the veggies have with the pan, the more caramelizing and texture you will have. (yes, you do want a little crunch but only on the outside!) My favorite example of this is sweet potatoes. I like to cut them in a small dice so they cook faster and end up soft on the inside with a little crunch on the outside. Think about that layer of crunchy sugar on top of créme bruleé. Do you know how they create that? They sprinkle sugar on top and heat with a cooking torch. You are doing the same thing with your veggies but instead of adding sugar, you are using the natural sugars the veggie already has to create that same crunch!

It is here where I think the type of baking sheet matters. My personal favorite is the Pampered Chef stoneware, it absorbs extra liquid, heats evenly, creates the perfect amount of brown without burning and once seasoned (think cast iron) it is non-stick and easy to clean (Because let’s face it, who likes doing the dishes!) Don’t have a stone? That’s ok, a good quality metal baking sheet will work, you just need to watch how long your veggies cook and will need to turn them halfway through cooking. I’ve seen parchment paper used to help absorb some of the extra liquids and easy clean-up. Also you can bump up the temp to 425° with a metal pan for faster cooking.

Tip 2: Veggies Need Space

There are natural juices in each veggie. If you have them too close together, those juices will surround your vegetable and essentially steam them and not get brown. Giving them space not only helps them brown but they will cook faster. I love an opportunity for passive cooking; time cooking that I don’t have to touch it or even think about it and can do something else; but I also don’t want to start cooking at 4:00 in the afternoon to have dinner ready by 6. That is not going to work for most working adults! Smaller, bite sized pieces cook faster and it’s less work in the end when you are trying to get everything else finished at the same time- after all, isn’t that always the hardest part?!

Tip 3: Season Liberally

It doesn’t take much because the veggies, the heat, and the pan are doing most of the work.  However, if you learn nothing else from me, you will learn to properly salt your food. READ: Four finger pinch, and season every step! There is only one exception to this, MUSHROOMS. Salt releases the extra liquids in mushrooms and they will drown in their own moisture (see tip 2 for why this is bad).  Now as I’ve referenced before my kids are super picky and if they see a fleck of pepper (or anything they don’t recognize for that matter <eyeroll>) they will not touch it! So olive oil and salt are generally all I will use for roasting. Occasionally, I’ll add in some thyme or some other pantry staple if I’m feeling fancy, but that’s another post…

Why olive oil? It’s the most natural for cooking oil out there, and since we are not frying at high temps, it’s not going to burn quickly. If you have the pantry space to have a couple types, I would suggest a light in flavor olive oil for roasting and save the more robust for finishing oil (also another later post) but if you can’t just get whatever olive oil is on sale at the store, they will all serve the purpose for what you are using it for.

What do you think of these tips? Would you add in anything else? What will you try to roast first? Some of our favorites are broccoli, (the only way my husband will touch it) sweet potatoes, and brussel sprouts (oh y’all have to try roasting these with bacon; you’re welcome!) We’ve also tried asparagus, eggplant, tomatoes and mushrooms (those are so good with thyme and a good balsamic glaze!!) My kids love roasted carrots, the sweet potatoes, and regular white potatoes. I’ve heard amazing things about roasted okra, that one’s on my list to try.


For a complete list of my favorite kitchen tools and cookware, check out my Favorite Tools page!
*note, the favorite tools page does contain affliate links. I do appreciate you supporting GVLgirleats and my coffee habit, but I will not share any with you that I do not believe in!


2 comments

  1. Love a good roast vegetable! How delicious - it enhances the flavour doesn’t it?! Yum! Know what I will be making for dinner ❤️

    ReplyDelete