Roasting vegetables is my favorite way to cook fall and winter veggies because it is, hands down, the best way to coax out big flavor from hearty produce. And then there’s the fact that roasting is dead easy. Sure, it takes a little time, but it’s totally hands off cooking. And all it really takes to make totally delicious roasted vegetables is oil and salt.
Here’s my foolproof technique for how to roast vegetables. It’s perfect for weeknights when there’s time to let the oven do its thing, for make-ahead vegetables that just need to be reheated on busy nights, and even for holiday meals. Because, yes, this churns out vegetables that delicious.
You can roast anything from cherry tomatoes to string beans, squash to broccoli. Give it a try and start easy. Then, when you master the basic technique, get fancy! Add that smashed garlic or those sprigs of thyme, cubed bacon, hot peppers, or maybe a can of chickpeas that have been rinsed and patted dry like in this recipe for Roasted Cauliflower with Chickpeas and Mustard from my own blog, One Hungry Mama. You can even top roasted veggies that have just come out of the oven with grated Parmesan cheese (delicious on roasted broccoli) or browned butter with shallots, like with this recipes for Roasted Squash with Ginger Shallot Browned Butter also at One Hungry Mama.
But, then again, all you really need is oil and salt.
Roasted Cauliflower with Chickpeas and Mustard | One Hungry Mama
I like using every day olive oil, but whatever oil you use (canola, grapeseed, coconut), make sure that you don’t go overboard or your veggies will get soggy and keep from browning. There’s no blanket rule since it depends on the volume of vegetables you’re roasting, but two to four tablespoons of oil usually covers enough veggies to serve four to six people. If you’re not sure how much to use, start with two tablespoons and increase by one tablespoon at a time. You want the veggies to be coated well, but not dripping.
Then salt. One quarter to half a teaspoon of fine sea salt usually covers veggies for four to six eaters. If you’re not sure, start with less—and then add a dash! You can always add more later, so don’t go overboard, but having enough salt on the veggies as they cook helps bring out their natural flavor. Properly salted vegetables can mean the difference between eh veggies and spectacular ones.
Giardiniera Roasted Vegetables | One Hungry Mama
I find that roasting at a higher heat works better, so crank up your oven to 425. Most veggies will take anywhere from 25-45 minutes, but it really depends on how hearty they are. If you’re not sure, set the timer to 25 minutes and gauge how much longer from there. And remember that you want the vegetables to be fork-tender, not completely falling apart and mushy.
Oh, and I’ve got an old school trick for all you busy parents roasting vegetables on a weeknight: Line your baking sheet with aluminum foil for super easy cleanup. Trust me.