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Roasting Vegetables ~ any new tricks ?

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So I bought a new Staub 12" roaster dish yesterday,
and I am planning to try some roasted veggies tonight.

I have on hand a few small carrots, small red potatoes and would pick up anything else
that is recommended today :-)
Parsnips ? Sweet Potato ?

What I am looking for is a tender vegetable with a nice caramelized crust.
Does anyone have any tips or tricks for me?
Oven temp ? Timing ?

Any answers much appreciated, thanks !!!

I will be serving either goulash or pork chops, haven't decided yet.
In case it matters.......

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  1. My favorite combination is carrots, red onion cut in wedges, brussel sprouts, cauliflower. Toss with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and roast on 400 for 45 minutes to an hour (I like mine a little well done). Parsnips are good in there too.

    1. partial to cubed celery root, whole shallots, and fennel in with your regulars. small red potatoes are best. some melted butter and vermouth over all. salt & pepper. . roasting pan. oven 350 to 400. cover pan with foil for 20 minutes or so to cook through, uncover and cook until carmelized to your preference, 30 to 40. sorry, this is the way i cook.

      1. I adore roasted brussel sprouts with evoo and balsamic.

        10 Replies
        1. re: monavano

          When you roast the sprouts, do you coat with the balsamic early on, or toss with it at the end of cooking time?

          1. re: erica

            I toss the BS's with olive oil s&p and roast 10 mins or so and then toss with a maple sherry vinaigrette and some minced fresh garlic after I remove from the oven. We eat them like candy - even the kids.

            1. re: erica

              I coat with balsamic from the get-go. I slice in half, toss with s&p, evoo and balsamic and arrange cut side down so they caramelize.

              1. re: monavano

                I add balsamic and pomegranate molassas to brussel sprouts

                1. re: cheesecake17

                  +1 on the pomegranite! I've got pom balsamic and add that to maple syrup for my glaze.

                  1. re: monavano

                    Wow those all sound great! So Monavano, you add the maple syrup at the start of roasting?

                    I always make extra b. sprouts cause I like them room temperature as a snack the next day. Cauliflower, too.

                    1. re: erica

                      Wow, me too! I eat them out of the fridge. I try to make enough for another side dish for dinner, but eat them all myself.
                      I toss everything at the beginning and let the sugars do their thang ;-) More balsamic, a touch of syrup.

                    2. re: monavano

                      I've used maple syrup when sauteeing shredded brussels, but now I'll try it when roasting.

                      A friend sent me a recipe for braised brussels with apples and pears.. planning on trying it this week

                      1. re: cheesecake17

                        If you like your friend's recipe, maybe you could share it with us? It sounds really good!

                        1. re: The Librarian

                          I liked the recipe.. I changed it a bit because the recipe did not call for salt and pepper. The cooking times in the recipe were too short. Here's what I did-

                          Halve 2 lbs of brussel sprouts and brown in olive oil cut side down
                          Add a splash of water so that sprouts start to cook through (I added this part)
                          Add one cubed apple (used granny smith) and one diced pear (used comice), salt, pepper, splash of apple cider (recipe called for 1 cup- I used about 1/2 cup).
                          Cook until liquid has reduced and sprouts are tender.

                          We really liked it.. maybe next time I would saute some shallots first.

            2. It drives me nuts when I see recipes or TV chefs calling for putting oil on a sheet pan, then adding the vegetables and tossing them there. That oil is NEVER going to get evenly distributed.
              Drizzle oil and a little soy sauce over vegetables in a deep bowl and stir gently with a rubber spatula or, better yet, massage the oil/soy and veg together in a plastic bag (I use a grocery bag).

              Goulash has nice gravy and should be served over noodles or mashed potato. Pork chops are perfect with roasted vegetables and if that's going to be your protein, sweet potato would be great. I'd go for brussels sprouts or cauliflower too. With carrots and sweet potatoes both orange, you need something with contrasting color. Chunks of onion, of course, and I would add wedges of a firm apple variety half-way through the roasting.

              9 Replies
              1. re: greygarious

                Hope this isn't too far off topic. Greygarious, I,too, like to use the bag method for oiling the vegetables. I've been thinking lately to use a zip freezer bag and stash it in the freezer between uses. Do you think that would work? I hate to use a bag once, and it's such a pain to wash oil out of the bag to reuse.

                1. re: nemo

                  I think this would work for some time, probably a couple months. I reuse a bag to store frozen bananas in for a while and haven't gotten sick and the bag hasn't appeared to be unusable ever. As long as you restore it in the freezer immediately after use, you're probably good for 2 months or so is my guess.

                  1. re: tzanghi

                    I too am frugal about plastic bags I buy. But eventually they pick up freezer odors. That's why I use grocery bags or the bags from the produce department. Freezing the bag between uses is certainly not a problem as long as it passes the sniff test.

                    1. re: greygarious

                      Thanks, both of you, for your comments. I use cloth bags for grocery hauling (frequently washed, even though they fade and shrink) and rarely use the produce bags (stick the scale printout right on the lemon or whatever). We have the hand-held You-Scanners in my store, so no checkout person has to deal with my rolling-around produce! I keep a bag in the freezer for veg trimmings that I've reused countless times, so I think I'm going to test keeping one zip bag designated for the oil tossing. I'll squish the air out and zip it and check frequently for the sniff test.

                  2. re: nemo

                    Just toss them in the pan with tongs is usually sufficient or roll them around with your hands. If you want to extra toss them then apply saran wrap to the top of the roasting dish or small mixing bowl then turn it over, upside down, etc. Using the bag like that is a waste of a bag and unnecessary. It's also unsanitary if you re-use bags like that.

                    1. re: drake0388

                      I don't understand how that would be unsanitary. Only vegetables, no meat. A little frozen OO in a sealed plastic bag. Vegetables will be roasted anyway in a hot oven.

                      I agree with you that the fewer plastic items we use is a good thing. I'm just trying to recycle the few plastic bags I do buy.

                      1. re: drake0388

                        I don't particularly think that re-using bags is unsanitary, but I do agree that tossing with tongs or hands right in the roasting pan is just fine. I roast vegetables on a weekly basis or close to it, and this is what I do; I've tried mixing in a separate pan or a bag a couple of times with no appreciable change in quality.

                        1. re: drake0388

                          I've tried about every variety of plastic wrap and I can't imagine any of them staying put while I turn a pan or bowl of veggies upside down!

                          I use the bowl method. I generally roast a number of items which need differing times. I get the first batch going, then use the bowl to contain the chopped second batch. Once they are added to the pan I repeat with the last batch. One bowl, and any extra oil I drizzle over the pan by scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula.

                      2. re: greygarious

                        I'm too lazy to dirty another bowl, so I toss on the sheet pan. The foil-lined sheet pan no less!

                      3. Ahhhh I am swooning !!!
                        all suggestions sound so good I can almost taste it already !

                        More, More !!!!

                        1. brussel sprouts, tomatoes, carrots, asparagus, cauliflower, all do well for roasting. my favs are brussel sprouts and carrots. I always add some onions. As others have said toss them to coat them well in olive oil. most roast them on 400 for 30-35 but I prefer mine more well done so to say so you can go longer for sure. Add whatever herb you like. Or just salt and pepper works. And garlic always works.

                          1. A handful of Craisins thrown in with the veggies, before roasting, gives a nice color contrast, and some different flavor and texture.

                            1. My tip is to roast really hot. I do so at 425f, for about an hour on the very bottom of the oven to promote carmelization. The mixture of veggies varies, though cauli with whole or halved shallots is a favorite. Also, onion, carrot and fennel wedges.

                              1. Well I basically roast, more or less, the same vegetables as everyone else at, give or take, the same temperature and time till everything is nicely caramelized, tossing veggies and seasonings in a bowl first to completely coat all. However, lately I've been adding whole heads of garlic, split into single cloves but left unpeeled. I do slice off the root end though so the finished roasted garlic is easily slipped out of the skin. Serve the vegetables on the dinner plate and squeeze the garlic over all or individual pieces. Sweet and luscious.

                                1. I am a huge fan of the 'ugly underrated' root veggies... parsnip, rutabaga, turnip!

                                  these when cut in 1/3 inch coins (parsinp) or into fat batons and tossed with cauliflower, carrots, etc., then roasted at a reasonably high temp. will caramelize, turn sweet and extra 'rooty-tooty".

                                  I usually add a few whole cloves of garlic and a rough cut red onion to my mix. Toss in S& P - some at beginning, and taste and adjust that at the end. A little sherry vinager and pinch of sugar the last 15 minutes with the last toss/stir adds to the end result as well.
                                  When serving, bring some reduced balsamic to the table in a little dish to spoon on at will.

                                  1. As a few other have mentioned cauliflower is really delicious when roasted. Slice it thinly, toss w/olive oil, s&p and roast at 425 for about five min., flip over to brown on the other side and roast for a few more minutes until browned and carmelized.
                                    Sweet potato oven fries are great with pork chops too - I like to cut them in to shoestrings, toss them with olive oil, cayenne, cinnamon and s&p and bake at 425 for 5 - 10 minutes, tossing them around to prevent burning. Keep an eye on them because the burn easily.

                                    1. A wonderful cookbook for exploring the world of roasting vegetables is The Roasted Vegetable by Andrea Chesman. I have learned so much from it. Definitely worth seeking out. My current favorite is a mix of cubed sweet potato, parsnips, baby carrots, and apples seasoned with salt, cinnamon, and olive oil that I came up with using the cooking times and temps from her book. Goes great with smoked pork chops!

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: The Librarian

                                        How do you prep the parsnips? Do you core them (in addition to peeling them)? And are skinny parsnips better/worse than fat ones? I've had some problems with them getting unpleasantly chewy when I try to roast them.

                                        1. re: jessinEC

                                          I had never made (or tasted) them before, but I figured that, since they look like a carrot, I would treat them the same. I bought thinner ones, peeled them, and cut them into chunks. They didn't need to be cored. They were really good, and I'll definitely make them again.

                                          1. re: The Librarian

                                            FWIW, according to what I have read, the best parsnips are spring-dug. They mellow and sweeten from overwintering in the cold ground. Certainly the best ones I've eaten were at a restaurant in May but the puree undoubtedly contained a lot of butter.

                                          2. re: jessinEC

                                            I have never cored them and I don't have a problem with them being chewy. I do think they benefit texturally from being cut fairly small so they can have a quick roast time and still get a fair amount of caramelization. I love them roasted, even if I'm going to puree them into soup. I don't brown them quite so much if I'm going to do that, though. They're especially tasty with a little smoked paprika.

                                          3. re: The Librarian

                                            Would you minds sharing some specifics about your recipe? Mainly the ratio of salt, cinnamon, and OO and your times and temps? Thanks so much!

                                          4. Well, I LOVE parsnips, and I will have to try a butter-drenched puree :-)

                                            I ended up incorporating many of your suggestions, thanks all !
                                            My roasted veggies turned out beautifully !

                                            I ended up using carrots, brussels sprouts, red onion, sweet potato and parsnips.
                                            I also used a small Granny Smith apple, but I would leave that out the next time....
                                            I used EVOO, couple dashes of sweet Vermouth, salt and pepper and mixed it all up in a big bowl prior to putting into the roaster.
                                            Cooked at 425 for 30 minutes, stirred it up a bit and cooked 5 minutes more.
                                            They were sweet, crisp-tender, and caramelized just right....

                                            Went perfect with the Goulash, which is what my son voted for.
                                            Served with mashed potato.
                                            Finished the meal with that lovely pear cake.

                                            I'm Satisfied !!!! :-D
                                            Thanks again for all the replies, much appreciated !

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: oooYUM

                                              Lucky you that you have family members who will eat Brussels sprouts. Your recipe sounds really good!

                                            2. Lots of good suggestions here. My only other suggestion is not to crowd the pan, and don't use too much oil. For large quantities of vegetables, and if you're not deglazing, a sheet pan may actually be better than a roaster.

                                              I have done both higher temperatures and lower, but I think around 400-425 F is the sweet spot for me.

                                              Thin-sliced cauliflower (across the head) is one of my favorites.

                                              I usually just do kosher salt and black pepper with most vegetables, but my cousin makes a great roasted root vegetable dish, which I think has a glaze that includes a little (fresh) orange juice, maple syrup, and then you add in some chopped scallions after it comes out of the oven. Tonight, my wife and I made roasted Brussels sprouts, and they were quite good - the method she came up with (inspired by http://www.whatwouldcathyeat.com/2011...) was to roast the halved sprouts at around 425 F, until basically done and somewhat browned, tossing periodically, then toss with a simple vinaigrette (oil, vinegar (she used balsamic), shallot, mustard, salt and pepper, and sugar) and leave in the oven for another 15 minutes. It was great -- maybe my new favorite method.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: will47

                                                I agree with the temp. recommendation. High and faster is better than low and slow when it comes to roasting vegetables especially if you're looking for caramelization/browining/flavor.
                                                Also do the vinaigrette toss after roasting. I make a lemon vinaigrette that pops on the deeper flavors of the roasted veg.
                                                Oh, and bacon tossed in at the end makes anything even better.

                                                1. re: monavano

                                                  Right - when we did it, we roasted them almost the whole time without the dressing (until the Brussels sprouts were pretty well browned), and just added it on for the last 10-15 minutes of cooking. For that amount of time, we didn't have any problems with the shallots browning too much or the sugars burning.

                                              2. last night i did fennel, leeks, endives and tarragon... i like the way the sweetness of the fennel and leeks gets balanced by the endives....

                                                1. I love playing around with roasted vegetables. here are some of my recent favorites:

                                                  roasted broccoli - tossed with Chinese black vinegar and Szechuan pepper after roasting
                                                  cubed celery root roasted with chili flakes, rosemary and ground cumin
                                                  wedges of parsnip roasted with good curry powder
                                                  butternut squash, throw in some halved cherry tomatoes towards the end of the roasting time, then toss with cubes of fried halloumi and lots of fresh parsley (good with pasta or on its own)
                                                  wedges of radicchio drizzleld with a really good and thick and syrupy fruit vinegar ( I use a date / fig vinegar)
                                                  carrots roasted with ground coriander seed, tossed with an orange juice vinaigrette (with orange zest) after roasting

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: Klary

                                                    You left out your favorite dish that I noticed on your profile = cauliflower. I find this one of the most versatile of vegetables ever ... both with roasted casseroles as well as with soups. With long cooking, it can seem a bit like grains or roots have been added to your dish without all the calories. I'd say adding cauliflower, yams and broccoli (at the end). I like to microwave a quartered cauliflower and oyster mushroom slices (11 or 12 minutes) ahead of time sometimes with quartered yams and then bake greens over the top ... broccoli is nice. That makes the "timing" work out well since they require different cooking times.

                                                    1. re: EmSegmen

                                                      I hadn't thought of nuking some of the veggies first to give them a head start. Great idea. Thanks!

                                                  2. I like to roast 400-425 in the bottom third of the oven. My tip is to not touch the vegetables for about 30 minutes (root veg, broccoli and asparagus is different) or until they do not stick when you try to turn them. If they stick, let them go a little longer. Then turn with a metal spatula and roast for another 15-20 minutes or so until they are beautifully browned. YUM.

                                                    I also like to toss my potatoes with a few slices of cut up bacon and some Old Bay in addition to salt and pepper.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: lseavey

                                                      i try not to crowd but i never seem to have enough pan room when roasting vegetrables. lately i have been oiling and seasoning veg in large bowl instead of on pan and it uses less oil and is easier. using parchment paper really fixes clean up. i think i have used foil but there was a sticking problem. parchment paper will brown at above 450^ but is fine at 425* which is what i mostly use.

                                                    2. If I'm roasting potatoes, I grudgingly take the extra step of parboiling them first. Just makes them so dreamy..

                                                      Vegetables with high sugar contents, especially, require a hot hot oven, as others have said.

                                                      I roast beets alone, for a very long time. Do try for parsnips that are a similar thickness all the way up (surprisingly difficult!), and smaller ones have less of a so-called woody core. Celery root/celeriac makes amazing fries. Shallots I often do in little foil packets alongside whatever other dish is in the oven, and I pop those like candy when they're done. I like to roast halved or quartered carrot lengths that I've tossed with oil and whole cumin seeds, then I squeeze some fresh lemon juice on afterward.

                                                      I'm finding that peanut oil works really well when I want more browning in the oven, and I have found that tossing the veg with the oil in a bowl before putting on a parchment-covered sheet pan gets me results with less wasted oil than the drizzle-over method.

                                                      And you people are making me want to try converting my man to Brussels sprouts with this thread!

                                                      1. Some of the vegetables I roast on a regular basis, that I don't think I've seen mentioned, are bell/sweet peppers, yellow and green squash, and red & yellow onions. I started doing this combination ever since I had a wrap with these roasted vegetables with hummus. I especially love the onions, they get so sweet! I toss the veggies with S&P and oil and a bit of chili powder and I make a wrap with it with hummus - usually roasted garlic, chipotle, or a cilantro-lime hummus. I always put in the peppers (green, red, yellow, orange) first since they take longer to carmelize, and though most people remove the skin from roasted peppers I personally like the taste of the partially charred skin.

                                                        I am a huge fan of roasted veggies, I think it could turn anyone resistant to veggies into a veggie-lover. I thought most vegetables could only be improved by roasting, BUT ... though it seems popular, I've discovered recently that I don't think I like roasted broccoli. Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but whenever I do it (I toss the broccoli with olive oil and S&P and put it in the oven at 425 for about 10 minutes), the broccoli gets dried out especially around the leafy part and the bitterness seems to be heightened. Which is basically the opposite of what I expect from roasted veggies - usually they come out sweeter and softer! Anyone with me on the roasted broccoli? What am I doing wrong?

                                                        1. Yesterday Alton Brown's asparagus episode demonstrated roasting this way:

                                                          Using heavy duty alum foil create a roasting pan (already loved the idea of no washing).
                                                          Turn oven on to 500 degrees.
                                                          Lay cleaned and trimmed asparagus on the foil, slide into the oven and leave for 5 mins.
                                                          Open oven, turn veggies to expose other side and leave in oven another 5 mins.
                                                          Check one more time to see how the asparagus tips are holding up; even brown turn one side of your foil over to cover the tips and leave one final 5 mins.
                                                          Remove from oven; garnish with lemon zest, salt & pepper

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: HillJ

                                                            This is the way I always make asparagus. It's healthier than boiling and so friggin good!

                                                          2. Check this recipe:
                                                            http://www.vodkitchen.com/2011/04/27/...

                                                            Tons of balsamic goes a long way in making delicious roasted veggies. This was so good!

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: tzakiel

                                                              That looks delicious, tzakiel.