My Recipe Box

An Essential Guide to Roasting Vegetables

A reliable technique and great tips—plus exciting flavoring ideas for your favorite vegetables

Roasted green beans with Caramelized Shallot Butter

by Jennifer Armentrout

fromFine Cooking
Issue 88

If there’s someone in your life who doesn’t like vegetables, here’s how to turn things around: Roast the vegetables. Trust me, roasting browns them nicely on the outside, concentrating and sweetening their flavor in a way that even avowed veggie haters find hard not to like—and that goes for even the most unpopular of vegetables, like turnips and Brussels sprouts. But what’s especially great about roasting is that it’s fairly quick and hands-off, and much of the prep can be done ahead of roasting time. You can cut up the vegetables (except potatoes and sweet potatoes) in the morning, if you like, so by the time you’re ready to roast, all you have to do is toss them with oil and seasonings, spread them on a pan, and check on them occasionally as they roast.

Easy ways to add flavor

Roasting gives vegetables enough extra flavor that they’re terrific to eat as is—maybe brightened with a dash of lemon juice. This is perfect for a casual dinner, but for fancier occasions I’ve come up with several simple ways to add even more flavor. I toss the vegetables with a Moroccan-style spice rub or a lemony oil infused with rosemary and thyme before roasting, as both can stand up to the high heat of the oven. But I reserve flavorings that would burn in a hot oven to add after roasting. These include a Japanese toasted sesame salt called gomasio and a pan-Asian gingery lemon-soy splash. For a touch of the Middle East, I make a toasted garlic and coriander oil, and for a taste of France, the caramelized shallot butter is a personal favorite.

In general, when flavoring roasted vegetables (particularly after roasting), you want to avoid liquids because they’ll soften any crisp edges that develop during roasting. The ginger-soy splash here is a compromise: I love the flavors enough to sacrifice a little crispness—plus it’s really not much liquid.

Four tips for successful roasting
Roasted carrots

As I developed my basic roasted vegetable technique, I came up with a few pointers:

Roast in a very hot oven (475°F). The vegetables cook quickly—many vegetables take only 15 to 20 minutes—but they still have a chance to brown nicely on the outside by the time they become tender inside.

Cut evenly. It’s very important that you cut the vegetables in pieces of about the same size. Unevenly sized pieces won’t roast and brown in the same amount of time, and you’ll end up with both overroasted and underroasted vegetables.

Line the pan. To prevent sticking, line the pan with a sheet of parchment; otherwise, when you have to pry stuck vegetables off the baking sheet, it’s the tasty brown bottoms that are left on the pan.

Position vegetables near the pan’s edges. If the vegetable pieces cover the pan sparsely, arrange them more toward the edges of the pan. Pieces near the edge brown better.

Roasting a medley of vegetables

Because they’ll probably have different cooking times, it’s best to roast a variety of vegetables (for a total of 1 pound) separately. You can roast them on different sections of the same baking sheet or, even better, on a separate baking sheet for each vegetable—this makes it easier to remove each from the oven when it’s done. You can then combine them after roasting.

Roasted fennel with Rosemary-Thyme-Lemon Oil

If you need more servings than a single batch yields, you can easily double or triple these basic roasting recipes. Just don't crowd the vegetables on the baking sheet—they won't brown as well if they're packed too closely. Ideally, there should be at least 1/2 inch between the pieces. Use another baking sheet if necessary and swap the sheets' positions in the oven about halfway through the roasting time so that the vegetables will roast evenly.

Photos: Scott Phillips

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127703ContentMarcus Samuelsson/moveablefeast/authors/samuelsson-marcus/ Marcus Samuelsson Marcus Samuelsson (Select) us Marcus Samuelsson brought the art of Scandinavian cooking to New York long before the recent Nordic craze. As executive chef at New York’s Aquavit (from 1995 to 2010), the Ethiopian-born Swede (who graduatedMarcus SamuelssonMarcus Samuelsson(Select)usMarcus Samuelsson brought the art of Scandinavian cooking to New York long before the recent Nordic craze. As executive chef at New York’s Aquavit (from 1995 to 2010), the Ethiopian-born Swede (who graduated from the Culinary Institute in Gothenburg, Sweden, and apprenticed in Switzerland, Austria, and France) turned an entire city on to gravlax and herring, giving Swedish cuisine a modern, luxurious turn, and receiving three stars from the New York Times in the process. In 1999, he was James Beard’s “Rising Star Chef,” and in 2003 the “Best Chef,” New York City.The awards just kept on coming, as Samuelsson branched out with Japanese restaurant Riingo. He received consecutive four-star ratings in Forbes’ annual All-Star Eateries feature, was named one of the 40 under 40 by Crain’s, and was hailed one of The Great Chefs of America by the Culinary Institute of America. And in 2009 he planned and executed the Obama administration’s first state dinner for the first family, Prime Minister Singh of India, and 400 of their guests. He has been a UNICEF ambassador since 2000, focusing his advocacy on water and sanitation issues, specifically the Tap Project.Samuelsson took uptown Manhattan by storm with his Red Rooster Harlem, a spirited neighborhood place where the menu has his renowned Swedish meatballs (with lingonberries, of course) alongside fish and grits, and jerk chicken with yucca. Downstairs, sister venue Ginny’s Supper Club brings live jazz, cocktails, and Samuelsson’s food together until the wee hours. And now he’s brought his blend of cooking and culture to Lincoln Center, with American Table Café and Bar at Alice Tully Hall, and his casual burger joints, Marc Burger to Costa Mesa, California, and Chicago. Back in his native Sweden, Samuelsson has launched American Table Brasserie and Bar, in Stockholm, Norda Bar & Grill, in Gothenburg, and Kitchen and Table, in Uppsala. Among his many TV appearances, Samuelsson is a judge on The Taste (now in its third season), was the winner on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters Season 2, as well as the winner of the second season of Chopped All-Stars. He is also the author of cookbooks Aquavit: And the New Scandinavian Cuisine (2003), The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa (2006), New American Table (2009)and the 2012 memoir Yes, Chef, which was also nominated for a James Beard Foundation award.NoneNoneCourtesy of Marcus SamuelssonStandardNoneNoneNone1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM1/9/2016 1:05:47 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AMKateSheelyMarcus Samuelsson88O10331/9/2016 01:05:47 AMArchive_Expire/WorkArea/images/application/spacer.gif/WorkArea/images/application/spacer.gif/moveablefeast/authors/samuelsson-marcus/10/30/2013 11:09:06 AMChefFree Content127115ContentPete Evans/moveablefeast/authors/evans-pete/ Pete Evans Pete Evans (Select) us Pete Evans is an award-winning Australian chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, and TV host. Born in Melbourne and raised on Australia’s beautiful Gold Coast, Pete is not your average chef—he’s also an avid fisherman, surfer,Pete EvansPeteEvans(Select)usPete Evans is an award-winning Australian chef, restaurateur, cookbook author, and TV host. Born in Melbourne and raised on Australia’s beautiful Gold Coast, Pete is not your average chef—he’s also an avid fisherman, surfer, cookbook author, and television personality.   Pete’s food career began at the tender age of 19 when, with brother Dave, he opened their first restaurant, The Pantry, in Melbourne’s bayside suburb of Brighton in 1993. It quickly became a favorite spot and found devoted fans among city locals, celebrities, and critics alike. Since then, Pete has opened six award-winning restaurants, written seven best-selling cookbooks, including the Australian barbecue bible My Grill. He has hosted television shows in Australia for the past decade, and in 2012, his series My Kitchen Rules pulled an audience of more than 3.5 million, making it one of the most-watched shows of the year in Australia. Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking will be his first television series in the U.S.NoneNonePhoto courtesy of Pete EvansStandardNoneNoneNone1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM11/4/2013 10:50:52 AM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AMKateSheelyPete Evans78A103311/4/2013 10:50:52 AMArchive_Expire/WorkArea/images/application/spacer.gif/WorkArea/images/application/spacer.gif/moveablefeast/authors/evans-pete/8/9/2013 11:26:13 AMChefFree Content101664ContentJonathan Waxman/moveablefeast/authors/waxman-jonathan/ Jonathan WaxmanJonathanWaxman(Select)usThe trajectory of chef Jonathan Waxman’s career is similar to the way the New York Times described his West Coast–style restaurant Jams: “a culinary comet.” That was in 1984, and Waxman’s cooking has never failed to set off sparks. Lively and very Italian, Barbuto, Waxman’s West Village restaurant (opened in 2004), with its wood-fired oven, housemade pasta, and silky seafood, is like a profile of the chef himself. Called “the Eric Clapton of chefs” by L.A. restaurant critic Jonathan Gold, Waxman (a two-time Top Chef Masters contestant) brings the riffs of his California days with Alice Waters at Berkeley’s Chez Panisse, and at Michael’s in L.A. There, in the 1970s, after graduating from La Varenne cooking school in Paris, Waxman was one of the pioneers creating a new American way of cooking, with a reverence for the seasonal and for the vast resources right in our own backyard. Along the way, Esquire magazine named him one of the most influential Americans, for all that he’s contributed to the culinary world.Taking his act to the East Coast, with Jams (where Julia Child was a fan), and later with Washington Park (opened in 2002), Waxman always held fast to the new American ideal of impeccable sourcing and inventive thinking, which continues at Barbuto, and at 2014 launches Montecito (in Toronto, a co-venture with film director Ivan Reitman), Adele’s, in Nashville’s Gulch neighborhood, and his upcoming New York place within 1 Hotels Central Park.Waxman has written cookbooks A Great American Cook (2007), and Italian, My Way (2011), and is also a prime player in the nonprofit Citymeals-on-Wheels fundraising events. NoneNoneCourtesy of Jonathan WaxmanStandardNoneNoneNone1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM1/28/2015 4:53:09 PM1/1/0001 12:00:00 AMRobynAitkenJonathan Waxman90A10331/28/2015 04:53:09 PMArchive_Expire/WorkArea/images/application/spacer.gif/WorkArea/images/application/spacer.gif/moveablefeast/authors/waxman-jonathan/8/11/2008 4:27:48 PMChefFree Content102Moveable Feast Widget

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