If you're like most home cooks, you get stuck in a rut of side dishes. I get so tired of the old standbys: broccoli, potatoes, green beans, etc. Roasting is my new favorite way to fix vegetables. It may seem intimidating, but according to my go-to kitchen book, Secrets from the Southern Living Test Kitchens, roasting is simply "to cook food in an uncovered pan in the oven with dry heat . . ." Turns out we've all been roasting for years!
I started roasting vegetables this summer after my sister served them to us at the beach when it was her turn to cook. She learned the technique from Ina Garten, aka The Barefoot Contessa. Roasted Vegetables sounds like an autumn side dish, but I've been roasting veggies all summer. I like sweet vegetables, so I always throw in a sweet potato, red potatoes, peppers, onions, zucchini, etc. You can roast pretty much any vegetable! It's a great way to try new ones too.
Roasting is awesome because it brings out the natural sugars in vegetables so everything tastes sweeter. All you need is olive oil, salt and pepper - it couldn't be easier! Trust me, I am not a fan of peppers but when they are roasted they become sweet and delicious. Try it and see! Roasted veggies are a great accompaniment to grilled foods, Sunday roast, even spaghetti! Another plus? Roasting helps nutrients stay in foods, as opposed to the nutrients boiling out into water. Come on, have I convinced you yet?
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Wash and cut up a variety of vegetables into chunks (peel beforehand, if necessary). They will shrink a bit as they roast.
Spread out in a roasting pan or a baking sheet. Drizzle enough olive oil to coat all veggies (maybe try 3-4 tablespoons?). Follow with a liberal dusting of salt and pepper.
Use your hands to combine all of the ingredients, making sure the veggies are all coated in oil.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring once. You are looking for tender vegetables and slight color on them. I love a good charred edge - so much flavor!