Easy and tasty vegetables
I watch a lot of Food Network. It is family friendly (no swearing, no violence), educational (if you can’t watch an hour of Food Network and learn something, you weren’t really paying attention), and inspirational (they make some things, like souffle look so easy!). As a self-confessed picky eater, I have to say that Food Network has definitely inspired me to be more adventurous when it comes to my vegetables.
The biggest tip I’ve learned from those tv chefs: roasting concentrates the sugars in the vegetables and brings out the natural flavors. Roasting is easy and requires very little skill or prep and virtually no active cooking. The only skill point you need to make sure you pay attention to is that you must make sure when chopping up the vegetables that the pieces are the same size, or else you will have some pieces underdone and some pieces burnt.
This is one of those technique things, so I’m not going to label it as a recipe.
Start by washing and peeling (if desired) your vegetables. If it is something large, like potatoes, squash, or eggplant, break it down into 1/2 cubes. In a medium mixing bowl, lightly drizzle your veggies with olive oil*, sprinkle with some salt and pepper, and any other seasonings. The key to this is to remember that the vegetable is going to be the star, so you don’t want to over season it; if you pick anything other than just the salt and pepper, thyme is a great choice.
Spread the vegetables in a single layer on a sheet pan and roast in a 350 degree oven for 20-45 minutes, depending on your vegetable; at the least, check them at 20 minutes and shake them around some. You will know they are done when they smell fragrant, are browned around the edges, and begin to look a little wrinkly.
*Extra Virgin Olive oil has a burn point of 350 degrees. If you want to roast at a higher temperature, you will need to use a different oil.