Singing the praises of roasted vegetables, Giora Shimoni points out that they are easy to prepare, "healthy, colorful, delicious...they can be served as a snack, appetizer or side dish for weeknights or more festive Sabbath or holiday meals." Shimoni suggests offering a bowl of techina (aka tahini) for dipping, especially "if you are serving children or vegetarians -- the paste of ground sesame seeds adds protein."
You can roast nearly any vegetable, or combination of vegetables -- your imagination is the only limit, so have fun and experiment with different combinations and seasonings.
Pay attention to texture, density, and water content, and separate your veggies accordingly. Dense root vegetables will take much longer to roast than delicate asparagus, so put the roots in the oven first, then add another pan of the quicker-cooking veggies to the oven later.
Juicy vegetables like cherry tomatoes will release liquid while roasting; if they share a pan with dryer veggies, they'll turn everything mushy, so roast them separately and combine near the end of cooking (when they are more dehydrated) or at serving time.
Use enough oil to coat the veggies, but not so much that they're swimming in it. You'll generally need at least 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of oil for a large sheet pan of veggies, though mushrooms, eggplant, and similarly porous veggies may need a bit more. With practice, you'll get a feel for ideal amounts.
Large rimmed baking sheets are ideal for roasting -- they give the vegetables room to roast without steaming, and the hot metal encourages caramelization.
Your preferred outcome will determine the ideal roasting temperature. If you like your veggies softer and cooked through but not caramelized, the lower temperature is fine. If you prefer more textural variation and caramelization on your veggies, go with the higher temperature.
Edited by Miri Rotkovitz
- Favorite vegetables, single or in combination (sweet potatoes, carrots, potatoes, green beans, cauliflower, broccoli, fennel, bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, purple onion, mushrooms, parsnips, beets, turnips, butternut squash, cherry tomatoes, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, garlic, etc.)
- Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
- Sea salt to taste (or kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)
1. Preheat the oven to 375° F or 425° F, depending on desired degree of doneness (see tips, above). Wash and dry the vegetables. Peel if desired and chop or slice into fairly uniform pieces.
2. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer on the baking sheet, taking care not to crowd the pieces.
3. Drizzle or brush the vegetables with olive oil and toss to coat evenly. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper, and herbs and or spices if desired.
4. Roast in the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes, stirring once or twice during cooking, until the vegetables reach your desired degree of doneness and caramelization.