Roasted Winter Vegetables

Root Vegetables and Brassicas
Roasted Winter Vegetables. Molly Watson
Ratings (17)
  • Total: 65 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings

There are three big reasons to roast winter vegetables. First and foremost, roasting makes winter vegetables of all kinds—root vegetables and brassicas—wonderfully delicious. The insides get tender and more sweet while the outsides get browned and even slightly crispy. Second, roasting is a beyond-easy way to cook vegetables in general: just pop them in a hot oven and wait. Third, that hot oven can be a delight when weather is chilly, warming the kitchen in a most pleasing way. With modern central heating such a benefit is often forgotten, but it can be satisfying to think about all those cooks from generations before us getting warm and cozy while the oven roared. 

The exact ingredients are flexible. Substitute like-for-like or simply count on about 1/2 pound of raw vegetables per person and mix and match as you like. Cauliflower, broccoli, or Brussels sprouts are good substitutes for the romanesco. A turnip or potato can take the place of the rutabaga. Sweet potato or red beet can stand in for the golden beet. Carrots are much like parsnips, and garlic or pearl onions are a lot like shallots.

Ingredients

  • 1 head Romanesco
  • 1 rutabaga
  • 1 medium golden beet
  • 4 small parsnips
  • 6 large button mushrooms
  • 4 heads of shallot
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Preheat an oven to 375 F. Line a large sheet pan, cookie sheet or roasting pan with parchment paper, if you like (it makes for easy clean-up but isn't necessary). While the oven heats, prep all the vegetables.

  2. Remove the core from the Romanesco and divide the head into bite-size florets.

  3. Trim and peel the rutabaga. Cut in half lengthwise and cut into wedges. Cut the wedges in half crosswise if they seem too large.

  4. Trim and peel the beet. Cut it into bite-size chunks.

  5. Trim and peel the parsnips. Cut them into quarters lengthwise. Carefully cut out and discard the woody core from their centers.

  6. Trim the mushrooms and cut in half or quarters, depending on size.

  7. Trim and peel the shallots, separating them into individual cloves.

  8. You can now put all the vegetables in a bowl, drizzle them with the olive oil, and toss to coat them evenly with the oil. Or, you can work with the vegetables in groups and keep them separated while you roast and serve them. 

  9. Spread the vegetables on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer (use a second sheet if you need to to keep them in a single layer—this will ensure they roast and don't steam).

  10. Sprinkle evenly with the salt and roast until the vegetables are tender and browned, about 45 minutes.

  11. Check the vegetables after 30 minutes and turn for more even browning in the end. Serve hot or warm.

Variations

  • Spice it up—add 1/4 teaspoon chile flakes or a minced fresh chile with the salt.

  • Toss in a sprig of rosemary or thyme when you toss the vegetables with the oil for a delicate note of these powerful herbs.

  • Drizzle with a teaspoon or two of balsamic vinegar before serving for a sweet note.

  • Drizzle with a teaspoon or two of toasted sesame oil for a nutty flavor.