I absolutely love vegetables, and I’d be hard pressed to name one that I don’t like. And roasting vegetables is my absolute favorite way to cook them. Back in my law school days, when the only dinner I knew how to cook was chicken piccata, I’d always make roasted asparagus to go along with it. I never got tired of those crispy asparagus tops! Eventually, I branched out into roasting other vegetables. Carrots, for instance, are one of my favorite veggies to roast. And the day I first roasted brussels sprouts was the day that my husband discovered that he actually likes brussels sprouts!
Roasted vegetables are delicious because they are crispy in places, chewy in places, and have wonderful caramelized crusts – my favorite part. And the fact that they couldn’t be easier to make, well, that doesn’t hurt either. The secrets to perfect roasted vegetables are a high oven temperature – 400 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the vegetable – and plenty of salt. And, of course, enough time. The results are well worth your patience, though, especially when the weather starts getting cooler and the winter squashes appear at your market. For the perfect fall side dish, toss some winter squash and sweet potatoes in a little maple syrup and watch the autumn magic happen.
Roasted Fall Vegetables
1 white sweet potato, peeled and large-diced
1 garnet yam or jewel sweet potato, peeled and large-diced
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and large-diced
2 tablespoons (approx.) extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, a generous hand
2 tablespoons maple syrup (optional)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Because these are very dense, fibrous root veggies and winter squashes, you need a higher temperature.
- After you have prepared the vegetables, toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper, and maple syrup if using, on a foil-lined baking sheet.
- Roast for 30 minutes, then remove from oven and quickly toss. Place veggies back in oven and roast for approximately 15-20 minutes more – keep an eye on the vegetables at this point. When they start getting a beautiful, caramelized crust and are fork-tender, they are ready.
Source: Covered In Flour, roasting method from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
Yield: Serves 4