***I was at the grocery store today, and mistakenly left my debit card at home. Of course I only found out at the check out line, but luckily no one was behind me. Lucky me... but when I got home and took a good look in my fridge I was able to recruit a lonely turnip, a bag of carrots that I bought ambitiously last week (they last for a long time in the crisper drawer), and a beautiful head of purple cauliflower, and I ended up with two full trays of colorful roasted vegetables! It's like going clothes shopping in your closet and find that one piece that you forgot about that looks great.
Never crowd the baking sheet. If you overcrowd your vegetables, they will steam, instead of roasting and getting crispy on the outside.
Make sure the entire surface of the vegetable is coated with oil. I find that using hands are the best for this. You could also mix them with a spoon in a bowl.
Having the entire surface coated with oil creates a barrier that traps the moisture inside the vegetable.
The moisture steams as it cooks, while the outside heats to a hotter temperature (because of the oil) and therefore crisps and browns. Also, the more contact the vegetables have with the pan, the more browning there will be.
Line the baking pan with parchment paper, aluminum foil, or a silicone mat, for an easy clean-up.
Vegetables take anywhere from 30 minutes and upwards to roast, it depends on how large or small they are sliced. Start with one-inch cubes, they will be done when knife tender!
Salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice right before serving are enough to enhance the natural flavors of vegetables, but you can also use pinch of dried herbs for extra flavor. Carrots and thyme make a lovely pair, for example.
|The turnips came out the most tender, followed by the cauliflower, then the carrots. Next time I might halve the carrots lengthwise to make them cook faster. Regardless, it was delicious!|
***Right before serving, splash your veggies with lemon juice. Lemon juice is the secret ingredient that people don't tell you about. The lemon juice cuts the heaviness of the oil, and adds a brighter palette. You get a bigger range of flavors, it's wonderful! Lemon juice is also great on grilled or roasted chicken, fish, you name it.
While the oven pre-heats at 400 F, prep your veggies! Turnips: peel the tough outer layer with a paring knife or vegetable peeler. Slice the turnip in half, and then to whatever size you'd like them all uniformly to be. Add salt, fresh ground pepper, oil to coat (about 2 tbl per large tray), and put in an oven at 400 F. At this temperature I'd recommend grape seed oil, or canola oil, as olive oil's smoke point is 400.