Just about every vegetable can be roasted with delicious results, yet most of my friends seem to blanch, sauté, steam or sometimes pickle them.
I tend to prefer roasted vegetables, since the high heat brings out their natural flavor, and the dry cooking method preserves their nutrition.
Whether served on a platter as an antipasto, plated as a vegan entrée or enjoyed as a side dish, winter vegetables are ideal for roasting.
Below is my simple recipe for a memorable verdura al forno. If you don’t have the vegetables I used, that’s fine. Substitute what’s available at your local co-op, farmers market or grocer.
As always, let me know how things turn out!
1 head cauliflower
1 butternut squash
1 bunch parsnips
1 bunch carrots
1 large, red onion
Excellent quality extra virgin olive oil
French sea salt
2 teaspoons each ground cumin, fennel and coriander, combined
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Wash, peel and coarsely chop the vegetables.
- Divide the mixture equally among two baking sheets.
- Generously brush the vegetables with the olive oil; flip them over and brush the other side.
- Sprinkle the spice mixture over the vegetables. (When you’re finished, the vegetables should be very lightly dusted with spices.)
- Place pans in oven.
- Roast for approximately 20 – 30 minutes on middle rack. The vegetables will be done when they’re tender yet firm.
- Remove pans from oven. Drizzle the vegetables with just a bit more olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
NOTE: I used vegetables with similar consistency. If you use asparagus and eggplant, for example, the asparagus will roast sooner then the more hearty eggplant. In this case, remove the asparagus as soon as it’s done, and return the pan to the oven, so the eggplant can continue cooking.