Thursday, March 31, 2011

Cooking Technique: Roasting Vegetables

Thursday, March 31, 2011......

My profile states a simple fact about me: I own an obscene number of cookbooks. I often try a new recipe or refer to them for something that seems so basic, but I never learned.

Last year, I decided I really liked the flavor of roasted veggies, however, I was unsure of time or temp to use and began to consult my various cookbooks. Many books stated to roast at a high temperature for 30 minutes after tossing veggies with oil, salt & pepper. All authors included the ingredient of sliced garlic. I love garlic oil, but have you ever roasted garlic at high temps without it burning? Well, if you have, kudos to you. But for me, the garlic slices would burn and would leave behind a bitter flavor. I also was surprised the veggies would get charred, but remained pretty hard.

Luckily, I'm not one to give up. I found a recipe that called for sliced garlic, but had me create a pocket with tinfoil and roast the veggies for 1/2 the time covered. This didn't solve my problem with the burnt garlic, but I came across a recipe that solved my problem: smash 3 to 5 cloves of garlic (skin off), add olive oil (eyeball it, but figure a cup) and let it sit for a couple of hours.

Now, I'm going to share the easiest way to roast veggies.

1. Smash 4 to 5 cloves of garlic, place in bowl and add 1 cup of olive oil to mixture (you can use the oil for more than veggies). Let the garlic infuse in the oil for several hours (the longer the garlic sits in the oil, the more potent the flavor).

2. Preheat oven to 425.

3. Cover a baking sheet with tin foil and lightly spray the sheet with Pam, or any other cooking spray, to prevent sticking.

4. Cut up the veggies you plan to roast (broccoli, asparagus, etc) and coat with the olive oil (remove garlic cloves before using) and sprinkle with salt and pepper (note: you don't really need a lot of oil, just enough to lightly coat the veggies).

5. Place another sheet of tin foil over the veggies and cinch up 3 sides of the top layer of tin foil with the bottom layer of foil to create a pocket.

6. Roast veggies with foil on for 12 minutes. Remove foil and roast for another 12 minutes uncovered.

7. Remove from olive and sprinkle lemon juice or balsamic vinegar over veggies (lemon juice for broccoli, balsamic vinegar over roasted asparagus or green beans and sliced onions).

You may need to adjust the number of minutes needed for roasting depending upon the thickness of the veggie stem. Asparagus probably only needs a total roasting time of 20 minutes, broccoli may need 30 minutes. What I do is look at a recipe and use the time and temperature the author has suggested, but use my method of covering veggies with garlic oil and roast 1/2 the time with foil on.

I have found this method to be tried and true. I hope it works for you. I've found roasting veggies adds great flavor, and are yummy both hot and cold.


Matty said...

I think that veggies taste much better when roasted, and with pepper and other flavoring added in. Since they're so healthy and good for you, it makes sense to make them as tasty as possible so we want to eat more of them. Thanks for the tips.

Brian Miller said...

nice...will pass this on to T...i think they taste much better roasted myself...

Little Ms Blogger said...

Matty - I love them too! I also love the fact you that the veggies don't have to look perfect like you want them when fresh.

Brian - It took me awhile to figure out the trick to have nicely cooked through veggies with a roasted char. The recipes I found would really char veggies, burn the garlic and left the veggie stems a little hard.

donnamarie said...

Oh I can't wait to try these recipes. I have always loved roasted vegetables but could never do them the way the restaurants did. May not be doing them too soon but by the summer I am sure I will be enjoying them!

DB said...

Even easier....throw veggies in bowl. Coat in some olive oil - by sight - not too much but enough to coat. Mix in some salt and pepper. Spread on flat pan lined with parchment paper (which I love for this - no cleanup) - put in oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.

Depending on veggie I will toss with some other herbs but most of the time I don't.

Yummy enough without all that infusing oil work :).

Little Ms Blogger said...

donnamarie - it really is a fail proof way to roast.

DB - #1, tin foil just as easy to clean up and #2 you method doesn't guarantee a properly cooked veggie with the right amount of char on it.#3 Infusing oil is very easy.

Little Ms Blogger said...

btw - I should note, DB is my sister...

DB said...

Tin foil would burn my little yoga girl fingers.....I am okay with less than perfect roasted veggies although I'm sure yours are very tasty.