I did not grow up on roasted vegetables. In south Alabama, we didn’t eat beets, parsnips, or most cool weather root crops. We ate the greens off of the top of the roots, like turnip greens! And if we did eat a root veggie, it was a rutabaga (properly pronounced “root-a-beggar” where I’m from…) and it was boiled with bacon grease. As a girl, I choked this particular item down with ketchup and cornbread.
Last week a dear Mennonite friend of mine brought me a bounty of vegetables from her garden. That is a dear friend, indeed! I immediately thought of roasted vegetables. Carolina and I made short work of them with a sink of water, knife and vegetable peeler.
Preparing Your Roasted Vegetables
(Open window so you can hear birds singing.) Wash well; veggies grow in dirt. Trim the tops and bottoms as needed. Peel the beets. Slice most of the veggies into sticks. I like the red potatoes in thick slices. Put on pans. Oil. Season.
The Secret to the Best Roasted Vegetables Ever
I discovered the virtues of roasted vegetables when we owned a restaurant, and I created a roasted vegetable salad. I didn’t think folks here in Tennessee would go for it, but it turned out to be one of our best selling dishes! Ya just never know. They’re very simple, and I promise that even if you didn’t heretofore eat such a thing as roasted vegetables, you just might go for these. I’ll tell you one of the tricks, though. Before I tell you, I want to give a disclaimer to chefs and foodies across America~these roasted veggies might be overcooked in your opinion…but the non-chefs and foodies will appreciate their roasted goodness. I just gave away the secret, but it’s worth repeating: You’re going to roast the vegetables until they start to char around the edges. Yes, overcook them, well except for the potatoes. Let me tell you that this broccoli is to die for. The little flower buds on top will turn brown and crispy. Yum.
The Secret to the Best Roasted Vegetables Ever~Take 2
Wait for it. Another secret. Season your vegetables!! Seriously. I’ve had so many people try to figure out why the food we cook is good. Seasoning, y’all. Garlic is such a gift from above. Use it liberally. Salt. Good salt. It’s good for you. Only use Celtic sea salt or Himalayan or similar real salt.
- Variety of vegetables such as Beets, Carrots, Onions, Parsnips, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes
- Garlic granules
- Dried minced garlic (optional)
- Salt and Pepper
- Olive Oil
- Wash the vegetables. Trim tops and bottoms and/or peel as needed.
- Cut into pieces. I like to use stick-type pieces. The larger the piece, the longer it takes to roast.
- Place veggies on pans with parchment. (I don't use foil. Costco has inexpensive parchment.) You can place directly on the pan if you like. I use either use separate pans for each veggie or pair them with ones that have the same cook time. Onions cook the quickest. Beets take a long time.
- Drizzle olive oil, sprinkle with an ample amount of garlic granules and a few minced garlic if you have them. Be careful with the salt. The roasting concentrates the saltiness. Don't forget the pepper.
- Toss on the pan to coat well.
- Roast in the oven at 400-425 until the veggies start to char. Except the potatoes. Charing doesn't enhance the potatoes. But the beets become a delicacy that even non beet eaters love.
Make it a Meal!
Now that you have your roasted vegetables, add a few additional items to make it a quick and easy meal!
Here’s our menu:
- Roasted vegetables
- Leaf lettuce, spinach, romaine
- Toasted sunflower seeds
- Garlic lemon vinaigrette
- Parmesan peppercorn dressing
- Goat or feta cheese
- Aidell’s Chicken Apple Sausage