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Roasting vegetables 101

Dawn Viola is a research and development chef and food writer. She serves on the board of directors for Slow Food Orlando, and works with local and national companies as a healthy recipe consultant with a focus on organic, local and sus...

Turn ordinary veggies into a masterpiece

Roasting is an easy and healthy way to bring out the best in any variety of vegetable and can even coax a drab winter tomato out of hibernation.
Roasted red and yellow beets with orange

Fruity olive oil or neutral sunflower oil and a pinch of salt turn the dry air of your oven into a super flavor conductor, caramelizing and concentrating the juices within the vegetables. Gnarly celeriac, earthy rutabagas and snappy carrots melt into a naturally sweet, almost candied version of themselves, without an ounce of sugar. Oh, and tomatoes! If you find yourself with those drab, winter tomatoes, roasting will transform them into sweet and savory jewels.

Root vegetables will take longer to cook as compared to something softer such as zucchini or eggplant, but all should be roasted in the same 400 degree F oven with varied times.

Roasted red and yellow beets recipe with orange

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

  • 4 red beets, large dice (3/4-inch)
  • 4 yellow (golden) beets, large dice (3/4-inch)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place beets and olive oil in a roasting pan and toss with a spoon or spatula to coat. Season with salt and pepper and roast for 25 minutes. Remove pan from oven and gently turn the beets over in the pan. Return pan to oven and continue to roast for another 20 minutes or until the beets are tender and slightly crispy on the outside.
  2. Add the orange zest and transfer the beets to a glass or ceramic serving bowl. Refrigerate until cool, about two hours. Sprinkle with about one tablespoon of freshly squeezed orange juice, or to taste. Season with additional salt to taste.

Ratatouille pasta salad recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 20 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups chopped eggplant (preferably small and tender)
  • 2 cups chopped zucchini
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 pound tube pasta (any kind)
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini and olive oil in a roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat with oil. Place pan in oven and roast 20 minutes. Using a large spatula, gently turn the vegetables and roast for another 20 minutes or until caramelized and tender. Remove from oven and add the shallot. Set aside.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain well. Place the cooked pasta in a large serving bowl. Add the vegetables and all of the pan drippings/oil to the pasta. Add the oregano and gently stir to incorporate. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or chilled with additional fresh oregano.

Try these other great roasted vegetable recipes

Oven-roasted curried cauliflower
Roasted vegetable wrap
Mixed roasted vegetable salad

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