For a crispy, delicious side dish that’s also packed with nutrients, consider roasting up a pan of vegetables. Your kids will love the break from plain old steamed veggies, and you’ll be surprised at the rich flavor roasting imparts. Take note, though! You'll probably love the taste so much that once you learn how to roast vegetables the right way, you'll end up making it a habit!
Step 1: Preheat and prepare
The trick to perfect roasting is all in the heat -- so preheat your oven to 500 degrees F before cutting up your veggies. Some recipes may suggest using a lower temperature for roasting, but anything below 500 degrees F is actually considered baking. To get the crispiness right, 500 degrees F is an absolute must.
While the oven is heating up, slice up veggies of your choice. Some of the most popular roasting options include:
Yellow and green squash
When slicing up your veggies, just remember that denser vegetables like potatoes and rutabaga should be sliced into smaller pieces to ensure even cooking. Less dense vegetables can be left in larger pieces.
Throw all of your cut veggies in a bowl and begin the seasoning process by tossing them with olive oil. You want to use enough oil to sufficiently coat each piece so it shines. You really don't need to worry about pouring too much oil into the bowl, because excess oil will run off and collect in the bottom. After tossing the veggies once, add seasonings based on your preferences. Salt and pepper are a good place to start, but feel free to add garlic, rosemary, thyme or even a dusting of cayenne pepper. Toss the veggies again so that each piece receives a similar amount of seasoning.
Using a metal cookie sheet with short sides, spread your seasoned veggies evenly across the bottom. While the vegetables can touch each other, you want to avoid layering them. Layering can cause the vegetables to steam one another, resulting in a soft, mushy veggie goop. The more space you allow between vegetables, the crispier they will become.
Place the cookie sheet in the oven and monitor it closely. After about 15 minutes, stir the vegetables around so they roast evenly on all sides. Start testing the flavor and texture after about 30 minutes, pulling them from the oven when they've reached the level of crispiness that you desire. Crispier veggies require a longer roasting time. When you're satisfied with the result, simply spread them on a plate and serve!
Watch: How to make your own fruit and vegetable wash
Wash your fruit and vegetables with this environmentally friendly and economical mixture.