Oven Roasted Winter Vegetables
Judging from the number of people who are surprised when I serve it…. most people have never tried celery root.
I will admit that I’d never had it until my European in-laws made a soup for New Year’s Eve that had this odd white vegetable. But I’m up for new things, so I tried it–and loved it! (I also tried parsnips for the first time and was not so impressed. It’s OK to not like everything that we try!)
And while we are on trying new things, I have been living the “Steamed is the best way to cook vegetables” philosphy for a LONG time. But a couple of years ago a friend turned me on to roasting. Now, I’d had roasted vegetables–in restaurants, in fancy recipes–but I had no idea how easy, nutritious, and delicious roasting is!
Now it’s just about the only way I cook my vegetables.
Here I have a huge beet, a huge garnet yam, and a huge celery root. (If you get big ones you don’t have to peel so much!) You can also roast carrots, winter squashes, parsnips, potatoes (the fingerling potatoes cut in half lengthwise are fantastic!), asparagus, green beans, brussels sprouts (they are so delicious roasted! Cut them in half), onions, broccoli, leeks, cauliflower, mushrooms, and so much more! Think of the possible beautiful taste and color combinations!
First, preheat your oven to 450 degrees (yes, you read that right!)
Peel (if necessary) and then cut the vegetables in uniform-sized chunks.
Place on a baking pan and then drizzle with olive oil. As you can see, I roast my beets in a separate pan, since everything will turn red if you roast them together! But without the beets, you can roast everything on one pan. It’s also better if the chunks are not crowded–they roast more uniformly and give up less juice.
Toss the vegetables all around to coat with the olive oil. You can use a spatula, but I think just doing it by hand is the best method.
Sprinkle generously with freshly ground salt and pepper. You can also add fresh or dried herbs. These winter vegetables are terrific with rosemary (my favorite), thyme, or oregano. With lighter vegetables (asparagus, beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts) I love to use whole basil leaves. They roast so nicely!
Another nice addition is nuts or seeds. Pine nuts are excellent with roasted vegetables!
Bake in your 450 degree oven for about 6-10 minutes, depending on the size of your vegetable chunks. Turn the vegetables once, then bake an additional 6-10 minutes, until fork-tender. You don’t want them to be mushy, though. (For thin vegetables like asparagus or green beans, you’ll only need to roast 3-4 minutes before turning and checking. Especially watch brussels sprouts–they get bitter if you over-cook them. They should be bright green when done.)
Now you’re in for a beautiful and tasty treat! Remove from the oven and serve!
I usually roast much more that we can eat in one meal, and have this for lunch for several days afterwards. Yum!
Happy roasting! And try a new vegetable today!