Vegetables are a hard food to find simple variations that are both crowd pleasing and tasty. Boiling veggies or making salads are all well and good, but can be rather boring at times. They will often be used as a quick go-to method for rushed meals, thus denying them of their true potential. Cue the invention of the roasted vegetable.
While roasting veggies in the oven may seem the traditional choice and perhaps something your grandmother would do, why not give this humble method a second glance. Not only does roasting veggies help keep the nutrients within the plant (rather than boiling them, which takes out a lot of nutrients), there are multiple levels of flavour and texture to be had by learning to roast or broil them properly.
Depending on the preference of the cook, you can bake the veggies until just tender, while still maintaining a bit of a crunch and also still holding onto their form. You can also blacken them slightly under a broil, which can make them caramelise and bring out their natural sweetness. Experimenting with different oils to coat them, as well as a plethora of spice choices, are just a few ways to liven up any main vegetable dish.
Roasted vegetables are best served straight out of the oven. If they get cold, they tend to lose their shape and become quite soggy. They taste better fresh and hot!
One recipe that pairs with a nice roast chicken or pot roast is Roasted Mushrooms with Sweet Potatoes and Courgette “Fries”. This recipe is colourful and flavourful and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how simple this dish is to prepare.
Be prepared to get addicted!
Makes 4 servings
Preheat oven to 375ºF/190ºC.
Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Chop the mushrooms and place in a large bowl. Add the garlic, pepper, 1tsp of salt and half of the extra virgin olive oil.
Combine until the mushrooms are completely coated in the oil mix.
Tip the oiled mushrooms onto one half of the prepared baking sheet (leave the other half free for the other veggies).
Cut the sweet potatoes and courgettes into sticks, being careful not to cut them too thick otherwise they will take longer to cook.
Next, using the same bowl as you used for the mushroom, mix the sweet potato and courgette sticks with the remaining olive oil, 1 tsp of salt, the cayenne pepper and thyme.
Tip the oiled vegetable sticks onto the other half of the baking sheet.
Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until your desired softness is reached.
Serve immediately while the veggies are still nice and hot and crispy.