Some notes on roasting vegetables…
Roasted vegetables are a wonderful sweet and savory taste experience. After trying many different combinations of vegetables, I’ve found that the trick to mastering roasting is for each vegetable to be cut to the right size so they will be tender at the same time and not having to keep them all cooking because one is not tender yet. After some experimenting, I found that daikon radishes (white and purple and probably green too), parsnips, carrots and sweet potatoes all consistently cook fine when cut no more than an inch by a half and inch. Beets, rutabagas, kohlrabi and turnips are the ones that need to be cut no more than a half an inch. If it all goes right, the onions are slightly caramelized and all the vegetables come out sweet with only a hint of the naturally bitter undertone left in the vegetables that have them.
Doing vegetables this way is really fun and goes along side lamb or beef roasts or burgers, barbecued steak, roasted chicken or turkey and scrambled eggs — just about everything. Ideally, they need to be eaten right away.
I’ll be posting a series of combinations of roasted vegetables and will be putting this introduction with each of them hoping it will help everyone become successful at these really delicious and pretty side dishes.
Roasted Sweet Potato, Turnip, Carrot and Radishes
The amounts of each of the cut up vegetables will vary depending on the size you buy. A total of 6 cups of vegetables, plus the onions, works well for an 18 by 13 sheet pan. Don’t overcrowd of the vegetables will steam instead of caramelizing.
- 1 (orange, butter, white or purple flesh colored) sweet potato, yam, or stoke (kinds of sweet potatoes) peeled and cut in 3/4″ pieces
- 1 small or part of a large turnip, peeled and cut in small pieces
- 1 small or part of a large rutabaga, peeled and cut in small pieces
- parts of different color carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally in 1/4″ slices
- 1 bunch of radishes, large ones cut in wedges and then in half, small ones sliced in half
- 1 small to medium onion, sliced in wedges
- 4 – 4 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
Place the onion wedges in a small bowl and sprinkle with 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons of oil depending on the size/amount of onion and mix with your fingers to coat all the pieces with oil. Place the remaining vegetables in a larger bowl and drizzle the remaining oil over them spreading the oil over all the vegetables with your fingers. Spread the onions on a parchment lined sheet pan. Roast the onions in a 425 degree oven for 8 minutes. Pour the vegetables over the onions and stir them in spreading them evenly over the pan. Sprinkle with salt. Return to oven. You’ll be roasting them anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes depending on the size you’ve cut them and the tenderness of the vegetable.
Begin checking for tenderness at 30 minutes. I’ve found that the best way to do this is by sticking a fork in each kind of vegetable and tasting them. When I think they are done, I give them an additional 5 to 10 minutes keeping an eye on them so they don’t burn. There’s a point where the onions have slightly caramelized and the vegetables have the wonderful roasted texture that is the ideal.
Rutabagas at Mom’s Organic Market
Turnips at Whole Foods