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, parsley root, 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 Potatoes, Celery Root, Carrots and Peas
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.
- white or red potatoes, cut in 3/4″ pieces
- carrots, peeled and sliced diagonally in 1/4″ slices
- 1 celery root, peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces
- 1 onion, cut into wedges
- 4 – 4 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 3/4 cup petite peas, thawed
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning or 2 tablespoons fresh herbs (oregano, rosemary, basil, thyme, marjoram)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
Place the onion wedges in a small bowl and sprinkle with 1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons of oil depending on the size of the 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 and spreading the oil over all the vegetables with your fingers. Spread the onions on a parchment lined sheet pan. Roast them in a 425 degree oven for 8 minutes. Remove the onions from the oven, pour the vegetables over the onions and stir them in spreading them evenly over the pan. Sprinkle with salt. Roast for 35 minutes. Meanwhile, place the butter, Italian seasoning and garlic in a small pan and turn on low to melt. Remove the pan from the oven and stir in the peas and the melted butter mixture. Roast another 10 to 15 minutes. Your roasting time will vary depending on the size you’ve cut them and the tenderness of the vegetable.
Begin checking for tenderness at the 35 minute mark. I’ve found that the best way to do this is by sticking a fork in each kind of vegetable and tasting them. There’s a point where the onions have slightly caramelized and the vegetables have the wonderful roasted texture that is the ideal.