Roasted vegetables are underrated. One of the reasons I love roasted vegetables is the slightest hint of charred flavor that baking adds to veggies. This way you get your fill of bright, colorful veggies including a few that you may not normally eat rather than overdosing on one vegetable followed by hating it. I know that you might perceive using the oven as time-consuming or intimidating if you’re new to cooking but once you start you’ll never turn back. Roasted veggies are one of those things that can go wrong if you over-bake or over-salt them, add too much seasoning, douse them in oil or get the balance off. I’m breaking down all the details for you in this Roasted Vegetables 101 post.
The beauty of roasted veggies is in their simplicity. All you have to do is slice them, dress them in some olive oil (not extra virgin) or any other oil/fat of your choice, add salt, pepper and an herb and bake – that’s it. It doesn’t require much attention. I’ve used red and yellow peppers, zucchini and carrot but you can add anything you have in season to the mix. If you’re using vegetables like carrot, broccoli and cauliflower, parboil them before roasting so that all your veggies bake evenly. I like to include this step as these veggies clean best in boiling hot water and tend to take longer to cook in the oven. If you’re adding in more vegetables and are unsure of how much oil or salt to add, always add less at first. It’s easy to adjust.
Choose one herb and focus on that flavor rather than confusing things and adding too much in. I used fresh tarragon (from Trikaya) but any herb – like sage, rosemary, oregano – would work well. If you’re unsure or are dealing with a picky crowd, go with basil. It’s the most commonly available herb in India and you can’t go wrong. I love fresh herbs and always like to choose fresh when available but dried herbs work just fine.
Roasted vegetables can be a great side to pasta or a quiche; you can also fill them into a sandwich with some cheese, tahini/hummus, mustard and fresh greens. For a healthy vegetarian party snack, serve the roasted veggies on toasted bread. To keep it from becoming too dry or someone complaining that it’s “too healthy”, serve it with a little extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh pepper and sea salt on the side. As it is, the dish is vegan but you can also add some cheese to the roasted veggie bruschetta you’ve created. I have some more party snack inspiration coming up next week in time for Diwali!
- 60g or half a yellow bell pepper, cut into chunks
- 60g or half a red bell pepper, cut into chunks
- 120g or one medium zucchini, sliced
- 80g or one medium carrot, sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil or other oil
- ⅓ tsp salt or to taste
- ⅓ tsp pepper or to taste
- 8-10 sprigs of fresh tarragon, basil, sage, rosemary or herb of your choice or 1 tsp dried herbs
- Preheat the oven to 200C.
- Toss all the ingredients in a pan. Spread evenly and bake at 200C for 18-20 mins.
- Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately.