ROASTING VEGETABLES

One of the easiest things to make is a tray full of roast vegetables. Always a favourite as a side dish, you can do a million things with leftovers – they can go into your salads, add an extra layer of flavour to your soups, be stuffed into sandwiches with cheese or hummus and even be eaten by themselves if you are pressed for time but want a filling, no-carb meal. The best part is that anyone can roast. You don’t need to be an expert cook. All it takes is patience and a keen eye for when to pull it out of the oven (unless you want to eat charred veg). Simply be generous with the olive oil, go light on the seasoning and toss the vegetables and herbs together to coat. Stick it into the oven and watch the clock. In less than an hour, you have a nutritious meal or ingredients for a nutritious meal all ready.

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One good tip we would offer is to stagger the cooking of vegetables. If you know what takes longer to cook, let that go into the oven first. Then progressively add ingredients that have shorter cooking times. You want the herbs to leave their mark, so you can add them at the start. But if it’s a garnish like flaked almonds, you want to only lightly toast them about 3-4 minutes before you finish cooking so that they don’t get burnt. A good clue regarding what should go in first into the oven is the thickness or density of the vegetable.

Also, something like courgette or aubergine that has a high water content (that it will ooze out) shouldn’t be given as much of a long roast if you want it to hold its shape. I know this sounds complicated, but use your own common sense and you’ll be fine! If this helps, here’s a great guide on roasting any vegetables from Kitchn:

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http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-roast-any-vegetable-101221

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