Basics: Roasted vegetables

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This is like my thing, you guys. When it comes to cooking, I really think roasting is my strong point. Like, I can work a pot on the stove just fine but I would really prefer to just throw something on a pan and stick it in the oven for a while. You know? Of course you know. I would actually argue that this is because I actually started baking before cooking. I became enamoured with making cookies at a very young age and have always been comfortable with an oven (except for that one time when I was younger and I almost burned our house down because I forgot to take out a bunch of pans before preheating the oven to make a frozen pizza. Seriously, a frozen pizza could have actually killed me).

When it comes to roasting, most people think of chicken. I, however, don’t own the correct pan and my current oven is a little bratty so I’m not sure it could handle it just yet. One day there will be a damn chicken roasting in my oven, and that day will be glorious. Until then, I present you with the roasted vegetables that are sure to be a staple for you. If you’re ever looking at your vegetables and wondering what you can do to make them less awful and boring, just roast them! I promise it’ll always be a good decision.

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As for what I do with them? Well, pretty much anything. Pizza? YES. Pasta? YES. In a bowl with a ton of cheese on top? YES! I like to make a big batch on the weekends and then keep in the fridge so I can use them whenever I want throughout the week. In fact, one of my  go-to dinners (and one of my favorite meals on earth) is a whole-wheat wrap filled with hummus, roasted vegetables, covered in cheese (really any kind will do) and sriracha. It’s so good, and SO easy to make after a long day.

You know, the kind of long day that still requires an actual meal for dinner. Not the long day that makes the idea of even washing your hair seem impossible. Those days require wine and popcorn. And dry shampoo.

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As this is a basic recipe, the instructions below are more about the method than anything. If you find that you need more or less seasoning or your baking time varies, that’s totally okay! A few things to keep in mind:

  • Use whatever vegetables you want! You certainly don’t have to follow my ingredient list below, but try to make sure they are all vegetables that will take around the same time to cook. If not, add the more delicate ones in towards the end (that’s what I do with tomatoes)
  • I did a few test runs with the measurements below, but feel free to taste as you go! It will change depending on the size of the batch you make. Salt and pepper are the most crucial here and you want just enough to enhance the natural taste of everything you’re roasting, not mask it. Use enough oil to coat everything to get the most delicious result.
  • I always take this time to roast a head of garlic, but technically you don’t have to. Although, why you wouldn’t want to is beyond me. Explain yourself!
  • Ovens can be wonky. The first few times you do this, just stay close by and keep a close eye on your pans. If they seem done in less time than I’ve put down below, then they are probably done. We’re just cooking here – trust your gut. Below is a method that currently works well for me and my oven, but yours could be different!

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Roasted Vegetables

Makes enough to last me a week (or at least three days!)

1 head of garlic

3 bell peppers (any color)

1 medium red onion

1 large zucchini

3-4 jalapeños (don’t worry, they lose their heat after roasting!)

15 cherry tomatoes

3-4 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare the garlic: cut the top off the bulb and discard. Lay a small piece of foil down and place the bulb in the middle. Carefully pour a little olive oil (~1/4 teaspoon) over the top and liberally sprinkle with salt and pepper. Wrap the foil around the bulb tightly and set in the corner of a large baking sheet.

Wash and dry all the vegetables as needed. Cut however you’d like, making sure you keep the pieces pretty consistent in size. As a general rule, the smaller they are the more quickly they’ll cook so keep that in mind. I tend to go for a julienne – but that’s just because it makes me feel fancy. You do whatever makes you happy! Put all your cut vegetables (except the tomatoes) in a large bowl and pour enough olive oil over the top to coat every.single.pieces. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes (if using) and toss very well! I sometimes just do this on the actual baking sheet, but it’s definitely easier in a large bowl.

Arrange the vegetables in as close to one layer as possible. If there is a little overlap that’s okay, but if you need to use another baking sheet go right ahead. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes, keeping a fairly close eye on them. Remove pan(s) when the vegetables are all soft but not yet browned, add the tomatoes and give everything a stir/flip. Continue roasting for another 15 minutes and then crank the heat up to 425 and roast for another 10 minutes or until the vegetables are completely cooked through and a little charred. By this time your garlic should be all soft and ready to go.

For the garlic, just remove from the foil and squeeze the entire bulb to get out the amazing roasted cloves out. I actually like to just mix that into my vegetables, but you can keep it in a separate container if you’d like. In case you were wondering, roasted garlic is one of the greatest things that will ever come out of your kitchen. EVER.

Use however you’d like! These will keep well in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!

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  1. Lemon-thyme quinoa risotto | One girl. One kitchen.

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