Roasting vegetable is among my favorite methods in cooking vegetables. To me, the way roasted veggies concentrate flavor is what steamed veggies can never do. I also like the aroma of roasting vegetables wafting through the kitchen. Not to mention the convenience of cooking a good amount of vegetables in a single baking sheet. With or without the help of the oven timer, more often than not, you can tell the vegetables that have been roasting in the oven are ready by the smell of things. It is gratifying when someone comes into the kitchen and asks: “What’s smelling so good?” Who would have guessed: it is the often ignored vegetable!
This recipe comes from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi. He recommends treating this recipe as a blueprint for an infinite number of vegetable dishes. A variety of vegetables are suitable to be roasted similarly: rutabaga, potato, carrot, beet and cauliflower.
Keep in mind that not all vegetables are cooked at the same rate. Parsnips and onions took the longest to roast — for a total of about 70 minutes. They went into the oven first. Sweet potatoes took about 50 minutes. They went into the oven 20 minutes after the parsnips. Cherry tomatoes were the last to go in. They took about 10 minutes. After about an hour, the whole pan of roasted vegetables was ready for the table. All in perfect harmony.
A note of caution: If I don’t have the preparation and timing guide from Ottolenghi as in this recipe, it would make sense to put the component vegetables in separate baking pans. (Speaking from prior experiences of having messed things up.) Check each vegetable from time to time to ensure that it is cooked to the degree of doneness desired. Take the individual vegetable out of the oven when it is ready. Then assemble the vegetables on a serving dish at the end.
According to Ottolenghi, the caper vinaigrette may also be substituted with other refreshing combinations of chopped herbs, grated lemon zest, harissa, crushed garlic and a mellow vinegar. I feel thoroughly empowered to make my version of roasted vegetables extravaganza. This blueprint is a keeper for sure!