6 Must Don'ts for Roasting Vegetables

Roasting vegetables seems easy enough, right?  Basically, yes.  But there are some specific things you should keep in mind to get crispy-yet-tender veggies.  Here are the most common mistakes people make when throwing their winter vegetables in the oven - and how to avoid them.

1. Chopping Your Veggies Any Old Way
Cut your veggies the same size so they’ll evenly cook.  When roasting starchy vegetables like potatoes or squash, dicing them into 1 1/2″–2″ pieces will make sure they don’t cook too quickly or too slowly (more on that later). Carrots are so pretty when roasted whole and stalks of broccoli are great just split lengthwise when they’re roasted.

2. Using Too Much Oil—Or Too Little!
When you’re finished cutting them, make sure to give your veggies a coat of oil—but don’t assume they all need the same amount. Vegetables with porous flesh, like mushrooms and eggplant, need a little more oil than, say, root vegetables.  Use two tablespoons of olive oil per sheet pan of veggies, but add a bit more if you’re including something that sucks up moisture. Your vegetables should be a just little shiny, and evenly coated.  And, of course: Season, season, season.

3. Roasting In a Casserole Dish
Although you can use a baking dish to roast your veggies, Roman suggests that a sheet pan is your best bet. Vegetables have a high water content.  When they cook and that water evaporates, the higher, curved sides of a baking dish will cause your vegetables to steam more than if they were on a flat surface with shallow sides.

4. Crowding the Pan
Give your vegetables space! It’s the same deal as above: Your vegetables will give off steam while they cook, and they’ll turn out mushier if they’re all up in each other’s grills. Make sure there’s a little space between each piece, and they’ll brown and crisp up a lot better.

5. Cooking Them Low and Slow
That way, you get a nice caramelized and crispy outside, and a just-cooked-through inside. But don’t go much lower than that. If you roast them on too low a temperature, they won’t brown as nicely and get mushier. If you’re into that kinda thing, go for it—but we’ll take crisp-caramelized veggies, thank you very much.

6. Putting Them In the Oven and Forgetting ‘Em
To ensure even cooking and browning, you’ve gotta give your vegetables a nice toss while it’s in the oven. You don’t want one side of your vegetables to be super dark, and the other sides to have no color. You should be roasting your vegetables for 35-45 minutes; give them one or two stirs throughout.

source: bon appetit