I’m always delighted when I open my fridge and find a container of roasted winter vegetables. These rich, intensely flavored little treasures are so versatile. And you will love having them on hand to speed up dinner prep when you’re pressed for time. Instead of having to peel, chop, and sauté an onion, imagine if there were a jar of roasted ones you could just dump into a pot and immediately start that weeknight soup on the fly? And think how much more quickly that soup would get done if you could toss in already roasted carrots, cauliflower, and winter squash? What if there were roasted potatoes ready to cube and turn into a pan of home fries?
Which Veggies for Roasted Winter Vegetables
You can use any seasonal vegetables you have. Just grab a generous 3 pounds (a heaping 2 quarts prepared) of any combination of the following:
Carrots, turnips, rutabagas, golden beets, winter squash, parsnips, and onions of any kind, peeled and cut into large chunks; shallots, peeled and left whole; cauliflower, cut into large florets; new potatoes, halved.
If you don’t have a scale or can’t be bothered to measure, simply fill an 18 x 12-inch rimmed baking sheet with vegetables, more or less in a single layer.
Make it a Double
Since roasting winter vegetables is so simple (and the oven’s already preheated!), you may want to roast a couple of pans, depending on the number of people you’re feeding for the week. In the Planetarian Capsule Kitchen, roasted winter vegetables are more than just a side dish. They’re a handy start to any number of meals. You can toss them with pasta, use them to make quick soups or bulk up hearty salads or green & grain bowls or drizzle them with vinaigrette for a first-course.
When roasting fall and winter vegetables, you can toss them all together and scatter them on the baking sheet, or you can separate them. If you don’t know how you’ll be using your pan of roasted winter vegetables, you may opt for the latter. This way you can use them how you like without having to pick individual vegetables out of the container.
Roast your winter vegetables at a high temperature. For me, that’s a blistering 500 degrees—because they cook quickly and brown better. You can roast a pan (or two!) to perfection in about twenty-five minutes.
Spice Up Your Roasted Winter Vegetables
You can spice up the vegetables if you like. Season raw vegetables with spices and dried herbs before roasting. Toss roasted vegetables with fresh herbs after they come out of the oven. If you don’t know how you’ll be using the vegetables, you may want to postpone flavoring until you’re ready to enjoy them. If you want to add a little flavor, we find that dried thyme adds subtle flavor that would complement just about any herb or spice.
How To: Roasted Winter Vegetables
- 3 pounds (heaping 2 quarts) Prepared Vegetables, any combination of the veggies listed below
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and ground black pepper
Prepared Veggie Options
- Golden beets
- Winter squash
- Cauliflower, cut into large florets
- New potatoes, halved
- Onions of any kind, peeled and cut into large chunks
- Shallots, Peeled and left whole
- Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Toss vegetables of choice all together or by variety with 3 tablespoons of oil and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. Turn onto a large (12 x 18 inch) rimmed baking sheet that has been coated with vegetable cooking spray; drizzle with remaining tablespoon of oil and roast until golden and attractively spotty brown, about 25-30 minutes. Serve. (Can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated at least a week.)