In layman’s terms, roasting is baking at a really high temperature—typically between 375 and 450 degrees for vegetables. Once you get the hang of it, roasting is a simple process that gives vegetables tons of flavor and texture. The perfect roasted vegetable will be slightly crispy and brown on the outside and tender on the inside. I’m always surprised by how wowed people are when I roast something—it’s not that hard, but it never fails to impress.
With that said, to get perfectly roasted vegetables, there are a few “rules” to follow.
- Start with uniform pieces. Chop your vegetable into pieces that are the same size and shape; this will ensure they cook evenly.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. A common mistake is to put as much as possible onto a small pan. Don’t do this! Let the vegetables breathe and give them a bit of space. At the very least, don’t stack them; this will cause the vegetables to steam instead of roast.
- Remove excess liquid. The key to perfect browning is low moisture content. If the vegetable has a lot of moisture, it won’t brown well—for example, cucumbers, which are almost entirely water, don’t roast at all. So make sure that your ingredient is dry before putting it in the oven.