Scanning the lists of anticipated food trends for 2013, one thing has become clear. This year is the year of the vegetable.
Whether it’s making vegetables the main ingredient in your meal, new and inventive ways of cooking vegetables or offering them as interesting snacks, veggies are in.
I don’t know about you, but this is one bandwagon I’m happy to jump on.Roasting veggies is my go-to option at this time of year. Roasting seems to bring out the natural sweetness of the vegetable and the caramelized crust formed is a flavour explosion. Having the oven on also keeps me and my apartment all roasty toasty.
Use a hot oven (400°F works) to roast as it helps with caramelisation. Wash your vegetables, dry them off and cut them into bite size chunks. Toss them with a little olive oil, a small pinch of salt and some pepper and place on a baking sheet or in a roasting pan.
You can experiment with adding spices and other flavours too. Here are a few ideas:
- Cauliflower - Sprinkle a few whole cumin seeds on cauliflower before roasting.
- Beets - Cut the tops off whole beets and cook them in their peel. After roasting, peel them and cut them into wedges. Serve with a spoonful of plain yogurt, a sprinkle of fresh dill and salt and pepper to taste.
- Broccoli – Sprinkle with a bit of grated cheddar cheese after roasting.
- Bell peppers, zucchini and red onion – Sprinkle with thyme leaves (fresh or dried) before roasting. This is delicious tossed into pasta.
- Garlic – Take a whole head of garlic and cut the top off the ends of the cloves. Roast it whole. You don’t even need a pan for this. When it’s soft, let it cool and then just squeeze the cloves out. Toss them into salad, spread them on crackers or spread them on to a sandwich.
Tips for Even Roasting
- Cut the vegetables into similar sized pieces
- Don’t overcrowd the pan as the veggies will steam instead of caramelize
- Give them a toss halfway through
- Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!
Are you ready to jump on the bandwagon?