Alice Waters Roasting 101: Roasted vegetables are one of the simplest and most satisfying meals you can make. The flavors of the vegetables can really sing, and require nothing more than olive oil and salt to help intensify those flavors… The critical points are the shape in which they are cut, the seasoning/oiling, and the roasting temperature.
Winter root veggies should be peeled and cut up into smallish pieces, roughly the same size, so they cook evenly and finish at the same time. Thin edges and tips tend to burn. If they are cut too small, they will have the crispy outside, but not much to chew on.
Use your hands to toss your cut veggies in a bowl, coating them evenly with olive oil and salt. If oil is pooling in the bottom of the bowl, you’ve used too much. Lay the veggies on a baking sheet with low sides, in a single layer.
Cook your veggies in a hot oven preheated to 400 F, stirring from time to time, and moving those on the edges into the center. They are cooked when tender and nicely browned here and there — too brown and they will taste bitter. Taste them for doneness.
- Carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
- Kohlrabi, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
- Turnips, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
- Cumin or Fennel Seed
- Fennel and chopped fennel tops
- Lemon juice & Zest of 1/4 lemon
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 3 Tbs EVOO
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the vegetables with the salt and olive oil in a large bowl, using your hands or a spoon to coat them evenly. Lay the veggies in a single layer on a baking sheet and put them into the oven. The cook should take 30 to 40 minutes - stir occasionally and you will keep an eye on their progress to nice brownness and tenderness.
- Fennel Salad: trim off the tops and root ends of the fennel, save a few feathery leaves for garnish. To make the dressing, stir the lemon juice, zest, vinegar, salt and pepper, then whisk in the oil.
- Thinly slice the fennel crosswise, using a mandoline if you have one, then toss with the dressing and garnish with chopped fennel tops.
- Not included in Large Culinary Inspiration Boxes: Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil, Cumin or Fennel Seed, White Wine Vinegar, Celery Root.