When it’s winter, and it’s cold outside, there are a few dishes that are perfect for the weather: like chili or beef burgundy. And then there are side dishes, like roasted root vegetables, that are absolutely fitting for this time of year. Especially when it’s a roasted root vegetable medley consisting of red beets, carrots, parsnip and fennel. I’ve added red onion and garlic to round out the flavors.
How to Roast Root Vegetables in the Oven
Nearly every oven roasted root vegetables recipe is going to call for a large, rimmed dish. A roasting pan or casserole dish will work great, but I’ve found that you are better off with a sheet pan or half sheet pan. The difference between a sheet pan and an ordinary cookie sheet is the high walls around the edges. These are super helpful when you’re giving the root vegetable medley a stir halfway through and don’t want roasted vegetables all over the top of your range.
To make really tasty roasted vegetables, I’ve found the best temperature to roast vegetables in oven is 425. If you go higher, you’re going to wind up with really crispy blackened vegetables. If you go lower, they will be cooked all the way through, but the outsides won’t have that caramelized flavor.
When cooking smaller vegetables, like Brussels Sprouts, I’ve found that cooking them at two different temperatures gets an optimal product. Check out my balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts with garlic for a crispy sprout that’s perfectly cooked in the middle.
Though for a simple, easy roasted vegetables recipe, stick to one temperature. As far as how long to roast root vegetables, for dense vegetables like carrots and beets, 45 minutes is a good time. Be sure to set a time to go off halfway through so you can give them a toss.
Preparing the Roasted Root Vegetables Recipe
The key to evenly cooked roasted root vegetables is a uniform cut. Start by peeling the raw beets and cutting them to about 3/4″ cubes. Then you have a good idea about the surface area that you’ll need for the carrots and parsnips. You’ll also want to peel the parsnips. Keep in mind that parsnips start to brown when exposed to air, so this isn’t something you’ll want to do hours ahead of time.
Put all of the root vegetables, onion and garlic cloves in a medium bowl and toss with olive oil. Use regular olive oil, not extra virgin, as the extra virgin olive oil doesn’t hold up as well to high temperatures. The smoke point of quality extra virgin is only around 405 degrees. It’s even lower for garden variety types.
When your roasted root vegetables come out of the oven, this is what they should look like. They’ll have a crispy, browned exterior and the beets should pierce easily with a knife. Use a wooden spoon to carefully scrape them (they’re extra flavorful where they stick to your sheet pan) up and transfer to a serving bowl.
Serving the Oven Roasted Root Vegetables
After you get them to a serving bowl, then toss in the fresh thyme. It’s best to do this right before serving so that you preserve most of the herb’s flavor. If you add the herbs to the vegetables before cooking, then you’ll lose the flavor in the high heat of the oven. This is also a good time to add the shaved parmesan, or a small amount of really flavorful extra virgin olive oil.
Tips for Roasting Vegetables
- Roast vegetables that have been coated in oil. The oil raises the surface temperature of the vegetable, allowing more of the sugars to caramelize and develop a crispy exterior. They also help prevent excessive sticking to your sheet pan
- Use a sheet pan that’s large enough to spread out all of your vegetables so they aren’t touching. Roasted vegetables will steam out the water that’s inside of them while cooking. That steam will prevent crispy roasted vegetables from forming. So make sure they are well spaced out
- A little more than halfway through cooking, give them all a good stir. You want new sides coming in contact with the sheet pan. Depending on how evenly your oven heats, it’s worth also turning your pan around in the oven. You might notice that vegetables on one side have cooked more than another. This isn’t uncommon
- As an alternative to grilled root vegetables served by themselves, you could also make them into an amazing soup. I really like making broccoli into a roasted broccoli and garlic soup as well as turning carrots and onions into a roasted vegetable soup.
Roasted vegetables have a delicious flavor is this is a great basic technique that you can use in many different ways.
These roasted root vegetables include Beet, Parsnip, Carrots and Fennel and are tossed with parmesan and thyme just before serving
- 1 Medium Red Onion
- 10 Cloves Garlic (Whole, with ends trimmed)
- 3 Carrots
- 3 Parsnip
- 1 Fennel
- 3 Medium Red Beets
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and place a sheet pan on the middle rack
Cut the red onion into large slices and trim the root end off of the garlic cloves (leaving them whole). Place in a medium bowl
Peel the beets, carrots and the parsnips. Cut them into uniform pieces (about 3/4" cubes for the beets and add to the bowl
Chop the tops and the root base from the fennel bulb. Slice into large pieces and add to the bowl
Toss with olive oil and add salt and pepper to your liking. Carefully remove the sheet pan and spread out the vegetables.
Roast for 45 minutes, stirring after about 25 minutes