My veggies need a makeover
November 13, 2008 3:08 PM   Subscribe

Help me jazz up my roasted vegetables!

This time of year, I subsist largely on roasted vegetables. My "recipe" goes like this: chop up a red pepper, a yellow pepper, a couple of potatoes, a red onion, whatever squash I happen to have on hand, and a half an eggplant. Stick them in a roasting pan with some fresh rosemary. Pour some olive oil over the whole thing, mix it up, roast for an hour at 400 degrees F., and eat. I put this in sandwiches, in burritos, eat it over rice, etc. It's easy and it's yummy. It's also getting a little boring. Can anyone think of some good things to add to my roasted vegetables to make them even more delicious and exciting?
posted by craichead to Food & Drink (35 answers total) 81 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: instead of rosemary, substitute:

curry powder
sage and thyme
cumin and chili powder
ground mustard
oregano and a tiny pinch of cinnamon

cauliflower is delicious roasted (i don't like it any other way).

also, do you salt and pepper your veggies first? that goes a long way toward deliciousness.
posted by thinkingwoman at 3:17 PM on November 13, 2008 [2 favorites]

I sometimes marinate mine first. Italian dressing if you have nothing else but otherwise experiment with olive oil and vinegar as your base and then add whatever flavorings. Garlic is a must. Cajun or Caribbean seasoning can be a nice detour.

I have added sweet potatoes to my repertoire now and then. You could try other root veg like turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, etc.

Hey, ever baked a whole thing of garlic? you slice the pointy end off and stand it on its base and drizzle olive oil over it and then bake the whole thing. You end up with spreadable stuff that's great on bread. You could bake at same time as veg as an accessory.
posted by Askr at 3:22 PM on November 13, 2008

Two words.

Duck. Fat.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 3:31 PM on November 13, 2008 [2 favorites]

Before roasting, toss your veggies with olive oil, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, and Herbs de Provence. It's a giant step up from just rosemary. Also, roast some chunked apples with your veggies - really good. With onions and potatoes, you're getting close to heaven.
posted by gyusan at 3:34 PM on November 13, 2008 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Boil some water, cut some brussels sprouts in half lengthwise, boil for about 3 minutes. Drain REALLY WELL. Toss these along with a bunch of other veggies (onion, broccoli, cauliflower, etc) into a large baggie. Toss in a BUNCH of minced garlic, chili sauce, sea salt, pepper. Pour in some olive oil. SHake ALL around until everything is coated. Roast like you would normally do. I usually take mine out when the brussels sprouts are getting a bit brown and crunchy. I'll toss all of this into a bowl of cooked noodles, pour a little hoisin sauce in and EAT! This is my favorite meal!
posted by TurquoiseZebra at 3:34 PM on November 13, 2008 [4 favorites]

Joy of Cooking suggests approximately 2 tablespoons of butter (olive oil will do) and 1 cup of chicken stock for every two cups of vegetables.

Roast until liquid is gone and gently toss to get a golden brown coating on the veggies.
posted by GarageWine at 3:36 PM on November 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Some balsamic vinegar is always nice.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 3:37 PM on November 13, 2008 [2 favorites]

I like to roast a a shoulder of lamb and lay it right on top of my roasted veggies, and I make about three times as much veg as I think I need.

With the lamb drippings flavouring the veg, the leftovers are just incredible. Shred 'em all up and make rosti out of 'em.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 3:38 PM on November 13, 2008

Response by poster: You guys are the best. These are all awesome suggestions!
posted by craichead at 4:03 PM on November 13, 2008

Chop up fresh herbs - parsely, basil, marjorum, thyme and toss after veggies are roasted for another wrinkle. I also like to use a lot of garlic before roasting and sometimes smoked Spanish paprika.
posted by leslies at 4:13 PM on November 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Glaze 'em with a bit of redcurrent or mint jelly warmed in a saucepan.
posted by lottie at 4:14 PM on November 13, 2008

Best answer: sweet potatoes with nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon, curry, a wee dash of cayenne and brown sugar or maple syrup omnomnom
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 4:18 PM on November 13, 2008 [3 favorites]

Try a sauce, like this saffron aioli. An aioli is really just a mayo-based sauce - you can play with the spices and adapt it for any vegetable dish.
posted by elendil71 at 4:18 PM on November 13, 2008 [2 favorites]

Kosher salt, coarse black pepper (fresh), olive oil or butter.
posted by bzbb at 4:20 PM on November 13, 2008

Oh! and make a vinaigrette, add some pesto and dress them warm. Make a garlick-y aioli to dip them in. Serve them on a lovely plate-covering smear of white bean and rosemary dip. Toss them through salad leaves with some delicious feta chunks. Spread them on a pizza base and make a little roasted veg pizetta. Dress them with an aged balsamic vinegar while they're still warm.
posted by lottie at 4:21 PM on November 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Chop them up and make a fritata with them.
posted by lottie at 4:22 PM on November 13, 2008

Much more roasted vegetable advice in response to my question about technique here.
posted by libraryhead at 4:23 PM on November 13, 2008

Yes, roasted cruciferous vegetables are great, brussels sprouts and cauliflower are my favorite. Cauliflower, roasted in long slices, with just a little oil and plenty of salt and pepper, is ridiculous, so absurdly transcendent of its humble beginnings.

Try using some roasted veggies in a winter panzanella - roasted butternut squash, brussels sprouts, onions, garlic, and grape tomatoes (plus whatever you want), tossed with grilled or toasted hearty bread, olive oil, and plenty of fried sage. Cheery and delicious!
posted by peachfuzz at 4:56 PM on November 13, 2008

I'm not nearly as much as a veggie person as I should be, but this recipe really had me salivating.
posted by ktrey at 5:10 PM on November 13, 2008

Make some brown butter; keep it in the refrigerator in a jar. After veggies are roasted as usual, toss with brown butter and lemon, add capers or chopped hazelnuts.
posted by neroli at 5:32 PM on November 13, 2008

Beets, beets, beets! Also yams! And parsnips! And then all the stuff you already use (and salt, if you don't already). Take the pan out after 30 minutes, stir everything around, then back in for another 30 minutes.

Roasted veggies ARE the best.
posted by kestralwing at 6:07 PM on November 13, 2008

Best answer: nthing roasted cauliflower. It doesn't taste like cauliflower when you get done with it, more like hash browns or French frys. Here's a pasta recipe I came up with using it as a base.

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower Pasta
1 head cauliflower, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 medium onion, Frenched
1/2 head garlic, cloves peeled and cut in half
salt and pepper
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 c olive oil

1 lb pasta, cooked
3/4 c chicken stock or 1/2 c white wine
1 T lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
grated Parmesan cheese
2 cloves finely minced garlic (optional, if you like a strong garlic punch like me)

Preheat oven to 425F. Toss cauliflower, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, red pepper, and olive oil in a roasting pan until completely coated. Roast in oven for 40-60 minutes until well browned, tossing ingredients every 10 minutes. Toss roasted vegetables together with pasta, stock, lemon juice, parmesan, salt, pepper, and optional garlic.

Other good things to add at the end:
grilled chicken
roasted tomatoes
artichoke hearts
smoked sausage
posted by TungstenChef at 6:13 PM on November 13, 2008 [2 favorites]

Seconding the sweet potatoes. I also like to add a bunch of peeled garlic cloves, just make sure they don't burn.
posted by sapere aude at 6:14 PM on November 13, 2008

nthing roast cauliflower-small flowerets, like the size of dice-tossed with a bunch of minced garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil, roasted til really gold and brown and crunchy.

One of my all time favorite meals is snapped green beans, tossed with chunks of onion and a couple of heads worth of peeled garlic cloves. Olive oil, etc, roast until the garlic is soft, then add a bit of balsamic. Serve with really good french bread and butter-eat the veggies, spread the garlic on the bread. (Take your Beano first, though. Seriously).

And I much prefer to peel my garlic pre-roasting. It's a bit of a pain, though I have one of those nifty rubber tube peelers, but it's a lot easier to eat if you don't have to squeeze all those oily cloves.

Finally, roast veggies then puree, add some stock, cream, make fabulous roasted vegetable soup.
posted by purenitrous at 7:53 PM on November 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

I start roasting the veggies under the broiler- then I take some white miso paste, a little water, chicken stock or orange juice, a blob of grey poupon and mix it till the miso dissolves. Once the veggies have some nice color I pour the mixture over them, give the pan a shake and let them go for another minute or so while keeping my eye on the progress. You will have a really new bright flavor to introduce to your pallet.
posted by bkeene12 at 8:16 PM on November 13, 2008

Toss cubes of sweet potato and beet, carrot coins, and garlic cloves with olive oil, pomegranate molasses, and chili powder before roasting. God Damn I Love Autumn Food!
posted by ottereroticist at 9:07 PM on November 13, 2008

Tarragon is a wonderful underused herb that tastes great on roasted veggies, especially beets.

Parsnips are great, and not often used.

Getting a really good quality organic potato makes a BIG difference. Really. It will taste so much better.

Roasted garlic tastes delicious and mild and can be spread on bread, unlike raw garlic.

Many kinds of squashes, but particularly acorn and buttercup, taste wonderful roasted with maple syrup.

Surprisingly, you can roast asparagus and green beans with very good results.

Have fun! Roasted veggies are the best!
posted by Cygnet at 9:21 PM on November 13, 2008

Jerusalem artichokes. High inulin content makes these tubers sweet (not sweet like buttercup squash or sweet potatoes, but more subtle), and feeds the good bacteria in your guts. Sure, that wikipedia link quotes some 17th-century guy as complaining that they can "cause a filthy loathsome stinking wind within the body" but potential digestive problems can be discouraged by introducing the tubers to your system slowly, and not gorging on them.

I love them. Carmelization from roasting magnifies the sweetness.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 10:13 PM on November 13, 2008

I love potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and broccoli tossed in olive oil with salt, pepper, parsley, rosemary, and thyme. The sweet potatoes and carrots get a really sweet flavor, which contrasts nicely against the regular potatoes and broccoli.
posted by owtytrof at 7:00 AM on November 14, 2008

I use frozen brussel sprouts, easy, and they don't need to be pre-cooked. Cauliflower, butternut and other squashes, carrots and sweet potatoes all roast well. Try using different oils, like peanut oil or corn oil, to vary the flavors. Chili powder, soy sauce, garlic, curry, and other spice mixes are a nice variation.
posted by theora55 at 8:42 AM on November 14, 2008

Response by poster: Thank you all so much! I marked a couple of best answers, which really means "things I plan to cook in the next four days or so," but these are all great. Thank you for helping me avoid the tragedy of boring food!
posted by craichead at 11:28 AM on November 15, 2008

Duck. Fat.

See also: Goose. Fat.

Your veg selection looks a bit too summery for this time of year (unless it's summer where you are, of course!). I'd go with stuff that's a bit more hearty just now: parsnip, turnip, swede, celeriac, beetroot, butternut squash, shallots, carrots (especially the purple or white kinds). That sort of combo goes really well with thyme and sage, seasoned with white pepper instead of black. Also, don't waste the greens from your veg - after you've tipped the veg out of the pan, wilt the greens in it with some butter (residual heat is enough to do this), and give them a good stir so they pick up the herbs, fat and crunchy bits left in the pan.

Green Sauce would go nicely with your current choice of veg. Here's the great Fergus Henderson's recipe:

40g curly parsley, finely chopped
40g flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped mint
1 tbsp finely chopped dill
50g anchovy fillets, drained and finely chopped
12 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp nonpareille capers, drained and rinsed
60–75ml extra virgin olive oil

Mix everything together, adding enough olive oil to reach a loose consistency. Season with black pepper.

(That would probably make more than you need, but should give you an idea of the proportions.)

And I know anchoïade is meant for crudites or spreading on toast, but it's totally delicious drizzled over roast veg too. Here's an interesting, slightly poncey version; I just bash the crap out of half a tin of anchovy fillets and a load of garlic cloves in a mortar and pestle with a splosh of vinegar, then whisk the resulting mush into some olive oil. You don't need much - it's kind of hardcore.
posted by jack_mo at 12:41 PM on November 15, 2008

Also - Montreal Steak Spice is always fabulous on anything grilled or roasted
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:14 PM on November 16, 2008

Response by poster: Brief update: I made TurquoiseZebra's brussles sprout pasta the night before last, and it's a keeper. The only thing I'd say is don't use broccoli if you're going to eat the leftovers cold the next day, because it gets soggy. All the other veggies held up fine, and the pasta was yummy. I think next time I'll marinate some fresh tofu and throw it in with the veggies for fifteen minutes or so.
posted by craichead at 1:32 PM on November 17, 2008

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