Just because our temperatures are getting cooler it doesn’t mean an end to the fresh tastes that we have become so accustomed to over the summer months. It’s always sad to see the end of tomatoes and that fresh corn, but this loss signals the arrival of the interesting and complex vegetables of fall.
Fall vegetables bring a rich and colorful pallet. To highlight the flavours and color of vegetables at this time of year nothing beats oven roasting. The beauty of roasting is its ease and simplicity.
You can roast almost anything in the fall harvest. There is just so much to choose from. Not only do we have the old standbys, like potatoes and carrots, but there are squashes, beets, red and green cabbages, turnips, parsnips and apples to name just some to choose from.
Prepping the vegetables is a breeze. Wash, scrub and cut them the same size. Leave the skins on as they contain a wallop of vitamins. Season them well using ingredients like flavored olive oil, honey, brown sugar, molasses, garlic, fresh herbs and balsamic vinegar. Make sure the vegetables are evenly coated in oil. Use your imagination and roasted vegetables can easily become the highlight of your meal.
Set your oven on a high roasting temperature to start with and then turn down after 10 minutes. Use flavorings containing sugar in moderation. The high temperature will reduce shrinkage in your vegetables and will bring on the caramelizing process.This method will make your vegetables more flavorful and keep them from overcooking before they are browned. Gently turn vegetables over every ten minutes during the roasting period.
If you have a lot of oven space, you can roast your vegetables in different pans. That way you can start the slower to cook vegetables first. The one pan method is definitely easier and creates less clean-up. You just need to be aware of cooking times for different vegetables and add them accordingly. A general rule of thumb is that denser vegetables like beets, carrots and parsnips need more time than water-filled vegetables like squashes or fruit, like apples and pears.
Try oven roasting! Know that you are serving a dish that is not only very healthy for your family but is also so easy to prepare and clean up.