The seasonal vegetables available during Fall and Winter make the best roasted vegetables. Think of parsnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips and squash. And yet, almost any vegetable can be roasted, including eggplant, zucchini, sweet peppers, garlic and onions. Roasting puts a new spin on familiar vegetables too. Try roasting cauliflower or Brussels sprouts.
The key to roasting vegetables is to cut them in such a way as to let them all get cooked at the same time. For example, carrots take longer to cook than sweet peppers so cut the carrots into 1-inch pieces and the sweet peppers into large wedges. Firm vegetables should be coarsely cubed, but very small pieces burn quickly so don't chop smaller than 1- inch pieces). Softer vegetables like zucchini or red onions can be thickly sliced. Brussels sprouts, shallots and garlic cloves can be roasted whole.
Toss prepared vegetables with olive oil or canola oil so that all the cut surfaces are covered. Season well with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and spread out in a single layer on a wide baking sheet. Dried herbs and spices season vegetables well-try rosemary and thyme sprigs or go exotic and add whole cumin seeds or crushed chili peppers. Do not overcrowd vegetables or they will end up steaming, not roasting. Roast at 375 or 400 F to get vegetables golden brown. To ease clean-up, line the baking sheet with parchment paper.
Roasted potatoes are a favourite, but they can take a long time. To speed things up, parboil: cover halved Yukon gold potatoes with cold water in a pot and boil 5 minutes. Drain, toss with oil, salt and pepper and roast at 375 F for about 25 minutes. The pre-boiling activates the starch in the potatoes so that once roasted they are crisp and golden on the outside and creamy-soft inside.