It’s officially February. And while that means we’ve finally crossed over into the tail end of winter (just a month and a half ‘til spring!) there are still many more cold days ahead of us. But the wintry chill doesn’t have to be all bad news. Along with the dreary weather and all the time spent indoors comes some really great stuff… like time for roasting vegetables.
Don’t tell the other cooking methods we said so, but roasted vegetables are pretty much the best. All you need to do is chop them up, sprinkle some salt, pepper, and a generous drizzle of olive oil over the top, and throw them in the oven—in less than an hour you have a delicious, vegetable-y masterpiece. Crispy and caramelized on the outside, tender on the inside? It’s enough to have you adding them to every meal when the temperature starts to drop.
But if you’ve been doing that all winter already, you might be running low on ideas as far as which veggies to roast next. Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and potatoes are delicious, but any side dish gets old when you’ve been making it for months straight. So if you’re looking for new tastes to spice up your palate, look no further than these five vegetables. You may not have considered roasting them before, but once you do, they’ll earn a permanent spot in your veggie rotation.
It’s not the first ingredient that leaps to mind when you’re talking about roasted vegetables, but maybe it should be. It only takes about 10 minutes in the oven at high heat to leave the stalks perfectly tender and the florets just starting to crisp up. Think of the delicious, golden brown crust that you get on the top of a quiche where the broccoli pokes through—it’s the best part of the whole meal, so why not make a whole side dish of just that? We even recently featured Meatloaf with Parmesan Roasted Broccoli (above) on our menu for this week’s delivery! If you’re a subscriber, you might be roasting that broccoli any day now.
2. Spaghetti Squash
It doesn’t get the same amount of attention as its squash cousins like zucchini and pumpkin, but spaghetti squash is one of our favorite ingredients because it’s so versatile. All you have to do is cut the squash in half, brush each side with extra virgin olive oil, and put it in the oven at 425°. After an hour, you can remove it and scoop out the flesh in long strands that soak up sauces beautifully, just like nature’s pasta!
Kale was the most ubiquitous vegetable of 2014 for a reason. It is sturdier than spinach and takes dressing better than most greens typically used as the base of a salad. Not only is kale a terrific side—featured, like roasted broccoli, in this week’s Plated delivery of Cheesy Italian-Style Farro and Red Rice with Roasted Kale—but it’s also delicious as a stand-alone. The combination of crunchiness and nuttiness really makes it shine. Toss it in a little sriracha and oil before putting it in the oven. You’ll be surprised you haven’t been cooking it this way for years.
You’ve probably sliced up raw fennel or fennel fronds for a salad, but if you haven’t tried the bulb roasted, you’re missing out. The high heat of a hot oven turns the outside perfectly golden brown, adding a rich nuttiness to the delicate, licorice-y flavor. All you need to do is add a little shredded Parmesan over the top and you’re in roasted vegetable heaven.
These little beauties are also known as Jerusalem artichokes, and are increasingly available in supermarkets around the country. The sweet nutty flavor of this tuber only intensifies when you roast them. Even on the most dismal of days, we’re pretty sure this recipe featuring spinach and a brown butter cider vinaigrette is the cure for any case of the winter blues.
And with that, you should have enough recipes and ingredient ideas to last you until spring! Stay warm out there, and happy roasting!