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Roasted Vegetables

Introduction

For a great plate of roasted vegetables, you need a good balance of textures and flavours. Use too many root vegetables and it can be too sweet, though turnips will help offset that. Fresh herbs will give fragrance to the dish.

Use a combination of four or more of the following six categories: (1) potato and\or sweet potato, (2) squash and\or courgette\zucchini, (3) aubergine\eggplant, (4) root vegetables, (5) broccoli and\or cauliflower and (6) onions (red for colour) and a head of garlic.

We made the plate pictured above to serve alongside Porchetta and Aubergines\Eggplants with Oven-Dried Plums; for that reason we left aubergines\eggplants out. The roasted garlic at the center is always a crowd pleaser.

All of the vegetables needed are in abundance right now and should be inexpensive from now until the end of winter, so have fun with your choices and go with the best of the season.

Tips

Cut the potatoes and vegetables into similar sized chunks. This makes them cook evenly and makes it easier to turn them.

If you use courgettes\zucchini add them half way through cooking or they will fall apart.

Loosen the garlic head by holding the root in your hand and bash the top a couple of times on a flat surface.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1k\2lb selection of vegetables as outlined in the introduction above
  • Leaves of 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary or savoury (or 2 teapsoons of dried)
  • A handful of thyme leaves
  • 90ml\3fl oz\13 cup of olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper

Tools of the Trade

  • Blender or pestle and mortar
  • Large mixing bowl
  • 1-2 large roasting dishes, enough to hold all of the vegetables in a single layer

Method

Preheat the oven to 230°C\450°F\gas mark 8 (reduce temperature by 10% if using a fan oven).

Cut or break up the vegetables into similar sized chunks, i.e. large bite sized pieces as they will shrink.

Put the olive oil a couple of large pinches of sea salt, some freshly ground pepper and half the leaves from the herbs in the blender or pestle and mortar and process.

In a large bowl, toss the vegetables in the oil and herb mixture until thoroughly coated then place them on roasting tray\s in a single layer, toss the remaining herbs over them and place in the oven for 60 minutes. If you are using more than one tray, swap the trays around once or twice during cooking.

Suggestion

To introduce a sharper note when the vegetables have been taken out of the oven, toss them with 30ml\1fl oz\2 tablespoons of sherry wine vinegar or the juice of half a lemon.