Christmas Menu- Part One; How to Roast Vegetables

An accomplished cook may think it is too basic to include instructions for roasting vegetables. Still, having been invited for dinner in the past only to be presented with some dried up, burnt, or undercooked vegetables I have decided to start with the most basic of items on my Christmas menu.  Besides my mother who taught me to cook, always told me to master the basics before moving on to more ambitious recipes.

Roasted Vegetables made easy (hopefully).

  • Skill Level: Easy
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time:  35-45 minutes
  1. The first and easiest step is of course to choose your vegetables. I prefer to use root vegetables, but I have known people who have accomplished a good mix of roast vegetables with a few more ambitious choices such as aubergines. Personally however, my Christmas menu is going to include; carrots, swede, parsnips and a couple of red onions. [You may also choose to include some potatoes in the tray, but I am going to roast mine seperately in the traditional English manner.]
  2. For six people I am going to roast the following: half a swede (about 5 oz/150 g) cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) wedges; 2 medium red onions, peeled and cut through the root into quarters;  6 small whole carrots and 6 small whole parsnips – scrubbed and dried well. Place them all in large bowl and add 1 fat clove of garlic, crushed; 4 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 level tablespoon of chopped mixed fresh herbs (including thyme, rosemary and sage). Toss the vegetables thoroughly using your hands.
  3. When you’re ready to cook the vegetables, spread them out on a good solid baking tray measuring about 11 x 16 inches (28 x 40 cm) and season. The thing I have love about this cooking method is that you can get a head start on dinner as the vegetables can be prepared in advance and kept covered with clingfilm or in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge for 2-3 days, ready to be roasted when required. Sprinkle with salt and a good grinding of black pepper before cooking.
  4. Cook in a pre-heated oven, gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C), on a high shelf for 35-45 minutes, until they’re tender and turning brown at the edges. When a skewer or fork can be inserted easily into the vegetables they are cooked.

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