Easy Whatever-You-Have-in-the-Pantry Roast Vegetables

Thanks to fellow potluck dinner guest Donna Lampano for this photo. This is the roasted squash, potato, carrots, garlic and onion dish I brought. Yummy!

Thanks to fellow potluck dinner guest Donna Lampano for this photo. This is the roasted squash, potato, carrots, garlic and onion dish I brought. Yummy!

Last week, my sister-in-law invited me over to a potluck dinner and asked me to bring some salad. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to drop by the grocery to get some greens. The day of the dinner, I desperately scrounged around the ref and my veggie basket and came up with a carrot, a few potatoes, a wedge of squash, garlic and onions. So I chopped them up, tossed them with seasoning and oil, and flung them in the oven (actually, I carefully slid the tray in the hot oven, but “flung” sounds more dramatic). Less than an hour later, I had something decent to bring to the potluck.

This will work with a lot of different veggies—whatever you have on hand. Next time, I’d love to throw some peppers in, and maybe some eggplants. And zucchini. And fresh mushrooms...

Here’s the basic recipe. Feel free to modify according to taste and availability.

What you’ll need

  • Veggies—almost any kind, except the green leafies (no roasted lettuce, please!)—cut into same-sized chunks
  • Onions—cut into thick wedges (I only had one on hand, but would’ve wanted maybe a couple more)
  • Garlic—a head or two, or three (I love roasted garlic, so I put lots), separated into cloves, and slightly bashed so that the peel splits open a bit, but leave them unpeeled
  • Olive oil—a good dollop or two
  • Salt and pepper to taste—I like using the chunky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, but regular kind will do (if using fine salt, careful not to over-salt!)
  • Herbs –optional. Fresh rosemary is divine, if you have it. For this particular batch, I just used dried Italian seasoning

What to do

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 F. If you can chop fast, you can turn on the oven before you start chopping.
  2. Dump everything in a bowl and mix together. I use my hands; I find it quicker, and I can make sure every little piece is properly seasoned. I can even rub in the seasoning into nooks and crannies. Yum!
  3. Arrange the oiled and seasoned veggies on a baking tray, in a single layer. Don’t crowd the veggies (I use two trays to ensure that they have ample roasting space). Avoid using a deep roasting pan and piling veggies on each other—this will steam them, rather than roast and brown them.
  4. After 20 minutes, pull out the tray and flip the veggies over. This helps them get a more even browning all over.
  5. Put the veggies back for another 10 to 15 minutes—take them out when they start turning a nice, toasty color.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Some other notes

  • We had these veggies with some baked fish in pesto-cheese sauce, but they’d go with pretty much anything else. They’re great on their own. I almost had nothing to bring to the potluck because I was picking off the veggies while waiting for The Hubby.
  • Baking time depends on the size of your veggie chunks, and how much you’re making. Keep an eye on them the first time you cook, so you can get a feel of how long it will actually take.
  • I added the onions at the halfway point, after flipping the veggies, since I didn’t want them overcooked and I wasn’t too sure they’d last the entire roasting session.
  • Sometimes, when I’m lazy, I skip the flipping part. It’s still yummy after, though not evenly browned (think of it like falling asleep on your belly while sunbathing).  It’s OK.
  • Oh, and for those who have never tried roasted garlic--give it a shot. It's sublime! When well-roasted, garlic gets this nice, creamy texture and very mild flavor. I drool at the thought.




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