Savory Oven Roasted Root VegetablesFeatured by Richard G. Peterson in the Pinot Noir Wine Club.
Roasting in the dry heat of an oven is especially well suited to the dense vegetables of autumn and winter. Coated with a little olive oil and exposed to high heat, the natural sugars in the vegetables emerge.Yield: 4 - 6
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
• 2 pounds sweet potatoes; medium- or low-starch potatoes, such as red or Yukon gold potatoes; large carrots; or other vegetables suitable for roasting, cut into 2 1/2-inch wedges or chunks
• 1/4 cup olive oil
• 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme or rosemary
• 1/2 tsp. sea salt
• 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
Add the oil to the vegetables:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the vegetable wedges or chunks in a large bowl. Add the olive oil and toss to coat (if you are using regular potatoes, do this quickly, as exposure to air will cause them to discolor).
Add the seasonings:
Add the thyme, salt, and pepper. Using your hands or two wooden spoons, toss the vegetables to coat them thoroughly with the oil-herb mixture.
Transfer to a roasting pan:
Transfer the vegetables to a roasting pan, making sure to get all the remaining oil and herbs out of the bowl.
Arrange the vegetables:
Arrange the vegetable pieces in a single layer without crowding. Doing so will expose the maximum surface area of the vegetables to the high heat of the oven and encourage even browning.
Roast the vegetables:
Place the pan in the oven and let the vegetables roast until they are well browned and tender, about 20 minutes for sweet potatoes or 25 minutes for regular potatoes or carrots. Insert the tip of a paring knife into a vegetable piece. If the knife easily slips in and out, the vegetables are done. If not, let the vegetables roast for another 5 minutes and test again. Do not overcook the vegetables or they will lack the sweet, concentrated flavor and texture of roasted vegetables at their best.
Season the vegetables:
Taste the vegetables. They should carry their own natural flavors and have a subtle sweetness that comes from roasting at a high heat, as well as accents of salt, pepper, and thyme. If the vegetables taste bland to you, sprinkle salt over the pieces a little at a time to heighten the flavors.