I think we first came up with this idea last fall. Instead of roasting various winter foods as we need them, why not save oven power and kitchen time by roasting a whole bunch of things at once? I love this idea, and it can save me a bunch of time later in the week.
I set the oven to bake at 400° F, and start prepping things. I like to do garlic first, since it seems to take at least as long as anything else. Slice just the tops from a head or two, and put in a small oven-proof container. Pour in water to come about halfway up the sides of the garlic. Drizzle olive oil right on top of the cloves. Cover with foil or ideally, a lid. I use the foil as many times as I can, but I’d love to have a container with a lid for roasting garlic, and beets. It’s on my list but I haven’t found it yet.
Place the garlic container in a corner of the oven somewhere where it can roast along while you take other things in and out.
Ok, let’s talking about peeling veggies for a second. Peeling a raw beet or squash is such a pain that I almost never do it. But the roasted ones peel like magic.
In my oven, beets get a similar treatment to the garlic, except without the olive oil (probably no harm in adding it too …). Cut off the tops and any long tails, then place them in a pan, add water, and cover.
Put the beets in the oven too. No need to check on them for at least 20 minutes, big ones can take up to an hour or so.
Believe it or not, this is the exact set of beets I got in a bag at our CSA store. Who knew they would fit so precisely?
One of my favorite things to eat all winter long is butternut squash. It’s good in so many things: soups, winter tacos, quiches, seasoned slices. Search some of your favorite cookbooks or sites and you’ll get many more ideas. It’s also much easier to peel when cooked!
Cut the squash in half, and scoop out the seeds. Said seeds are delicious roasted with a little salt and any other spices you wish. I usually put them in after the squash is done.
You can either cut the squash into slices, or roast the halves as they are, depending on your later squash plans. I did some of each. In either case, rub a little olive oil on the cut faces.
If you are roasting slices/seeds/small things, be sure to check on them after about 10 minutes, and then every 5 minutes or so. It’s easy to lose track and burn them while the bigger things are still happily roasting.
I flip the slices over when they get brown on the bottom, so that both sides get nice and toasted.
These slices are done, but the bigger chunks need to cook for a while yet.
Not pictured, but also great to roast are:
Sweet potatoes and/or regular potatoes in their skins, or as slices.
Nuts. Sometimes it’s a lot cheaper/easier to find quality raw nuts and roast them yourself. These are another thing that’s done quite quickly, so set a timer.
By the time the second round of slices (potato) are done, the big pieces of squash are too—easily pierced with a fork.
Beets are also done when fork-tender, and when the peel slides off with just a push from your thumb!
And finally the garlic. I’ve never overcooked it, but if it’s been in the oven for quite a while, check to see if the water has all evaporated. If so, it’s probably done, and if not, add water so it doesn’t dry out. To me, done roasted garlic = squishy and a little caramelized on top. Yum!
So there you have it, all the roasted veggies you need for the next week or so.
What are some of your favorite winter foods?