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How to Get Browner, Crispier Roasted Vegetables

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The trick to browner roasted vegetables that are anything but limp isn't a secret ingredient or special tool—it's time.

Crisp and Tender Roasted Root Vegetables

Crisp and Tender Roasted Root Vegetables by Merrill Stubbs

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In Sarah's recent piece about the Maillard reaction (a.k.a. that scientific thing responsible for a good sear on a steak, crispy edges of roasted potatoes, and brown edges of fried eggs), she shared a tip from Serious Eats's J. Kenji López-Alt that was so simple yet so helpful, we didn't want you to miss it.

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It starts with the fact that high heat + dryer ingredients = better chance of caramelly, browned bits. And it's employed on a cooking technique where caramel-crisp is what we're going for—roasting vegetables:

...Kenji recommends you leave cut vegetables uncovered in the refrigerator overnight; by drying them out, you're ensuring that they'll brown nicely when you roast them the next day.

Left: Vegetables roasted after a night cut and uncovered in the fridge; Right: Vegetables cut then roasted.
Left: Vegetables roasted after a night cut and uncovered in the fridge; Right: Vegetables cut then roasted. Photo by James Ransom

That photo above doesn't lie! Leaving cut vegetables uncovered in the fridge overnight is an extra step that involves a little additional planning, but it will give you exactly what you were going for when you decided to slip some vegetables into the hot oven.

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Now if only you had a recipe or two to try this trick out on...

How to Roast Any Vegetable in 4 Steps

How to Roast Any Vegetable in 4 Steps by Marian Bull

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Cauliflower Fennel Salad with Roasted Lemon & Shallot Sal... by Ali Slagle

Tahini Roasted Broccoli

Tahini Roasted Broccoli by Laurie

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Roasted Sweet Potato with Chickpeas, Goat Cheese, and Cor... by Renee Kemps

Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto and Burrata

Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto and Burrata by Kenzi Wilbur

Spice-Roasted Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Tahini Drizzle

Spice-Roasted Cauliflower with Pine Nuts and Tahini Drizzle by kedivine

What other tips to you have for perfectly roasty, toasty vegetables? Let us know in the comments!

Tags: roasted vegetables, tips