Here at Food52, we love recipes -- but do we always use them? Of course not. Because once you realize you don't always need a recipe, you'll make your favorite dishes a lot more often.
Today: The 4 steps to roasting any vegetable, no matter the season.
Roasting vegetables is a simple pleasure. Chop and dress them, throw them in the oven, shake the pan a few times, and you've got caramelized, soft-yet-crispy bites ready to complement any meal, from roast chicken to salad. They're almost too simple for a recipe -- and once you're comfortable with the technique, they're practically impossible to mess up.
From winter to spring to fall, most of our favorite vegetables -- potatoes, asparagus, squash, radishes -- can be dressed up by just a hot oven, a drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of salt. Commit these easy steps to memory, and you'll be roasting everything in sight.
How to Roast Any Vegetable in 4 Steps
1. Wash your vegetables and pat them dry. Cut into uniform pieces, or leave them whole if they're small and you're lazy.
2. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle liberally with salt. Add herbs and spices in any combination you fancy. Stir it all around with your hands, making sure to coat each piece.
3. Send your veggies into the oven on a parchment-lined pan. Roast somewhere between 400 and 450 degrees. Part way though cooking, flip your vegetables -- or at least stir and shake.
4. Your vegetables are done when crispy on the outside and soft on the inside -- they will easily give way to a knife or fork. Hardy root vegetables cut into 1 1/2 in cubes will take roughly 45 minutes at 400 degrees. Serve at any temperature you like; leftovers keep well in the fridge.
Still want a recipe? Here are a few for inspiration:
You can even roast your fruit. Start with rhubarb.
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Photos by James Ransom