Shopping Cart

Milly's 101: Roasting The Pefect Vege

Milly's 101: Roasting The Pefect Vege

Ask just about anyone how they ‘do’ their vegetables, and nine times out of ten, you’ll get the same answer: boil, steam, or microwave. Nothing wrong with these methods, but let’s add a good old Kiwi twist and throw 'roasting' into the mix.

Growing up as little Kiwis, we’re all familiar with the Sunday roast favourites of potatoes, kumara, and pumpkin (with my personal favourite, parsnip, too). But lots of vegetables benefit from (actually, positively love) a good blast of hot, dry heat plus a spritz of oil and some judicious seasoning. Carrots, beetroot, beans, zucchini – the list goes on! Roasting intensifies flavour, and textures become soft and meltingly sweet often with that delicious crispy exterior. Just add a bit of oil, salt, and pepper. Throw in some herbs, spices, ginger, garlic, or chilli, and the world's your oyster.

Picture this: sweet spices like cinnamon and cardamom combined with cumin and coriander for a Middle Eastern twist. Or how about garlic and ginger with black mustard seeds, turmeric, and chilli for an Indian flair? Maybe oregano, paprika, garlic, cumin, and chilli for a full-on Mexican fiesta. Ok, so, here are our top tips for achieving plant forward, roasted perfection.

1. Turn up the Heat

Roasted vegetables are at their best when perfectly caramelised, making the most of their natural sugars and flavours. For the perfect caramelisation, you need a higher temperature than you’d think. Pre-heat your oven to 220°C to get things really sizzling.

2. Prep Now for Tastier Results

Take the time to slice all your vegetables into sizes that will roast evenly. Potatoes and other root vegetables should be cut into smaller pieces, while zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, etc, can be a bit larger (remember that these are our hight water vegetables so they will shrink much more on cooking and you don't want them shrinking to nothing!) Consider investing in a few sheet pans so you can roast different vegetables separately, allowing you to control the doneness of each type and combine them at the end.

3. Please Don’t Overdo the Oil

You want an even covering of oil on your vegetables - a generous amount but not 'swimming' - we're not going for deep fried here. Either drizzle the oil directly over your pan and shake for even coverage or toss them around in a bowl beforehand (perfect for seasoning too). Use any oil you prefer for roasting, but avoid those with a low smoking point, like olive.

4. One Pan to Roast Them All

The trick to roasting all your vegetables together, to save on dishes and have everything ready to serve, is adding them at the right time. Ensure you have a large enough pan so your vegetables can roast with room between them, preventing trapped moisture which will inhibit caramelisation and browning and just leave you with a steamy, wilty mess.

Once you’ve prepped your vegetables and pre-heated your oven, start cooking the vegetables with longer cooking times: potatoes, kumara, pumpkin, and other root vegetables and onions. After about 20 minutes, add the quicker cooking vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, peppers, beans, etc.

5. Look But Don’t Touch

Keep an eye out for signs of browning through your oven door but resist the urge to open and check unless absolutely necessary. You’ve pre-heated your oven perfectly, so keep the heat in. When you add the quicker cooking vegetables around the 20-minute mark, just give the others a toss to keep them evenly roasting and coated in your oils.

Honourable Mention: Air-Frying

All the same rules apply, but you’re getting your veggies done even quicker AND without heating your entire oven. It’s a perfect solution if you just want a few roasted veges for your salad (plus it’s not so hot in your summer kitchen). It’s worth investing in an oil mister for even coverage with an air fryer. It's worth investing in an oil mister for even coverage with an airfryer, you can see our favourites here.

Ok, so now you know - time plus heat plus good ingredients equals delicious roasted vegetables. We challenge you to step out of your boiled and steamed comfort zone, turn up the heat a notch and get roasting!


Older Post