[Part of the Mastering Meal Prep with Elyse Kopecky series]
Read the transcript:
To really get soft middles and crispy edges, you want to actually over-bake your roasted vegetables. You might look at them and you think they’re done, but if you get an extra couple minutes in there to really get that caramelization on the edges, it adds a lot more flavor. So what I find is every oven varies slightly, but you want your oven at 425 and really hot to start. And put these in, set a timer for 15 minutes, and then after 15 minutes, you’re going to stir it and put it back in for another 15 minutes.
So first you’re going to take your vegetables and cut them all into uniform sizes. You want to make sure that the pieces are all about the same size so that they will roast at the same temperature. So you want to get a sheet tray, the larger the size, the better, ’cause one of the most important techniques is to spread out the veggies so they’re not touching each other. So if you have a larger size oven, you can use even a larger size sheet tray. My oven is a little bit smaller, so this is the tray size I use.
So for easy cleanup, I’m going to line it with parchment paper. And that is for two reasons. One is you never want to cook directly on aluminum. The aluminum can leach into the vegetables and so you just don’t want to cook on it. And then the second reason is it prevents the veggies from sticking and they’ll still get really nice brown edges without needing to do it directly on the sheet tray. And it makes for a really easy cleanup. So what you’ll do is you’ll take your potatoes and your cauliflower and just pile them onto here. I keep them in just like one big pile to season them…and some cauliflower.
I’ve got my sheet tray, my parchment, paper, potatoes, and cauliflower. Let’s get that straight. All right. So first I’m going to drizzle with olive oil. The key is to not drench. You want to use a generous pour of olive oil, but you don’t want to over-drench them. And before I add the salt and spices, I like to give it a little toss. I don’t use a bowl; you can use a bowl, but this just saves on dishes. So I just kind of toss it with the olive oil, using the parchment paper until it’s evenly coated. And then I add salt. And then you can mix up your spices. My go-to is ground cumin, garlic powder, smoked paprika: kind of blend all those three together or one or two of those. And then we’re going to toss it with a spatula. You can do that or you can do the other technique, but just to kind of spread around the spices right there.
And then the most important step is to spread out your veggies so they’re really—they each have their own little place. And that is the key to making sure that they don’t end up tasting just steam cooked and mushy, but that you really get those crispy edges and the browning, is to spread them out. The other important step is to really get your oven super hot, like 425/450. A lot of people are not patient enough to wait for the oven to fully come up for temperature. But when you are prepping dinner and thinking about what time, allow like an extra 30 minutes for your oven fully preheat. Often when your oven temperature says it’s preheated, it’s not really stabilized yet, so I always give it a little extra time to make sure that it’s fully come up to temperature. And now these are ready to go into the oven.