I don’t take pleasure in using the phrase “Worlds Best”, “The Ultimate” or even “Pretty Damn Awesome” to describe my recipe endeavours.
However, after years of throwing trays upon trays of multi-coloured veg into the oven and monitoring results – I’m confident enough to share my dirty secrets to creating *the most perfectly wonderful* roasted veggies.
The Goal: deliciously caramelized (not burnt), nutty & tender-crisp veggies.
Nothing steamy or mushy around these parts thanks.
A veggie you can scoop right off the hot tray and enjoy while hovering in the kitchen.
A veggie you can confetti your grain bowls with, scatter over eggs for brunch and accompany chicken/tofu/salmon for dinner. A veggie that makes your kale salad feel a bit less like a kale salad.
Why it’s delicious?
- Roasting veggies directly on a baking sheet conducts heat very well = caramelized veggies with delicious brown bits.
- Roasting veggies on 3 separate sheets ensures everything gets a personalized cook time.
- Spreading out veggies over 3 sheets ensures they don’t steam.
- Stirring the vegetables gives them a chance to brown on both sides.
- Drizzling after in a harissa-maple dressing (tots optional!) brings a balanced sweet-heat that complements the nutty flavour of the roasted vegetables.
- 1/2 butternut squash or 1 small one, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 head cauliflower or 1 small one, cut into 1-inch florets
- 2 parsnips, cut into 1-inch half-moons
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1- inch half-moons
- 2 large shallots, peeled and cut into large petals
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1.5 tbsp unsalted butter (omit or use plant-based butter if vegan)
- 2 tsp harissa paste (less if your not keen on spice)
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- To serve: fresh thyme, flaky salt, black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425. You'll need at least 3 baking sheets for this to ensure everything has room to caramelize and doesnt steam. No parchment or foil is used in this recipe.
- On the first baking sheet, add cauliflower and shallot. Drizzle 1 tbsp oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Arrange so the flat side, cut side of the cauliflower floret is hitting the sheet.
- On the second baking sheet, add butternut squash. Drizzle with 2 tsp oil and season with salt and pepper.
- On the third baking sheet, add carrot and parsnip. Drizzle with 2 tsp oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast veggies for 22-27 min, stirring after 20 min, until veggies are caramelized in spots and tender. Work in batches as necessary.*
- While the veggies roast, in a small pot, add butter, harissa, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar. Heat over medium low, just until melted. Stir to combine. (you can also do this in the microwave)
- Serve roasted veggies with a sprinkle of fresh thyme and flakey sea salt. Drizzle over maple harissa sauce to taste!
A note about oven placement: I like to roast with cauliflower on the bottom rack, giving it an extra chance to turn golden and caramelize. I put the butternut squash on the middle rack, and the carrots and parsnips on the lower rack (after I roasted the cauliflower) You can't really go wrong, just know whichever you put on the bottom rack will get the most colour and roast the quickest.