How to Roast Vegetables

Dinner in our apartment frequently follows this formula: One meat + two or three vegetables. If I plan ahead and put something like steak or pork tenderloin in the sous vide around 3pm, I can have a healthy dinner on the table with as little as 30 minutes of active time.

My preferred method of making vegetables year-round is to roast them. It is fast, it works with a wide variety of vegetables, and it is super easy to clean up.


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F.
  2. Choose and cut your vegetables. A quick guide is below.
  3. Toss your veggies with spices and a little bit of oil (Grapeseed Oil is probably the best option given its high smoke point), and put them on a sheet pan lined with foil.
  4. Put the pan of veggies on the middle rack of your oven for 20 minutes. No turning needed.

This method works well with all of the veggies listed below.

Vegetables, how to cut them, and what to season them with

Vegetable How to cut Seasoning
Acorn Squash Halve from stem to tip, then slice into half moons Cinnamon, nutmeg, and sage
Asparagus Cut the woody bottom part of the stem off and leave the rest of the stalk whole Salt, pepper, garlic, lemon zest
Broccoli Florets Salt, pepper, and garlic.
Brussels Sprouts Halve from top to bottom Salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Top with fresh grated parmesan.
Butternut Squash Peel and dice into 3/4 inch cubes Sage, sautéed onions, cinnamon, and cranberries (not all spices, but my favorite way to roast butternut squash
Carrots Slice longways into quarters, then cut the lengths in half Cumin or ginger
Cauliflower Florets Adobo or Cumin or Salt, pepper, and garlic powder
Celeriac Peel then cube Salt, pepper, paprika, thyme
Eggplant Slice into 1/2 inch thick disks Garlic, parsley, salt, pepper
Garlic whole peeled individual cloves Nothing needed
Mushrooms Whole Butter, garlic, thyme
Parsnips Slice longways into quarters, then cut the lengths in half Cumin or ginger
Pumpkins Halve from stem to tip, then slice into half moons Cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg
Radishes Halve or quarter Salt, pepper, and smoked paprika
Rutabagas Peel and 1 inch dice Salt, pepper, thyme, and balsamic vinegar
Sweet Potatoes 1 inch dice Salt, pepper, rosemary, and garlic or chili powder
Tomatoes Halve if small, quarter if large Oregano and garlic
Turnips Peel and 1 inch dice Salt, pepper, thyme, and balsamic vinegar
Yellow Squash 3/4 inch disks Smoked paprika, salt, and pepper
Zucchini 3/4 inch disks Smoked paprika, salt, and pepper



Up next: Braising is another good method for cooking vegetables. Fennel, leeks, radicchio, and artichokes tend to turn out better braised. Watch out for a post on braising soon.





Salsa Verde Revisited

I looked back at my salsa verde post from last year and decided I could improve it. I tend to only make it once a year because that is when I get a big bunch of tomatillos in my CSA share. That doesn’t leave much room for rapid feedback loops, but let’s see what we can do.


Last year’s version was all done on the stovetop. That is a fine method and gets the job done, but it relies heavily on the taste of the raw ingredients and doesn’t develop them very much. Surely we can do better.

If you don’t care about how something looks at the end, one of the best ways to develop a greater depth of flavor in veggies is to roast them. Salsa verde ends up getting pureed anyway, so the appearance of the tomatillos and peppers doesn’t matter.

I roasted this batch for an hour at 350F. Some of the juice from the tomatillos carmelized on the pan (which I scraped up, of course!) and both the tomatillos, onions, and peppers took on a sweeter, richer flavor. The garlic had the best transformation, though. Instead of the sharp, pungent flavor of raw garlic, roasted garlic has a gentle nutty caramel characteristic to it. There is nothing like it.


I scraped all of this off the pan and then pureed it in the food processor with some fresh oregano out of one of the window pots.


Last year’s recipe used fresh cilantro, but I didn’t have any on-hand and I didn’t want to go to the store on Labor Day. Oregano definitely doesn’t have the same flavor as cilantro, but it is delicious of its own accord. Cilantro isn’t essential to salsa verde and I think organo works well with onions, peppers, and lime juice, so I used it instead. I think it turned out wonderfully.