I have an on again-off again relationship with my oven. Sometimes I like to be able to toss something in and walk away, but most often I prefer stovetop cooking. I like to see what I’m making so that I can fiddle with it as I go. It feels safer. It is hard to trust an oven sometimes.
A few years back, I believe it was a Thanksgiving, my mother presented me with oven roast carrots. They are just a wonderful thing. She used Ina Garten’s recipe. In my experience, you can never go wrong with The Barefoot Contessa. The carrots when you roast them, become sweet and brown, just salty enough to be perfect. AND, they are the easiest thing in the world.
Since discovering this recipe, I have learned I can do most any vegetables this same way. Olive oil, salt and pepper, roast. Last night I tried brussel sprouts again. I have to say, I quite liked them. First, I microwaved them for 1 minute. My friend recommended I do this to make sure they are done all the way through. Then, I roasted them in this simple manner for 20 min at 400. They were nicely browned and tasty. I would recommend you stir twice to get a nice, all over brown.
Lately, I have been following this method all the time. Tossing some marinated chicken or pork chops on a cookie sheet along with a pile of vegetables and just roasting them all together. Easiest dinner ever.
I really like zucchini or squash done in this manner with a little lemon pepper. Cubed potatoes with some rosemary. Parsnips. Fennel. You can even toss them all in a pan together. The Contessa has a parsnips, carrots, and fennel recipe similar to the one below that is killer. Try this recipe out. You’ll use it all the time.
Barefoot Contessa- Roast Carrots
- 12 carrots
- 3 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh dill or parsley
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
If the carrots are thick, cut them in half lengthwise; if not, leave whole. Slice the carrots diagonally in 1 1/2-inch-thick slices. (The carrots will shrink while cooking so make the slices big.) Toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a sheet pan in 1 layer and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, until browned and tender.
Toss the carrots with minced dill or parsley, season to taste, and serve.
This is a super easy and healthy way to do basic side vegetables. But, when roasted in this manner, they will taste anything but simple.