Roast, baby, roast!
For me, fall is all about Roast! Roast! Roast!
We have so many options in seasonal veggies. Be it for a side dish, or a meal in itself, roasting first will bring much more flavor to your veggies.
What’s roasting, and is it different from baking? In terms of what needs to happen, not really, but when we talk about solid items, that cook at high temperatures, we are talking about roasting, while baking is what happens with more fluid contents, that solidify in the process of cooking (think of a cake batter).
To roast, you need a preheated oven at about 180 to 200 degrees Celsius, a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of oil (skip it if you try to reduce fats in your diet).
What happens during roasting? The protein and sugars rearrange (helped by the high temperatures) and transform into something better, more delicious. The edges will get browner, and the taste is sweeter, often nuttier than when, for example, you boil or steam them.
What should you roast this month and how? The timings and temperatures are approximate. They are done when you can pierce the veggies easily with a fork. For a:
Celeriac (Knolselderij)- Wash well, cut out the rough part (no need to peel). Cut in 2 cm thick slices. Roast at 200C for 45 minutes.
Parsnip (Pastinaak) - Wash and peel. You can cut in rounds of 2-3 cm thick. Roast at 200C for 35 minutes.
Red beet (Rode biet) - Wash well, peel. Cut in quarters (if small) or large cubes. Roast at 200C for 45 minutes.
Brussel sprouts (Spruiten) - Wash, cut away the hard base, and then slice halfway. Roast at 180C for 30 minutes.
Jerusalem artichoke (Aardpeer) - Wash well, no need to peel. Slice halfway and roast at 200C for 30-40 minutes, depending on the size.
Salsify (Schorseneren) – A bit of a forgotten veg, this root looks a bit like horseradish, but tastes and has the structure of asparagus. Peel the outer layer and keep in water with some lemon juice until ready to roast at 200C about 30 minutes.
In your tray you can always add onions and garlic (unpeeled, sliced in half), So go ahead, and roast, baby, roast!