The Best Roasting Temperatures for Fall Vegetables (Infographic)
Salad days and no-cook dinners are now (sadly) lost benefits of a season past. Yet fall comes with its own dinnertime advantages, when everything benefits from a simple stint in a blazing hot oven.
You can toss pretty much any vegetable with olive oil and seasoning and roast it for a fuss-free dinner side, but so easily your best intentions can veer into a mushy, mealy mess. Stringy butternut squash and soggy brussels sprouts, we're looking at you.
Roasting vegetables is inherently easy, but there are a few tweaks you can make here and there to guarantee you're pulling off caramelized, umami-packed roasted vegetables every time: right temperature, right oven placement, right time.
Each type of vegetable has a sweet spot, so we tested and tested again to find that perfect combination of the three for each of our favorite root vegetables and compiled that information into this handy dandy infographic.
Use this method when cooking butternut, kabocha, spaghetti, or acorn squash. Halve the squash, scoop out the seeds, and rub the cut sides with olive oil and salt and pepper. You can also add fresh herbs into the cavities of the squash – sage and thyme work well here. Roast cut side down on a foil-lined baking sheet on the middle rack of an oven pre-heated to 400ºF for about 40 minutes, or until you can pierce the thickest part with a knife.
We're talking delicata here. Halve the squash lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and slice each half into half moons. Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper in a large bowl, and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast on the top rack of an oven pre-heated to 400ºF for 30 minutes, or until tender and caramelized.
This method can be used for really any potato as long as they're cut into 1-inch pieces. Quarter or halve potatoes if they're on the small size, or cube if they're larger. Toss with oil (or sub melted butter or ghee here) and salt and pepper to coat. Roast on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 20 minutes on the bottom rack of an oven pre-heated to 400ºF, then move to the middle rack and bake for 25 more minutes. Starting with the potatoes closer to the heat source crisps the outside, and moving them to the middle rack cooks them all the way through without burning.
Halve the brussels sprouts lengthwise keeping the roots intact. Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper to coat, then arrange cut side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet (this encourages caramelization). You can also add raw alliums like chopped onion or minced garlic at this stage. Roast on the bottom rack of an oven pre-heated to 400ºF for 15 minutes, or until crisp and caramelized. Toss halfway through to prevent the leaves from burning.
Tear head into florets, and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper to coat. For a bit more flavor, toss with lemon zest or red pepper flakes as well. Roast on a parchment-lined baking sheet on the middle rack of an oven pre-heated to 425ºF for 25 minutes, or until almost charred around the edges and tender.
Parsnips and Carrots
Slice parsnips or carrots into 2-inch-long strips and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper to coat (add in a drizzle of maple syrup or honey for a bit of sweetness). Roast on a parchment-lined baking sheet on the middle rack of an oven pre-heated to 450ºF for about 20 minutes, or until tender and golden brown around the edges.