Most people would say that vegetables are the easiest ingredient to cook with in the kitchen.
Roasting them doesn't sound like it requires much knowledge or effort. All you have to do is cut the vegetables to an appropriate size, add some oil and seasoning, and badda bing, badda boom, they're ready to be heated in the oven.
Apparently, there are special techniques when it comes to roasting vegetables.
I don't doubt this for a second, because every time I go to a high-end restaurant, their roasted vegetables taste much better than the ones I cook at home.
Luckily, the method to getting your roasted vegetables tasting better is easy.
Chef Nick Balla of Duna and Smokebread restaurants in San Francisco has a tip for making that perfect healthy side dish.
Once you slice the vegetables, don't pour any oil on them, Balla told Food & Wine magazine.
He recommends dry roasting the vegetables so that they retain "more aroma."
At first, dry roasting doesn't sound like a good idea, but you'll notice a huge difference when you try it.
“Dry roasting makes for a more natural pairing because you retain a lot of freshness and brightness, and they absorb the fat anyway. It's delicious—it's perfect for salads,” he said.
Balla explains that when oils reach high temperatures, they tend to mask flavors: "Dry roasted vegetables are like a sponge because they’ve lost so much liquid."
Once your vegetables have finished roasting, you can add oil and seasoning, which will absorb much better, adding to the flavor.
Another great thing about this cooking tip is that doesn't leave a mess!
Here's a rundown of what you should do:
1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
2. Place your vegetables in a glass or cast-iron pan.
3. Roast the vegetables. For "wetter" vegetables, heat the pan to speed up the caramelization process.
4. Once roasted, add olive oil and your favorite spices.
Balla encourages people to not be afraid to experiment, because you never know what amazing cooking technique you may stumble upon.
“Why not just experiment? Every time, you learn. Just go to the market, buy a bunch of stuff, and throw in the oven. It's not rocket science. Be confident and trusting. Go out and play with it. It's a fun thing.”