How to swap soggy vegies for crisp roast vegetables

Roast carrots

With summer just two days away, roast vegetables are probably the last thing on your mind.

But roasting vegetables is a great way to enhance their flavour and many may be planning a traditional roast Christmas meal.

So how do you get the perfect roast vegetable?

Chef Mel is a chef and cooking teacher with more than 28 years’ experience. She has a cooking school in Brisbane and knows how to take roast vegetables to the next level.

Have you ever made a tray of roast vegetables in your oven, and after 45 minutes you open the oven door and all you have got is a face full of steam and regrets?” she asks.

Well, here are her tips for delicious, crispy vegies for your next festive occasion or even just to impress the family.

Crispy tips

  1. Buy vegies that are seasonal or on sale.
  2. The trick is to be clever and lazy with your food prep. Line the roasting tray with foil so you don’t need to wash it afterwards
  3. Every vegetable has its own cooking time. Think about a carrot or sweet potato versus a zucchini. Zucchini has a quick cooking time. If you want to be lazy and throw it on the same tray, cut it into smaller pieces. Cut the zucchini big – in half or into large pieces. Cut the carrots or sweet potatoes into circles or squares in smaller pieces.
  4. Don’t over season veg at the beginning. When I am seasoning with salt, I use flake salt and cracked black pepper. If you want to use table salt, put salt into a strainer and you will get salt snow, and evenly covered seasoned vegies.
  5. Cook at 220ºC for 12-15 minutes until they brown and caramelise. If you turn your oven past the 180ºC mark, you will not get a speeding fine.
  6. Speed up further. If you pop your veg into the bottom or middle rack, for 10-12 minutes, whack the grill on and force heat onto the veg to caramelise them and cook faster.
  7. Use roast vegies as a side or serve on a bed of greens to make a roast veg salad. You can also blend them to use in a cheffy puree. If you have been to a restaurant, a main course is often served with a smear of a puree or mash. All the chef has done is used talent and a food processor to whip the vegies into a gorgeous, sexy, velvety puree that will offset lamb shanks or a roast.

Chef Mel has just released Eat Yourself Sexy, a healthy cookbook aimed to get you in shape while eating delicious and beautiful meals.

Do you have any secrets to the perfect crisp potato? Why not share them in the comments section below?

Also read: Vegetable Pasta Bake

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