I totally get that you can roast vegetables any time of year, but once fall hits, it’s like some spirit takes over my body and says, “roast them, roast them all” with no mercy.
Roasting brings out such a unique flavour profile to vegetables. Some will take on the taste of sweetness as they caramelize at a slow pace and others turn bitter as they take on colour from the immense heat. I also love the texture that you can achieve from roasting — the finest line between crunchy and soft.
Here are some of my personal recommendations to try if you’re down to roast! those! veggies! this fall.
Maple & Spiced Roasted Carrots
I bought these little guys from the market on the weekend, but you can use either baby carrots, full-sized, tri-coloured, whatever you fancy. You can also cut them any way you’d like, I’m not going to be a stickler for what shape you prefer your carrots.
- Carrots — as many as you need
- Salted butter, about 1 tbsp– you’re cooking, not baking!
- 1/2 tsp of paprika
- 1/4 tsp of onion powder
- 1/8 tsp of cayenne — your call on this one
- 1/4 garam masala
- 2 tbsp of maple syrup
- Salt + Pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare your carrots by trimming off the stems, washing, and patting dry with paper towel. Spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
2. In a small microwavable bowl, mix the paprika, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and garam masala together. Put the butter in the same bowl and microwave for less than 20 seconds to bloom. Stir the butter until it gradually melts completely and the spices are vaguely fragrant. Mix in maple syrup too.
Blooming refers to the heating of ground spices in a fat (butter/oil) to intensify their flavour and “wake them up”, so to speak. It also ensure that there won’t be a clump of raw spices in the final outcome.
3. Pour over the carrots and toss to coat. Always taste the food!! Taste raw (if applicable) or cooked because seasoning is a key component to cooking. If it’s lacking flavour and tastes muddled, add a bit of salt to separate those flavours and intensify them. If you’re afraid to over-salt your food, just go slow and keep tasting until you’re happy with the flavour.
4. Roast in oven for about 40 – 50 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes or so. Taste-test around 45 minutes make sure the carrots are cooked through but don’t have a mushy texture. I like to drizzle a bit more maple syrup over top afterwards to play off the natural sweetness of the carrot. Otherwise, dig in!!
If you don’t like beets, then I bet you haven’t had them cooked properly. I used to despise beets, okay. I thought they tasted too much like I was eating an unwashed potato that was weirdly sweet.
One Thanksgiving many years ago, my mom showed me what she did to her beets. She roasted them, peeled them, shredded them and then sautéed them the way you would make any other vegetable taste good:
with butter and salt.
Man oh man. Now, I’m bossy about my beets. But I one-up myself and like to add a little brown sugar into my mix because beets are naturally quite sweet and can stand up to many flavours you pair it with. Sorry mom, but these are Little Girl, Big Eats’ Beets.
- Beets — as many as you’d like
- Vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar
- Salt + Pepper
1.Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash the beets and peel their rough skin. Cut into relatively same size pieces so that they cook evenly. Spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle the oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle the brown sugar, tossing to coat. Pop them in the oven for 30-40 minutes, again, they should be soft to bite into but a bit of crunch is still ideal, and pull them.
They’re great in a roasted vegetable buddha bowl, great in salads with goat cheese, or even great as a snack. I promise they will make you change your mind about beets!!
Other vegetables I suggest you try roasting: parsnips, butternut squash, sweet potato, sussel sprouts (to come soon!), red onion, broccoli, cauliflower…the list could keep going…