Roasting vegetables works in the winter, too

January 10, 2001|By KNIGHT RIDDER /TRIBUNE

Roasted vegetables on the grill are a treat in the summer, but they also are sensational in the winter. If it's too chilly to cook on an outdoor grill, oven-roast them for a full-flavored side dish.

Roasting is a low-fat way to prepare many favorite fall vegetables, giving them a sweeter, richer flavor, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research.

Many vegetables are delicious when roasted: bell peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, brussels sprouts, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, squash, beets and eggplant.

Start by cutting larger vegetables into bite-size pieces before brushing with oil. Then season with herbs and spices.

Roast vegetables at 400 degrees, basting occasionally with chicken stock, orange or apple juice, or low-fat Italian dressing.

The density and size of the vegetable determine the cooking time. Tomatoes, summer squash and eggplant take only 20-30 minutes, while onions, peppers and winter squash need 30-45 minutes.

Potatoes and carrots can cook for an hour, but beets and pumpkins may require an hour and a half. You'll know they're done when they have a nice, brown color and can be pierced easily with a fork.

Roasted vegetables are delicious served over grains such as quinoa, rice, couscous or bulgur.

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