Some cooks swear by their steamer basket for quick vegetable dishes. But I couldn’t live without my roasting pan. After a busy day at work, I just cut up the vegetables I have in the fridge, toss them with a bit of oil, salt and pepper—if I’m feeling particularly ambitious, some herbs or spices, too—and pop them in a hot oven. A stir or two later, I have roasted vegetables full of flavor you could never coax from a steamer basket. That’s because when you cook at temperatures above 330°F, the delicious process of caramelization kicks in (when you steam, it doesn’t get above 212°F). At those hotter temperatures the natural sugars in vegetables, meat—even bread—turn nutty and richly sweet, giving that brown and almost crispy exterior. And who doesn’t love that?
There are just a few rules you have to follow when roasting vegetables: