As the days grow shorter and the temperature drops, our culinary preferences tend to shift towards hearty, comforting meals. And while those summer days of barbecuing, tossing together fresh garden salads, and eating outdoors are certainly glorious, there is something so satisfying and special about the aroma of food coming from the oven and the extra warmth that it brings to your home. The best part? It doesn't need to be complicated! With roasting, it might smell like you've been slaving away in the kitchen all day, but in reality, the process is remarkably straightforward: simply arrange your veggies or meat on a tray, slide it into the oven, and carry on with your day!
In addition to its effortless preparation, here are a few more reasons why roasting rightfully takes centre stage as our favorite cooking method during the cozy embrace of fall and winter. 🍂🍁
Enhances Flavours. Roasting intensifies the flavours of ingredients. Think of the difference between raw and roasted versions of foods like onions, winter squash, beets, bell peppers, potatoes . . . just to name a few. Roasting yields a sweeter, more concentrated flavour and extra tasty crispness. Caramelization and browning are both flavour boosters that make roasted vegetables, meats, and even fruit taste and look extra appetizing.
Free time while it roasts. Go ahead and read a book, get a workout in, or just do as you please. Dinner is cooking by itself. Once you’ve put your meal in the oven, you’ve got some bonus free time without any sauteing or keeping your eye on a pot about to boil. Enjoy!
Easy clean up! One-pan sheet meals are a cinch to clean up–particularly if you use a pan lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil (which can be recycled). You can cook your entire meal in the oven while keeping your stove top clean and not having any pots or pans to wash! Any prep-work clean up can be taken care of while the food roasts, so you’ll be all done before it’s time to eat.
It’s healthy. Roasting can retain more of the nutrients in vegetables compared to boiling, as the vegetables are not submerged in water, which can leach out vitamins and minerals. Roasting requires less fats or oils compared to frying or sauteing, but tossing veggies in just a little bit of extra virgin olive oil before roasting not only tastes great and keeps things from sticking together, it’s good for you too. The natural flavours of foods are preserved by roasting, enhancing their taste without the need for excessive seasonings or sauces. And since roasting enhances flavours, it can make vegetables more appealing for picky eaters compared to other cooking methods.
It’s versatile. The possibilities are endless when it comes to roasting. Cauliflower and grapes; chicken with citrus and fennel; sweet potatoes with Brussels sprouts and pomegranate . . . you name it! You can use fresh or dried herbs, sprinkle in some nuts or seeds, and let your imagination loose. Roasting is very forgiving when it comes to cooking times, and having some extra crispy or caramelized parts will just add to the flavour.
It’s great for beginners. Roasting is the perfect cooking method for those without much cooking experience or anyone just wanting to take it easy in the kitchen, without any stress. You don’t have to worry about precise timing, fancy sauces, or measuring ingredients. You can also walk away without having to babysit your food during the cooking process.
We hope this short list of reasons to sing the praises of roasting has inspired you to come up with some new meal ideas for this fall and winter season. Next time you’re shopping in the produce section at Quality Greens, think of it through the lens of what might be delicious roasted together on a baking sheet. Don’t forget the garlic!