How to Make Perfect Roast Vegetables

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How to Make Perfect Roast Vegetables
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How to Make Perfect Roast Vegetables

Before making a layer of veggies for the turkey to rest on, lightly spray the pan and pour in some stock. The drippings will take care of moistness later, but it's best to keep some protection between the vegetables and pan until that point. Then simply layer the large vegetables on the bottom, top with the turkey, and follow your roasting regime.

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Carrots, onions, and potatoes are the best vegetables for long roasts. They work perfectly with the turkey's flavor and are strong enough to withstand hours in the oven.

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But don't chop them up into small chunks. Unless you have a tiny turkey that only needs an hour or two to roast, those chopped veggies will dissolve in the turkey juices and be hard to wrench from the drippings when it is time to plate -- so keep them whole or halved. That way, they can be chopped later if necessary, and are a whole lot easier to scoop and plate.

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Click through for more of our favorite roasted vegetable recipes.

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Roast Chicken & Sweet Potatoes

Caramelized potatoes, red onion and chicken make the perfect combination for a dinner meal.

Click here for the recipe: Roast Chicken & Sweet Potatoes

Oven-Roasted Squash with Garlic & Parsley

Winter squash becomes tender and sweeter when roasted—a delicious side for a holiday dinner. Look for interesting squash like kabocha or hubbard at your farmers’ market and try them in this recipe.

Click here for the recipe: Oven-Roasted Squash with Garlic & Parsley

Pot-Roasted Eggplant with Tomatoes and Cumin

Paula Wolfert visited the kitchens of Dar Yacout, where the cooks still use charcoal fires to make dishes like lush and smoky roasted-eggplant salad.

Click here for the recipe: Pot-Roasted Eggplant with Tomatoes and Cumin

Cumin Seed Roasted Cauliflower with Salted Yogurt, Mint, and Pomegranate Seeds

When the nights turn blustery and the temperature drops, I know that roasted vegetable season has arrived. I’ll roast any kind of sturdy vegetable that I can cut up and fit into my oven, but one of my favorites is cauliflower, preferably tossed with whole cumin seeds.

Click here for the recipe: Cumin Seed Roasted Cauliflower with Salted Yogurt, Mint, and Pomegranate Seeds

Truffled Salmon over Roasted Plantains

One of my favorite ways to make a simple food elegant is with a compound butter - a softened butter mixed with aromatics, spices, citrus zest, herbs, or, as in this case, ultra-indulgent truffles. For a rich flavor boost, add a little pat to farm-fresh roasted vegetables, charred grilled fish or a simple piece of pan-seared chicken.

Click here for the recipe: Truffled Salmon over Roasted Plantains

Chestnut Confit with Roasted Potatoes, Bacon, and Kumquats

I was never a big fan of chestnuts growing up. The texture is just so different from all other nuts out there that I couldn’t really get with it. But later, when I was working with my friend Dale Levitski at the Chicago bistro La Tache, he made a version of a chestnut confit to serve with a duck dish in winter.

Click here for the recipe: Chestnut Confit with Roasted Potatoes, Bacon, and Kumquats

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Roast vegetables are tasty in their own right, but when they're roasted in the juices of a Thanksgiving turkey, they're downright splendid. Hours of dripping turkey juices give the veggies rich flavor while the long cooking time makes them so soft they'll yield to the gentle pressure of a fork. And heck, they're a much tastier way to raise a turkey off the bottom of a pan (instead of a rack). But there are some things to keep in mind when roasting up those veggies.

Check out the slideshow above for some tips on roasting vegetables for your holiday dinner this Thanksgiving!

For more Thanksgiving tips and tricks, try Five Secrets for a Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey.

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