Published November 1, 2012. From Cook's Illustrated.
How do you get five different vegetables to cook simultaneously in the same pan and all come out perfectly? The solution starts with the right cuts.
Try roasting a variety of vegetables on the same pan and you’ll find yourself with a medley of every possible bad result, from raw and crunchy to charred and desiccated.
We wanted to find an approach that would reliably produce an assortment of perfectly roasted root vegetables, all on the same sheet and more quickly than the usually lengthy cooking time.
Instead of trying to cut the veggies into equal pieces, we decided to let the density and texture of each vegetable determine its particular shape. We cut the carrots into sticks and the celery root into thick planks. We sliced the parsnips across the grain into oblong disks and cut the turnips into wedges. This ensured that all of the vegetables took the same amount of time to cook through.
With each vegetable cut into the right shape, we wanted to see if we could speed up their cooking time. To do this, we turned to the microwave. We microwaved all the vegetables except for the quick-cooking turnips until they were soft enough to release their liquid. We drained off the liquid, incorporated the turnips, and then gave them a quick toss in some oil and spread them onto a preheated baking pan. After a short stint in the oven, the bottoms of the vegetables were golden brown. We stirred them so the unbrowned sides faced down and rotated the pan for even cooking. After a few minutes more, all the veggies were moist on the inside and sported crisp, golden-brown crusts—and we’d done it in less than an hour.
A simple garnish of chopped parsley was all that these richly flavored vegetables really needed, but we couldn’t resist the urge to dress them up further. For deep savory flavor, we created a topping made from crispy bacon, minced shallot, sherry vinegar, and chives. A bright salsa made of orange, parsley, almonds, and cumin highlighted their sweet caramelized notes, and a Turkish spice blend brought thyme, sesame seeds, and orange and lemon zests to the mix.list of recipes