Keep Size In Mind When Choosing Which Veggies To Roast All At Once

Whether you buy your favorite vegetables fresh or frozen, it's time to preheat your oven and take out that baking tray. Oven-roasting your carrots, broccoli, and zucchini practically guarantees a delicious and crispy result. Luckily for novice chefs, roasting is a simple enough process, so long as you pay attention to the size of your chosen vegetables.

Roasting vegetables of different sizes and textures can lead to an uneven bake. Chopped bell peppers, for example, are smaller and softer than, say, whole roasted carrots. So, if you cook the two together on the same tray, those peppers will cook faster, and you'll have to choose between overcooked peppers or undercooked carrots. This difference is even more stark in vegetables like sweet potatoes and spinach. When sliced, the former can take roughly 25 minutes to roast, whereas spinach is all about quick (but high) heat. If you were to roast the two simultaneously on the same sheet, you run the risk of raw potatoes or burnt spinach. You can remedy this roasting conundrum in a few ways, but the easiest is to choose your vegetables wisely. 

Choose vegetables of the same size to ensure an even roast

Vegetables certainly aren't one-size-fits-all, but you can find some similar sizes and types that fit together. To ensure an even roast, choose vegetables that match one another in these ways and require similar baking times and temperatures. For example, you can pair the likes of sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, and butternut squash, which all share a starchiness and similar density. Or, you can opt for the stringy pair of green beans and asparagus. You likewise can't go wrong with broccoli with cauliflower, a natural cruciferous combo. 

To get unlike vegetables — like, say, a head of broccoli and bell peppers — to cook at similar times, it's best to cut them to roughly the same size, between 1 to 2 inches, to get an even cook. And if you're buying bagged, strategize and keep the same principle in mind.