Recently I got back into my winter routine of roasting up a big batch of hearty veggies on the weekend, ready to use in meals throughout the week. Writing a food blog means that at least once a week I’m cooking something new and interesting, but most of the time, especially with a baby in the house, getting a meal on the table is just part of the daily routine, and strategies like this help make life a little easier.
Roasting a bunch of vegetables at once means that you have a map of the week’s meals already done, the crisper draw no longer harbours rubbery carrots, and you’re banking your daily vegetable quota ahead of time. Here’s how I prepare and roast my veg, then, I thought it might be cool to share what I’ve done with the veggies throughout the week. Head over to like Simple Provisions on Facebook to follow along over the coming days.
There’s nothing winter vegetables like more than some oil, a bit of seasoning and a hot oven. The vegetables soften, sweeten and develop rich, earthy flavours. Turning grubby, gnarly root vegetables into delicate, caramelised morsels of goodness is extremely satisfying. Doing this on masse, rotating brightly coloured trays of produce through your oven, is even more gratifying. It takes a few hours all up, but you’ll be set up for the week. And most of that time is just waiting for the vegetables to cook, enabling you to sit near a warm oven, perhaps with a glass of wine, maybe reading a book, hopefully both.
Once everything is cleaned, chopped, seasoned and in the oven, throw the peels, off-cuts and remnants into a big pot of water with a bay leaf and some peppercorns to make vegetable stock. This can be used later in the week to make soup with the odds and sods of roasted vegetables that are left over.
When I have a fridge full of vegetables, I tend to use store cupboard ingredients to round out the dish, making the vegetables the star. Herbs, spices, cheese, grains and pasta come in handy, as do brighteners like vinegar, lemon and capers. This means less shopping during the week, another bonus.
So this is the start of my week. Over the coming days I’ll post on Facebook to show you how I’ve turned the trays of gorgeous roasted vegetables into meals for two. I won’t be telling you how I used the parsnips, because my husband ate them all while they were cooling on the bench. And there was definitely more cauliflower than what made it into the fridge, but that was my fault. A bench full of hot, fresh-out-of-the-oven, well-seasoned veggies are hard to resist. And best of all, they keep for about four days in the fridge, so they’re ready to tempt and inspire all throughout the week.
How to Roast Vegetables for the Week
What I roasted:
- 1 butternut squash, cut into rough cubes
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 large fennel bulb, quartered and cored and cut into chunks
- 1 parsnip, quartered and cut in thirds
- 2 carrots, quartered and cut in thirds
- 1 large beetroot, wrapped in foil
- 2 sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
- 1 red onion, cut into 1/8ths
How I roasted:
I tossed each tray of veggies in olive oil and salt and pepper and set the oven to 200c/425F. When splitting vegetables up onto trays, I try to keep things that are the same size or that will take similar amounts of time to cook together (things that grow in a similar way usually fit together).
My oven isn’t large enough to fit all the trays in at once so I started with the squash, cauliflower and fennel and onion. It took around 30-40 minutes for them to cook, some coming out of the oven sooner (cauliflower) than others (squash). When one tray came out another went in.The carrot and parsnip tray and sweet potatoes also took around 30-40 minutes, the beetroot took closer to an hour.
With all of them, I just kept an eye on them during the cooking time, and when I tested a piece and it was so good I went in for another, they were ready.
Once all the vegetables had cooled, I placed them in bowls, covered them with cling wrap and placed them in the fridge. They can stay there for 4 days, ready to be used in a range of meals during the week.
Like Simple Provisions on Facebook to follow along and see how I use the vegetables over the coming days.